Reader, it is rare I am dazzled by new music. I am set in my ways now. I know who I like, and frankly we aren't hiring anyone new. The one phrase I just can't stand anymore is, "You gotta check out this new band." I don't care about your music, which is funny because music is my great passion. That being said, I hate to be the guy who tells you the same.
I first heard them in a buddy's car as background music and was totally smitten. The sound is a folk country kinda thing, but in a good way. You don't get fun much. You can get funny. I mean, there is the Weird Al punny kind of funny, and the Barenaked Ladies "aren't we witty" kind of funny. In fact, 'fun' is rarely an attribute I look for in music. This is the kinda fun that sounds like some dedicated music lovers playing on a porch together. At the risk of starting a cliché explosion, I have even a better description - organic! It is a beautiful and simple CD that has made me a better person.
As you might suspect, the name is an homage to Willie Nelson, and songs are primarily by a gentle country singing voice. When it is right, the gal pops in with amazing harmony. Which gal? Norah freaking Jones! Not just a great talent, but a ridiculously attractive woman. I wish I could tell you that didn't matter, or that I was above that being a bench mark, but let's just say Norah and Fergie have pillow fights in my dreams nightly.
The most beautiful song I may have ever heard is "Streets of Baltimore." It has anchored my Fall, and is in on more playlists than any other single song on the iPod. Here is an example of the impact this song has had: I used to think of Baltimore as a horrible, poor, and cold place. Not sure why, but Monopoly probably had a hand in it. Seriously, any property you can score for $45 is suspect. Somehow, this song makes Baltimore the most romantic place on earth.