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Interview:
Willie Nelson finds the write stuff again
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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A Willie Nelson appearance usually gets folks excited simply because he's an American music icon. But it's even more exciting when he's adding new songs to his legendary repertoire.

Nelson's new "Band of Brothers" marks the first album in nearly two decades to feature primarily his own material -- nine of 14 tracks, in fact. And Nelson is quick to credit album producer and co-writer Buddy Cannon for getting him back into writing mode.

"He produced the album, but he's also a great writer and we're good together," Nelson, 81, explains. "We had a sort of formula that worked. I'd come up with an idea I'd send him, just me and the guitar, just one take on it, and he would take that into the studio and hire musicians and cut the whole track from that, then I'd go back and put my vocal on it.

"So it was an easy album to cut, really."

Nelson even has another album he plans to release later this year which he recorded with his regular band and features "about eight or nine originals" including "Back To Earth" and "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" as well a version of Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band." But he adds that the was never particularly concerned about the lack of new songs he was releasing during the interim.

"With writing, some days you feel like doing it, some days you don't," explains Nelson, who also recorded songs by Vince Gill, Billy Joe Shaver, Billy Burnette and others for "Band of Brothers." "A lot of times you get an idea and you have to write about it, or at least I do. The ones you HAVE to write are usually the ones that become the best songs."

Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss & Union Station

7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 13

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights

Tickets are $45-$79.50 pavilion, $10 lawn

Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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