For his 70th birthday gala, Willie Nelson decided to celebrate by inviting a cast of musical stars to join him in duets on a televised concert. In keeping with Nelson's eclecticism, only a few of the famous participants are country artists (Shania Twain, Toby Keith, and old pal Ray Price). How much is added to his classic "Crazy" by guests Diana Krall and Elvis Costello (then-hot celebrity couple of the moment) is an open question; what's really important is the well-deserved recognition Nelson receives from the musical world's biggest names. If you're a hardcore Willie fan, you've probably already got a couple of earlier live versions of, for example, "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," but part of Live and Kickin's purpose is to expose fans of Nelson's duet partners to the magic they've been missing out on for many decades. In that, it's a success.
AllMusic Review by John Bush