No matter what happens with country music in the mainstream, there will always be musicians that will pick up the cause of preserving country’s traditional modes and make sure they never die. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, it was the unlikely champion of punk musicians that rose to the occasion and started releasing old-school country albums and launching country side projects.
So Natalie Maines has a new record out called Mother, and what you think about it probably has more to do with if you listen to Fox News or NPR than an actual investigation and assessment of the tunes. Yes, she is that Dixie Chick; the one actually responsible for uttering the now notorious line about George W. Bush that stimulated the greatest black balling in the history of country music.
This album is good both because it is Willie, and because it is good. After years of navigating through a gray area in his career and having to dabble with some record labels probably less able to do a Willie release justice, he’s back with the same company who released Red Headed Stranger, and back to making albums worthy of the world stopping down to pay attention to.