Willie Nelson is at Wimbledon again. Is it a blues album or just a bunch of Southern soul?

Country legend Willie Nelson is a living legend. He’s not afraid to take chances. And this time, for the first time in years, he’s bypassed the label of traditional country music and made the case for a range of different sounds. These past several years, he’s become increasingly comfortable exploring Southern soul and jazz, and has made no bones about trying his hand at rock. Well, he’s back with another project: Live at Wimbledon. It’s, as Willie has often been known to say, a blues album. That might sound confusing, but Nelson comes up with all of the music himself, starting with the guest vocals of the ubiquitous Eric Clapton. The contributions from folk and pop artists like Lucinda Williams, Ray LaMontagne, and Janelle Monae, are all all well-received, too. And the thunderous sound will excite the genre-loving audiophiles.

The more standard pop-country set comes courtesy of Norah Jones, and according to The New York Times, “hasn’t reached the height of her breakthroughs, but it still boasts some of the year’s most powerful records.” The timeless work is peppered with Elvis Presley and more modern hits like “Why Don’t You Do Right” by Lee Ann Womack. Even Bob Dylan comes in for a salute on a rendition of “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” George Harrison comes in with an entire song of his own, performing it with Fred Neil of the Lovin’ Spoonful on harmonica. It makes for a perfect collection — and one that can be enjoyed well after the summer heat has subside.


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