CANNABIS CULTURE – In the second instalment of “Music To Take You Higher,” CC‘s Dale Rangzen features Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, and Lukas Nelson in his look at work by artists and musicians through the ages who loved smoking pot.
Heroes by Willie Nelson
With his long red hair, bandana, cowboy hat, twinkling eyes and mischievous smile, Willie Nelson was recently voted as one of the most recognizable people on the planet. Yet, it’s funny how many young people know about his pot busts and his attitudes towards renewable energy, but who still can’t name any of his songs.
For someone like me who’s been listening to Willie since my dad played “Stardust” on the cassette player on road trips when I was a teenager, that’s pretty hard to believe. After all, Willie Nelson is one of the most popular recording artists of all time, and he’s written some of country music’s most enduring songs from “Crazy” (written for Patsy Cline) to “Night Life” and “Funny How Time Slips Away” that have been record by everyone from Aretha Franklin to BB King. There are simply too many songs to mention, and at 79 years of age, Nelson is showing no signs of slowing down.
Cannabis Culture readers will certainly be most interested in hearing Willie and Snoop Dogg come together to sing the pot smoke’s anthem “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”. It’s a lot of fun, but it would be a mistake to simply download the single and forsake the rest of the songs on Heroes. Ultimately, “Roll Me Up” is a nice piece of fluff and an amusing novelty, but it is hardly the greatest song on the record. Of infinitely more interest is “Just Breathe”, a Pearl Jam song that Willie and his son, Lukas duet on. It surpasses the original to become a meditation on love, care, mortality and a convincing evocation of the bonds between father and son. Add to that a take on Coldplay’s “The Scientist” that kicks the crap out of the original version and a woozy sing along run through of Tom Waits’ “Come On Up To The House’” that features Lukas and Sheryl Crow, along with some great originals such as “A Horse Called Music” featuring Merle Haggard on vocals and you’ll realize that Willie has another winner on his hands. Wonderful songs, warm and beautifully phrased vocals, all wrapped around with Nelson’s unmistakable guitar work make this a great album for people who don’t think they like country music to dip their toes into. Heroes is definitely worth a listen
Willie Nelson – Heroes tracklist:
1. “A Horse Called Music”Merle Haggard & Lukas Nelson
2. “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson
3. “That’s All There Is To This Song”
4. “No Place To Fly”Lukas Nelson
5. “Every Time He Drinks He Thinks Of Her” Lukas Nelson
6. “Come On Up To The House”Lukas Nelson & Sheryl Crow
7. “Hero”Billy Joe Shaver, Jamey Johnson
8. “My Window Faces The South”Lukas Nelson
9. “The Sound Of Your Memory”Lukas Nelson
10. “Cold War With You”Lukas Nelson & Ray Price
11. “Just Breathe”Lukas Nelson
12. “My Home In San Antone”Lukas Nelson
13. “Come On Back Jesus”Lukas Nelson & Micah Nelson
14. “The Scientist”