Review: Nelson, Haggard uninspired on 4th collaborative disc

Jun 2, 2015, 6:06 AM

This photo provided by Sony Music shows the album cover of "Django & Jimmie," (Sony Legacy) by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. (Sony Music via AP)

(Sony Legacy)

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie” (Sony Legacy)

The two grand old men of country music, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, are among the last living ties to an era when giants like Ernest Tubb and Bob Wills filled honky tonks. Nelson is 82 and Haggard is 78, and while their warm voices show some mileage, their range of expression remains remarkable, and their phrasing often is impeccable.

On their fourth album together, “Django and Jimmie,” the feisty fellows lean on shuffling novelties and lighthearted swing, such as the title song, a tip of the cowboy hat to French guitarist Django Reinhardt and country blues pioneer Jimmie Rodgers.

“It’s All Going to Pot” playfully engages Nelson’s appetite for marijuana, and ranks as the album’s most memorable original. The two cherry-pick a few songs from their monumental catalogs, covering Nelson’s “Family Bible” and Hag’s “Swinging Doors” and “Somewhere Between,” like friends passing the guitar at home.

Most of the originals — “Unfair Weather Friend,” ”Live This Long” — don’t measure up to their classics, and the project would have benefited from better material. Hearing the old friends share lines on Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” indicates just how good “Django and Jimmie” could have been, if the two had approached the project with loftier ambitions.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Entertainment Latest

motley crue...

Kevin Stone

Valley show featuring Motley Crue, Def Leppard rescheduled for 2021

The Stadium Tour, with headliners Motley Crue and Def Leppard, has been reset for 2021, including a date at State Farm Stadium.

4 years ago

Tucson Festival of Books...


List of Arizona events canceled or postponed in response to coronavirus

Here is a list of events in Arizona that have been canceled, postponed or otherwise impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

4 years ago

Zac Brown Band...

Kevin Stone

Zac Brown Band postpones Phoenix show as coronavirus spreads

The Zac Brown Band announced it was postponing a show at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix this month, citing "public health concerns."

4 years ago

Justin Bieber...

Kevin Stone

Justin Bieber downsizes Valley show from stadium to Gila River Arena

Pop star Justin Bieber's Valley concert set for June 5 has been relocated from State Farm Stadium in Glendale to neighboring Gila River Arena.

4 years ago

Kevin Stone

Ozzy Osbourne cancels postponed farewell tour, including Phoenix show

Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tours 2 tour, which was scheduled to stop in Phoenix this summer, is no more because of the metal legend's health issues.

4 years ago

Rage Against the Machine...

Kevin Stone

Details released for Rage Against the Machine concert in Phoenix area

It turns out that Rage Against the Machine’s upcoming Phoenix show – which will actually be in Glendale – is part of a seven-month world tour.

4 years ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Review: Nelson, Haggard uninspired on 4th collaborative disc