10 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the 1980s, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings had established themselves as a definitive “outlaw” brand, becoming two traditionalists reminding Nashville of the rougher edges of its heritage. Part of that “outlaw” image was to ignore whatever preconceptions others had. So if the two of them decided to cover the country rock of the Eagles as they do for the title track, or tackle Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound,” or acknowledge a fellow contemporary as David Allan Coe for “Would You Lay With Me (in a Field of Stone),” well, that was what they would do. Nelson the songwriter contributes “Why Do I Have to Choose,” but the rest of the album fields covers and primarily highlights Nelson. George Jones’ “Why Baby Why” is surprisingly sedated, too tightly wound to approach the abandon the song deserves. Rodney Crowell’s “Till I Gain Control Again” and Roger Miller’s “Old Friends” exemplify the duo’s tenuous balance between playing into their perceived image and transcending it with the good humor that’s always mirrored the duo’s brotherly depth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the 1980s, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings had established themselves as a definitive “outlaw” brand, becoming two traditionalists reminding Nashville of the rougher edges of its heritage. Part of that “outlaw” image was to ignore whatever preconceptions others had. So if the two of them decided to cover the country rock of the Eagles as they do for the title track, or tackle Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound,” or acknowledge a fellow contemporary as David Allan Coe for “Would You Lay With Me (in a Field of Stone),” well, that was what they would do. Nelson the songwriter contributes “Why Do I Have to Choose,” but the rest of the album fields covers and primarily highlights Nelson. George Jones’ “Why Baby Why” is surprisingly sedated, too tightly wound to approach the abandon the song deserves. Rodney Crowell’s “Till I Gain Control Again” and Roger Miller’s “Old Friends” exemplify the duo’s tenuous balance between playing into their perceived image and transcending it with the good humor that’s always mirrored the duo’s brotherly depth.

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