Following Nelson's near-perfect Teatro, the pure honky-tonk of Me and the Drummer and the all-star loaded Milk Cow Blues, the new album is a marked departure in a number of ways. Recorded with minimal acoustic accompaniment and an occasional rousing chorus of hangers-on, Nelson is all over the place with the material. From the classic "Won't You Ride in my Little Red Wagon," to the absurd but hilarious "I'm My Own Grandpa," he throws a little bit of everything into the mix. The only original composition is the nicely done "Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way," but the cover of Newbury's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition my Condition Was In)" becomes Nelson's song, just as he has done with so many others. Allowing Amy to sing lead on a couple of tunes makes the "family" aspect of the record all the stronger, and some nice guitar work by Gabe Rhodes suggests that the young man has picked up a few of Willie's tricks.
While it may not be Nelson's best effort, or even come close to the powerful song cycle of his 1970 release Yesterday's Wine, Rainbow Connection gives the listener a taste of the informal Nelson party style, and it's a pretty fun place to be.
Willie Nelson plays Chastain Park Amphitheatre Sun., Aug. 19.
Any intel about this Project Pabst festival that I scheduled for 10/1?
This does not take about The Chirch at all.
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