Some explanation first: San Antonio Rose was the title of a 1961 Ray Price album celebrating the songs of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. In 1980, Price released another album by the same title, this one in tandem with Willie Nelson, who had appeared as a backup musician on the original LP. The back-story here may be a tad involved, but the music on Willie and Ray’s San Antonio Rose is straight-ahead, uncluttered classic country. The years had been kind to them both — Price’s manly baritone conveys heartache within its stalwart tones, while Nelson’s well-seasoned tenor suggests endless miles of experience. Price renews his status as one of country’s most soulful crooners on Willis’ “Faded Love” and revives his signature hit “Release Me” with effortless authority. Nelson shines on a bluesy version of “Night Life” and a wistful take on “My Life’s Been A Pleasure.” And Ex-Texas Playboy Johnny Gimble invokes Wills’ spirit by adding jazz-tinged fiddle lines. Price and Nelson sound relaxed and fully engaged throughout, making San Antonio Rose a timeless recording of interest to any country fan.