Willie Nelson Covers Coldplay’s “The Scientist”

Willie Nelson Has Just Covered Coldplay's "The Scientist" As Part Of An Awareness Campaign For Chiplote

Ask people in South America to name some emblematic country artists, and one they’re sure to mention is Willie Nelson. His long, unstoppable career and his cross-genre collaborations (sometimes with best-selling Latin artists like Julio Iglesias) have made him one of the better-known country musicians in Spanish-speaking countries. And as far as Uruguay is concerned, the composer of “Red Headed Stranger” must be one of the most popular country performers ever along with Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers and Alabama.

I think the video embedded below does nothing but underline the versatility which has made Nelson so popular worldwide. It’s a cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”, recorded as part of an awareness campaign for Chiplote.

The video (which depicts a farmer who regrets turning his organic farm into a factory farm) has clearly been created to highlight the importance of sustainable food, and also to emphasize the focus on natural, organic products in Chiplote’s restaurants. It’s interesting to point out how this clip (which has been named “Back to the Start”) is similar in approach to Coldplay’s original video, in which everything is told in reverse order.

Willie’s version of “The Scientist” is being sold in iTunes, with $0.60 of each download going straight to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

Heartaches & Highways – The Very Best Of Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris' "Heartaches & Highways" Compilation Was Released In 2005

Emmylou Harris' "Heartaches & Highways" Compilation Was Released In 2005

A compilation like this one is particularly useful when it comes to artists whose catalogs are colossal in depth. You see, “Heartaches & Highways” (2005) is an anthology which was assembled by Emmylou herself. It is interesting to listen to the story the way she wants to tell it. If you are an old fan, you get to see which songs she deems as the ones that shaped her career. And if you are a newcomer, you have the chance of sampling the songs she might like to be remembered by, effectively getting acquainted with her music like that.

Although not strictly a “best of” album, the CD definitely leans on hits, as her first song to hit the charts with force (“If I Could Only Win Your Love”) is included amid a series of tunes that she has either turned into standards or rejuvenated completely, such as “Two More Bottles Of Wine”, “Lost His Love In Our Last Date” and the sweet “To Know Him Is To Love Him” from the celebrated “Trio” album:

A nice choice (and one that clearly strays from a “very best” motif) is “Pancho & Lefty”. Emmylou’s version precedes the successful take by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. While the ones who struck gold where the two outlaws, Emmylou at least pointed the way to the treasure in a very elegant way indeed.

An absolute highlight is her duet with Roy Orbison on “That Lovin’ You Feelin’”. The mix is crisper than the one I had listened to on her “Duets” album, too. The difference is not pronounced, but the guitars have more space and the song on the whole sounds even more refined. Continue reading

Duets (Emmylou Harris) – Album Review

A '90s Picture Of Emmylou Stands As The Cover Of The Album

A '90s Picture Of Emmylou Stands As The Cover Of The Album

As I mentioned in the general introduction, this was the first album by a country artist that I ever bought. Leaving aside the sentimental value that I consequently attach to the CD, I must say that it is consistently good – even when I know that it was assembled more or less in a hurry to capitalize on the success of the “Trio” album.

Emmylou’s duet partner include Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, John Denver, Roy Orbison and Ricky Scaggs along with The Band and Southern Pacific (the band Stu Cook from Creedence Clearwater Revival was to join shortly).

The highlights of the record are undoubtedly the three songs that hit the top 10 upon their respective release dates: “Love Hurts” (with Parsons),”That Lovin’ You Feelin” (with Orbison) and the duet with John Denver on “Wild Montana Skies”. Continue reading

The Very Best Of Willie Nelson (Sony 1999) – Compilation Album

The Front Cover Of The 2 CD Set

The Front Cover Of The 2 CD Set

The first song by Willie Nelson I ever listened to was “Gulf Coast Highway”, his duet with Emmylou Harris. The song was part of Emmylou’s 1992 compilation of duets, an album released to somehow piggyback on the success of the “Trio” collaboration with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. As you probably know by now, “Duets” was my first country album ever.

I regarded that particular duet as the emotional high point of the album, and that is a bold statement considering that “Love Hurts”, “That Lovin’ You’re Feelin’” and “Wild Montana Skies” are part of the same compilation. I immediately decided to learn more about Willie, and see which compilation could I find and get my hands on. Continue reading