Pre-Conceived Notions: I feel like I’ve always under-rated Willie, considering him somewhat goofy with his bandana and braided gray locks. But his song-writing resume speaks for itself and I really should let go of the things that have prevented me from taking him seriously. I doubt I’ve ever listened to a full album, despite the fact that my parents owned at least one of his records and therefore would have been easily available to me.
After Listening: There’s a lot I like here. There’s some that I don’t like. I like the stripped down production and the way that the harmonica often sounds like its howling at some desolate moon. I like that this sounds like sheer Americana. I mean I’m certainly not an overly patriotic person, but I like that this is so distinctively set in its ways. It’s kind of a stubborn record and it doesn’t really budge or give you an inch. I feel like it’s not something that I’d put on on a regular basis, I may not listen to it for several years, if ever, but I certainly don’t regret having listened to it. More often than not, the rhythm is slow with little to no driving momentum, and yet, if you think about the idea behind it, I doubt a man who had killed the woman he loved would be galloping off into the sunset to a knee-slapping jingle. The concept is less clear here to me than on other albums we’ve listened to, but I’m ok with that.
Favorite Tracks: Can I sleep in your Arms?- I really quite like his voice on here. Usually I find him kind of nasally and muppet-esque, but here it’s really clear and just honest.
Bandera-I’m a fan of the instrumental here as the ending. Kind of a make up your own ending for a concept album.
Least Fave: Remember Me When the Candlelights are Gleaming- I think it was just the garish contradiction of the sound of his voice in comparison to the previous song.