Q - 10/03, p.1283 stars out of 5
- "...Over nearly two hours light is shone into every nook of country..."
This is a Hyper CD, which contains regular audio tracks and also provides a
link to the artist's website with the help of a browser.
Personnel: Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar); Jody Payne (guitar); Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Bobbie Nelson (piano); Chris Ethridge, Bee Spears (bass); Paul English, Rex Ludwick (drums).
Recorded live at Harrah's, Lake Tahoe, Nevada in 1978. Includes liner notes by Rick Petreycik.
Personnel: Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar); Emmylou Harris, Johnny Paycheck (vocals); Jody Payne (guitar); Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Bobbie Nelson (piano); Rex Ludwick, Paul English (drums).
Audio Mixers: David Swope; Bradley Hartman.
Liner Note Author: Rick Petreycik.
Recording information: Harrah's, Lake Tahoe, NV (04/1978).
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Sandy Speiser; Beverly Parker; Neil Leifer.
Recorded at Lake Tahoe in 1978, WILLIE AND FAMILY LIVE effectively documents the laid-back, freewheeling approach Nelson and his band take to live performances. Unlike many country acts that strive to play the same set with the same note-for-note precision every night, Nelson's band prefers to live on the edge, wringing surprises out of every note and beat. This "free jam" aesthetic explains why Nelson is popular among Grateful Dead fans, and aficionados of this musical approach will be most likely to enjoy WILLIE AND FAMILY LIVE.
The album, which clocks in at over ninety minutes, contains some instances of frustrating off-handedness (Nelson occasionally sings indifferently) but also many moments of full-throttle energy, including blistering versions of "Whiskey River," "Under the Double Eagle," and the Bob Wills classic "Stay a Little Longer," as well as fine takes on the ballads "If You Could Touch Her At All" and "Till I Gain Control Again." Nelson, his pianist sister Bobbie, and harmonica player Mickey Raphael are all great soloists, and each is given plenty of opportunities to stretch out and show off some hot licks.