Title - 'For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price'
Artist - Willie Neslon
Let's all face facts here, ladies and gents, there’s simply no disputing country legend Willie Nelson’s place among country music’s biggest icons, but the man loving referred to as the “Red-Headed Stranger” has always reverted in speech back to one major influence, above all else, on both him and his songwriting.
That man is Ray Price. Price, one of the greatest voices of country music, who revolutionized the genre with Number One hits like "Crazy Arms" and "City Lights," died at home in Mt. Pleasant, Texas December 16th, 2013 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 87.
When Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard toured with Price on their Last of the Breed tour in 2007, they were blown away. "I told Willie when it was over, 'That old man gave us a goddamn singing lesson,'" Haggard once told Rolling Stone magazine. "He really did. He just sang so good. He sat there with the mic against his chest. And me and Willie are all over the microphone trying to find it, and he found it."
Indeed, Price took his own approach to delivering a song. "For me, a song should be like a good book – it has to be read right, and they don't seem to do that anymore," he told Rolling Stone magazine in a 2000 feature story. "There's no effort anymore to do anything different. It's all follow the leader."
At 83 years of age, Willie Nelson keeps releasing great albums after great albums and I'm so glad to see that he's not letting his age slow him down. There are so many great songs here on his brand new album, For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price culled from the Ray Price catalog and Nelson has picked 12 of the best - including Willie originals that were major hits for Ray.
1. “Heartaches By the Number” (feat. the Time Jumpers)
2. “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)” (feat. the Time Jumpers)
3. “Faded Love”
4. “It Always Will Be”
5. “City Lights” (feat. the Time Jumpers)
6. “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me” (feat. the Time Jumpers)
7. “Make the World Go Away”
8. “I’m Still Not Over You”
9. “Night Life”
10. “Crazy Arms” (feat. the Time Jumpers)
11. “Invitation to the Blues” (feat. the Time Jumpers)
12. “For the Good Times”
Nelson recorded the disc in collaboration with producer Fred Foster and arranger Bergen White, both country music legends in their own right and both of whom worked on Price’s final album, Beauty Is …, which was recorded at Nashville’s Ocean Way Studios. In an homage of sorts, Nelson returned to the studio to record For the Good Times.
As you would fully expect, For The Good Times is yet another brilliant, solid soon-to-be-classic Nelson album, chock full of inspiration from his country contemporary and songwriting genius. Paying tribute to one of his most frequent collaborators and a close friend, these 12 tracks personify both musicians to the core - and on an album "dedicated" to Ray Price, it's Willie Nelson's musical approach, his love for the man and his music in each and every chord and sung note, that makes this one of the richest Nelson albums for many a year.