But Willie Nelson is also releasing a new album. A reggae album.
Nelson is indeed releasing a new reggae album, “Countryman,” out Tuesday, and, at least sporadically, he's been working some of the songs into his shows.
He began work on the album in 1995 for Island Records, but the project was shelved after Universal bought Polygram, and Island founder Chris Blackwell left the company. It languished until Nelson moved to Lost Highway Records.
Produced by Don Was, who's worked with the Rolling Stones and
Bonnie Raitt among others, the album includes reggae versions of Nelson songs such as “Darkness On the Face of the Earth” and “One in a Row.” There also are covers of Jimmy Cliff's “The Harder They Come” and “Sitting in Limbo,” and a song called “I'm a Worried Man” by Johnny and June Carter Cash that Nelson recorded as a duet with Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals.
I'd be interested to hear how that's going to turn out. Though you would never guess Willie was a reggae fan.