Willie Nelson’s New Album and Song “First Rose of Spring”
NOTE: This release has been moved from April 24th to July 3rd.
Willie Nelson will release his triumphant 70th studio album called First Rose of Spring via Sony’s Legacy imprint. Seceding much of the songwriting to others on this effort aside from a couple of tunes, the title track comes from the pen of Randy Houser, Allen Shamblin, and Mark Beeson, and has been released ahead of the record (listen below).
Also appearing in the songwriting credits is Billy Joe Shaver with “We Are The Cowboys,” Chris Stapleton’s “Our Song,” “I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” popularized by Johnny Paycheck, and Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” which was recently cited by Saving Country Music as a great example of a well-written song by a conservative songwriter. Originally appearing in the soundtrack for the Clint Eastwood film The Mule, “Don’t Let The Old Man In” perfectly encapsulates the Tao of Willie, who is still touring strong and releasing records at the age of 86. He’ll turn 87 a week after this new release.
The album also includes songs co-written by Casey Beathard, Doddle Owens, and the recently-passed Whitey Shafer. The album ends with “Hier Encore”—a standard written in French in 1964 but was a big hit for Roy Clark as “Yesterday When I Was Young” in 1969. Once again Buddy Cannon produced the effort, and co-writes a couple of songs with Willie.
If you think Willie Nelson is too old to contribute much anything else, you might want to think again. Just a few weeks ago he won the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance for the song “Ride Me Back Home”—the title track of his record released in 2019.
First Rose of Spring is now available for pre-order.
1. “First Rose of Spring” (Randy Houser, Allen Shamblin & Mark Beeson)
2. “Blue Star” (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
3. “I’ll Break Out Again Tonight” (Sanger “Whitey” Shafer & Doodle Owens)
4. “Don’t Let the Old Man In” (Toby Keith)
5. “Just Bummin’ Around” (Pete Graves)
6. “Our Song” (Chris Stapleton)
7. “We Are the Cowboys” (Billy Joe Shaver)
8. “Stealing Home” (Marla Cannon-Goodman, Casey Beathard & Don Sampson)
9. “I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” (Wayne Kemp, Bobby Borchers & Mack Vickery)
10. “Love Just Laughed” (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
11. “Yesterday When I Was Young (Hier Encore)” (Charles Aznavour & Herbert Kretzmer)
February 23, 2020 @ 9:47 am
February 23, 2020 @ 10:15 am
Love it! It’s amazing this late surge of output by Willie. Waiting to hear word about Outlaw Fest and 4th July Picnic to round out my concert plans.
February 23, 2020 @ 10:53 am
I too am pretty excited, am loving the focus on covers. I had thought Bobby Bare’s relatively recent version of “”Yesterday When I Was Young” was the best, with an aged voice singing, but I bet Willie’s version will be even more devastatingly good! There’s a version of “We Are the Cowboys” by Shaver, Willie, Kris, and Waylon our there – another slower song that should prove great with Willie’s voice now.
February 23, 2020 @ 11:13 am
in a perfect COUNTRY music world this would be come an instant classic .
the sad truth is that COUNTRY songs this good are everywhere .
everywhere but on ‘country’ radio .
Sir Adam the Great
February 23, 2020 @ 12:52 pm
Willie’s always a first day purchase for me, but man that is some awful cover art.
February 23, 2020 @ 2:16 pm
Ha – I thought the same thing! The Pitchfork article I saw on the album mentioned it was created by his son Micah, so I get that – though I immediately thought of how I always remark how the constant stream artwork my four year old son brings me is “so awesome” and thanking him for it, while sliding it into the trash…
February 23, 2020 @ 1:36 pm
Where Are All The Cowboys should be as per the tracklist. Got me excited for a unheard Shaver song but the tracklisting indicates it is his classic We Are The Cowboys.
February 23, 2020 @ 5:49 pm
The world will miss Willie when he’s gone.
February 23, 2020 @ 9:42 pm
70th album??? He literally puts out an album a year….
Back in the 1980s, 1990s – it was common for artists to put out an album a year.
Why has this changed in recent years?
I appreciate artists getting the time to write & work on their craft. Waiting two or three years for an album will hopefully be worth the wait if it’s coming from your favorite artist!!
February 24, 2020 @ 9:21 am
It’s amazing to me that with a songwriter as great as Willie Nelson, some of the greatest and most iconic songs he’s done were written by someone else: “You Were Always On My Mind,” “Red-Headed Stranger,” “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” and others…
He has an ability to take a song and sing it so that it sounds like it never belonged to anyone else.
February 24, 2020 @ 11:43 am
Unlike Haggard, and even Waylon, who kept right on writing until the end of their recording careers, Willie mostly stopped writing new material when he reached middle age. Most of his recordings in recent decades consist of songs written by other songwriters–whether current or old standards–and also re-recordings of songs from his own catalog.
February 26, 2020 @ 8:06 am
Another step forward for Randy Houser….
February 27, 2020 @ 2:12 pm
Willie always does right by other people’s songs.
Mostly because he’s a songwriter himself so he knows what to enunciate and can deliver the song from the inside out. He never ever simply sings the lyrics along with the melody. Having your song sung by Willie is an honor and I hope this album isn’t dismissed simply for it’s shortage of all new Nelson originals.