Willie Nelson

Texas in My Soul

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It's no secret that Willie Nelson is a proud son of the Lone Star State, and on the album Texas in My Soul he performs 11 songs in praise of the state he calls home. One could imagine Nelson writing a fine set of songs about the legend and lore of Texas, but unfortunately that's not what listeners get here -- while Texas in My Soul was recorded in 1968, when Willie was still writing prolifically, this album is made up entirely of covers, and it was produced by Chet Atkins, who didn't seem to quite understand Nelson's laid-back vibe (though he seems to have given Nelson plenty of room to lay in his well-placed single-note guitar solos on this album). While a few of the songs here are real clunkers (the opening track, "Dallas," is especially dire), Nelson seems to be having fun with "Who Put All My Ex's in Texas" and "Texas in My Soul," while delivering "Waltz Across Texas" with commendable feeling, and though the musicians here aren't as simpatico as the core of players Nelson would tour and record with through the '70s and '80s, these sessions seem to suit Nelson's musical personality better than most of his recordings for RCA Victor. Not a great album, Texas in My Soul at least devotes itself to something Willie is passionate about, and is good throwaway fun four decades later. [American Beat Records reissued Texas in My Soul in 2007, though at less than 28 minutes, it would have been nice if they could have paired it up with another of Nelson's RCA albums to give the disc more value.]

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