The ever-prolific Willie Nelson has another new album under his belt. Nelson is set to release the project, titled “Ride Me Back Home,” on June 21st. But fans can get an early taste of the new music as the title track single has been released to radio and digital platforms.
S&E Nashville and other members of the Nashville media were treated to an exclusive preview of the album, April 23rd, at the Tracking Room recording studio near Music Row. Producer Buddy Cannon and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum writer Peter Cooper hosted the listening session, with Cannon providing meaningful and often humorous insight into the various songs on the album. Cannon agreed with Cooper, as well as the media on hand, that Nelson is likely doing some of the best work of his career as he approaches age 86.
The title track, co-written by Sonny Throckmorton, expresses a love for horses and their spirituality and was inspired by Nelson’s own adopted horses. Nelson also wrote several originals for the album, among them “Stay Away From Lonely Places” and “Seven Year Itch,” in which he proclaims, “I had the seven year itch/Scratched it out in three.” Nelson wrote “Stay Away From Lonely Places” for his 1972 album “The Words Don’t Fit the Picture,” and Cannon urged him to revisit the song for this album. “He’s a born troubadour,” Cannon notes of Willie. “That early genius that was him and his songs is still there.”
Nelson also infuses the album with covers of popular tunes, including Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” and the masterful “It’s Hard to Be Humble,” a hit for Mac Davis in 1980. Cannon explained that Willie actually recorded “Just the Way You Are” for a Joel tribute album that never saw the light of day. Joel recently texted Cannon to tell him that he loved Willie’s version. “It’s Hard to Be Humble” features Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah, both talented artists in their own right.
Here’s one album you’ll definitely want to add to your collection.
Willie Nelson’s new single “Ride Me Back Home” is available now. His “Ride Me Back Home” album will be released on June 21st, and will be available on CD, vinyl and digital formats.
You can also see more of Willie on his website!