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Willie Nelson|Shotgun Willie

Shotgun Willie

Willie Nelson

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Transferring his allegiance to Atlantic (where he would record two remarkable albums that would get him kicked off the label), Willie Nelson offered his finest record to date for his debut -- possibly his finest album ever. Shotgun Willie encapsulates Willie's world view and music, finding him at a peak as a composer, interpreter, and performer. This is laid-back, deceptively complex music, equal parts country, rock attitude, jazz musicianship, and troubadour storytelling. Nelson blurs the lines between his own tunes and covers to the point that "Whiskey River," this record's best-known song, seems thoroughly original, yet it was written by Johnny Bush and Paul Stroud. This, along with two songs apiece by Leon Russell and Bob Wills, provides context for his originals, with Shotgun Willie becoming a musical autobiography, offering not only insights into his musicality (witness how he slows down "Stay All Night [Stay a Little Longer]" to a slow shuffle) but, seemingly, into himself (most notably on the title track and the wonderful, funny travelogue "Devil in a Sleepin' Bag"). Nelson wasn't just at a peak of performing here -- he also wrote some of his greatest songs, highlighted not just by the previously mentioned tunes but also by the lovely slow waltz "Slow Down Old World" and "Sad Songs and Waltzes." All of it adds up to possibly the finest record in a career filled with hits and highlights.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Shotgun Willie

Willie Nelson

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1
Shotgun Willie
00:02:41

Wayne Jackson, Trumpet - Arif Mardin, Producer - Andrew Love, Tenor Saxophone - James Mitchel, Saxophone - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jack Hale, Trombone - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Bobby Nelson, Piano - Jeff Gutcheon, Electric Piano

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

2
Whiskey River
00:04:05

Larry Gatlin, Backing Vocals - Paul Stroud, Composer, Writer - Johnny Bush, Composer, Writer - Steve Burgh, Acoustic Guitar - Dee Moeller, Backing Vocals - Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Hugh McDonald, Bass Guitar - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Steve Mosley, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

3
Sad Songs and Waltzes
00:03:06

Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Bobby Nelson, Piano - Jeff Gutcheon, Electric Piano - Paul English, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

4
Local Memory
00:02:20

Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Bobby Nelson, Piano - Jeff Gutcheon, Electric Piano - Paul English, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

5
Slow Down Old World
00:02:53

Steve Burgh, Acoustic Guitar - Arif Mardin, Producer - Nelson, Composer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Bobby Nelson, Piano - Jeff Gutcheon, Electric Piano - Paul English, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

6
Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)
00:02:34

Larry Gatlin, Backing Vocals - Steve Burgh, Acoustic Guitar - Dee Moeller, Backing Vocals - Arif Mardin, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Hugh McDonald, Bass Guitar - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Steve Mosley, Drums - Wills Bob, Writer - Tommy Duncan, Writer - Bob Willis, Writer

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

7
Devil in a Sleepin' Bag
00:02:40

Larry Gatlin, Backing Vocals - Steve Burgh, Acoustic Guitar - Dee Moeller, Backing Vocals - Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Hugh McDonald, Bass Guitar - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Steve Mosley, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

8
She's Not for You
00:03:13

Larry Gatlin, Acoustic Guitar - Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Bobby Nelson, Piano - Jeff Gutcheon, Electric Piano - Paul English, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

9
Bubbles in My Beer
00:02:33

Red Lane, Acoustic Guitar - Jerry Wexler, Producer - Johnny Gimble, Violin - Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Cindy Walker, Writer - James Clayton Day, Pedal Steel Guitar - Augie Meyer', Piano - Jack Barber, Bass Guitar - Tommy Duncan, Writer - Bob Willis, Writer - George Raines, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

10
You Look Like the Devil
00:03:26

Arif Mardin, Producer - Leon Russell, Writer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Pedal Steel Guitar - Bobbie Nelson, Piano - Paul English, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

11
So Much to Do
00:03:10

Arif Mardin, Producer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dan Spears, Bass Guitar - James Clayton Day, Contributor - Bobby Nelson, Piano - Jeff Gutcheon, Electric Piano - Paul English, Drums

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

12
A Song for You
00:04:17

Arif Mardin, Producer - Leon Russell, Writer - Willie Nelson, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist

© 1973 Atlantic Records ℗ 1973 Atlantic Records

Album Description

Transferring his allegiance to Atlantic (where he would record two remarkable albums that would get him kicked off the label), Willie Nelson offered his finest record to date for his debut -- possibly his finest album ever. Shotgun Willie encapsulates Willie's world view and music, finding him at a peak as a composer, interpreter, and performer. This is laid-back, deceptively complex music, equal parts country, rock attitude, jazz musicianship, and troubadour storytelling. Nelson blurs the lines between his own tunes and covers to the point that "Whiskey River," this record's best-known song, seems thoroughly original, yet it was written by Johnny Bush and Paul Stroud. This, along with two songs apiece by Leon Russell and Bob Wills, provides context for his originals, with Shotgun Willie becoming a musical autobiography, offering not only insights into his musicality (witness how he slows down "Stay All Night [Stay a Little Longer]" to a slow shuffle) but, seemingly, into himself (most notably on the title track and the wonderful, funny travelogue "Devil in a Sleepin' Bag"). Nelson wasn't just at a peak of performing here -- he also wrote some of his greatest songs, highlighted not just by the previously mentioned tunes but also by the lovely slow waltz "Slow Down Old World" and "Sad Songs and Waltzes." All of it adds up to possibly the finest record in a career filled with hits and highlights.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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