At the very end of an absolutely swinging version of the 1943 roots gem "Home in San Antone" on Willie Nelson's new album, Heroes, you can hear the singer add, "that's a great track." He's right, it is a great track. If he had said it about the album as a whole, he would have been right as well. In Heroes, Nelson, his sons, and a friend or two have put together a compilation of some things old and some things new and produced themselves one great album. But then it's Willie Nelson, what else would you expect.
The album opens with a new take on the Wayne Carson composition "A Horse Called Music," the title song of 1989 Nelson album. It's a great song, and here he is joined by Merle Haggard for one hell of a duet. It is an auspicious beginning. This is followed by a new swinger, "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die," written by Nelson himself along with a gaggle of his cohorts. Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson join Nelson on the vocal. There are three songs written by Lukas Nelson (who chimes in on the vocals): "No Place to Fly," "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her," and "The Sound of Your Memory."
Producer Buddy Cannon's catchy little three-quarter time tune, "That's All There Is to This Song," is one of two solo pieces for Nelson. The other is his cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist," which closes the album. Cannon also collaborated with Nelson and son Micah on "Come On Back Jesus," which looks to Jesus and John Wayne to set the crazy modern world straight. "Hero," the down home title song, is another Nelson composition. Jamey Johnson and Billy Joe Shaver are along for the ride. Lukas joins his father for a cover of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe."