Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, the found fathers of outlaw country music, have teamed up in the studio for a brand new album of tunes. Django and Jimmie is out now and reignites the musical fire and chemistry hat made the pair’s Pancho & Lefty a honky-tonk blockbuster and America’s No. 1 Country Album following its release in January 1983.
“Me and Merle got a new album coming out called Django and Jimmie and the title track is about Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers,” said Willie Nelson. “Both of those guys were very influential in both of our careers.”
According to Merle Haggard, there’s “new songs, a couple of classics and Willie sang like he was a teenager.”
Helmed by Nelson’s longtime producer, collaborator and friend Buddy Cannon, Django and Jimmie premieres 14 brand-new studio recordings including: “Django and Jimmie,” a dual tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, country music’s mythic “Singing Brakeman”; the reflective and meditative “Live This Long”; “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” an homage to country music’s original Man in Black featuring guest vocals from Bobby Bare; a sublime interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”; and the future outlaw country classic “Unfair Weather Friend,” written by rising songsmiths Marla Cannon-Goodman (Buddy Cannon’s daughter) and Ward Davis.
A legendary country music producer and songwriter in his own right, Buddy helped pen five of the album’s tracks, including “It’s All Going To Pot” (a rollicking anthem for the emerging 21st century cannabis culture) and four cowrites with Willie: “Alice In Hulaland,” “It’s Only Money,” “Where Dreams Come To Die,” and “Driving The Herd.”
Among the 14 essential recordings on Django and Jimmie, Nelson and Haggard each pay musical tribute to the other through heartfelt solo performances: Willie singing Merle’s “Somewhere Between” and Merle covering Willie’s “Family Bible.”
Willie sums up the duo’s new collaboration simply saying, “It’s good music, I got a good feeling about it.”
Django and Jimmie Track Listing:
1. Django and Jimmie – written by Jimmy Melton and Jeff Prince
2. It’s All Going To Pot – written by Buddy Cannon, Jamey Johnson and Larry Shell
3. Unfair Weather Friend – written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Ward Davis
4. Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash – written by Merle Haggard
5. Live This Long – written by Shawn Camp and Marv Green
6. Alice In Hulaland – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
7. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – written by Bob Dylan
8. Family Bible – written by Walter M. Breeland, Paul F. Buskirk, and Claude Gray
9. It’s Only Money – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
10. Swinging Doors – written by Merle Haggard
11. Where Dreams Come To Die – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
12. Somewhere Between – written by Merle Haggard
13. Driving The Herd – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
14. The Only Man Wilder Than Me – written by Merle Haggard
Fans can order the album here.
Image Source: Legacy/Sony