Willie Nelson and Leon Russell – One for the Road review: 1979 album gets fresh re-release

Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 20:30

   
 

Album:
One for the Road

Artist:
Willie Nelson & Leon Russell

Label:
Floating World

Genre:
Country

In 1979, British inflation was 18 per cent, Margaret Thatcher was elected British prime minister, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Sony launched the Walkman and Willie Nelson and Leon Russell released One for the Road.

Those events are history but this album sounds remarkably fresh on its re-release, production and performance losing nothing in the years. Russell went the way of all flesh last November but Willie soldiers on, his ubiquity making no dent in his status as one of the all-time great stylists.

Here, he shares the honours with Russell’s dusty country gospel voice on a mix of Great American Songbook classics, Nashville standards and “Danny Boy”.

Alan Robinson’s sleeve notes state: “Part party hearty, part tears in the whiskey, it stands as something of a minor gem in both of these stellar artists’ body of work.” Hard to disagree.