Willie Nelson

The Ghost, Pt. 3

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The third and final volume in the Ghost series, produced by Pat Thomas and Russ Tolman, focuses primarily on tunes Willie Nelson cut between the late '60s and early '70s -- just before he signed to Columbia and scored with Red Headed Stranger. A good portion of the material here comes from working demos, where Nelson is backed sparsely by a rhythm section and a pedal steel. Other tunes, like "Ashamed," feature the full countrypolitan treatment, while still others fall immediately in between the two extremes. "What Can You Do to Me Now" appears here in Nelson's full later voice. It later surfaced on Willie Nelson & Family. "She's Not for You" is the original single treatment of a tune he later re-cut for Atlantic on Shotgun Willie, and "One Step Beyond," demoed here, was included on Nelson's first Liberty album. Like the other volumes in this series, the quality varies considerably, but the material is top-notch. Also, as on the others, Kurt Wolff wrote the liner notes. The only real problem with this series is the lack of accurate documentation for the tunes themselves. Largely it is up to the listener to do the homework, making it a mere curiosity piece for most Nelson fans.

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