Clayton Y. from DAVIDSON, NC Reviewed on 8/13/2006...
BMG Music Club cd.
Willie Sings the Blues
Paul D. Green | Spring Branch, TX, United States | 09/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Today saw the new release of Willie Nelson's new CD... "Milk Cow Blues".I think it Willie's first blues CD, and, like always, it's "Willie" but this time with Keb Mo', Dr. John, Johnny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepard and BB King.Interesting part is that Keb, Johnny, and Susan are singing vocals only on this album, no guitar playing. BB Kine and Kenny Wayne Shepard do play on their songs. And, as an added benefit, Jimmy Vaughn plays guitar on one of the two Susan Tedeschi tunes.But it sounds great and I've always loved Willie, always will I suppose. The main blues guitarist on this album is Derek O'brian. Also you'll hear a couple of songs with Willie singing with Francine Reed, who I know only from Lyle Lovett's Big Band.Have you ever heard Willie standards like "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "Crazy" as full bore BLUES songs? You will on this album.If you like Willie in general and you like the Blues you'll like this Album. If you like easy laid back -- mostly slow -- blues of any kind you'll probably like this album. Perfect dinner, or date, or relaxing music.Willie shows us one more time, that he can sound at home with just about any genre of music -- what's next... Wille does a Hip Hop CD?"
It's a Big Ole Willie World
M. Nichols | 09/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To anyone who's followed Willie Nelson for more than a few years, the idea of his cutting a blues album isn't so far-fetched. In Texas, music is a big ole bowl of gumbo with ingredients from just about everywhere. So not surprisingly, Willie's ridden through this territory before and after all, he DID write "Night Life," "Crazy" and "Funny How Time Slips Away."That said, "Milk Cow Blues" is a worthy addition to the resume of Willie Nelson. The voice and phrasing is in excellent shape (for the blues, anyway) and the band (not his touring country unit) is excellent. "Black Night" simmers with the keyboards and low growl of Dr. John, and Derek O'Brien's electric guitar solo fits in the context of the song, something you don't usually see on these all star affairs. The sultry voice of Francine Reed decorates "Funny How Time Slips Away" and the title track. Another highlight is "Crazy" -- you really can't do more with this song than Willie does here, unless your name is Patsy Cline. Susan Tedeschi, his duet partner on "Crazy," gives it her all but she seems a bit out of her element here. She's better on "Kansas City."I don't know, but on most of these songs I just wish Willie would have done them all by himself. Maybe that's why "Wake Me When It's Over" and "Lonely Street," while nothing really out of the ordinary, sound pretty good to my ears. And the CD's docked one half star each for yet another version of "The Thrill Is Gone" with B. B. King and for Jonny Lang (he can't sing!).Country, blues, Tin Pan Alley, even rock and roll -- Willie does them all with the best. "Milk Cow Blues" is a great CD for a barbecue, a fall drive in the country or a late-night reverie in front of the fireplace. Willie Nelson is a national treasure; man, am I gonna miss this guy when he's gone!"
A good album that could have been much better
Jonathan B. Spear | McLean, VA United States | 07/09/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"On this album Willie Nelson performs a number of different blues numbers, some of which he wrote (such as Rainy Day Blues) and some of which are great blues standards written by others (such as The Thrill is Gone, which was actually BB King's only top 40 hit). This album has renditions of several Willie Nelson classics such as Crazy and Night Life, and also includes guest appearances by such blues greats as BB King, Keb Mo, Johnny Lang, Dr. John, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others. With that kind of talent, this CD should be better than it is. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that Nelson was never in the studio at the same time as the other performers. Instead, this CD sounds like one of those deals where the studio musicians laid down their tracks, Nelson showed up on a different day to lay down his tracks, and then the guest performers showed up on yet another day to lay down their tracks -- all separately done with very little musical interaction -- and the engineers did the rest. The really great thing about albums which mix and match players in a REAL studio environment is that you can hear different musicians react to each other and almost provide a "jam" kind of feeling that occurs when performers with different musical styles collide and interact. On this album, however, all the performances seem to be siloed and sanitized, with very little dynamic interaction or even harmonies between Nelson's vocals and those of the other players. The vocals on Night Life, in particular, sound almost awkward in the way that King and Nelson fail to connect or interact. With this much talent represented on this CD, there are of course some high points but there are some low points as well, including a couple of painful flat notes from Susan Tedeschi on "Crazy." Overall, it's not a bad album, but it could have been much better."
Slick, but reliable
M. Nichols | West Chester, OH United States | 09/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever heard a Willie Nelson album that didn't contain shades of the blues? This is certainly his most direct foray into the genre, but it undoubtedly remains a Willie Nelson record.
As Willie records are sometimes hit or miss, I was wary of this disc when I saw the number of guest artists appearing, but fear not - they all blend in marvelously, none overpowering the lazy, relaxed vibe maintained from beginning to finish. The guest vocalists don't dominate the song and always complement Willie's lead (and none better than B.B. King). The guest musicians treat Willie's guitar much the same.
No number immediately shines as a real standout, but none are stinkers, either. Willie's own compositions, especially "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Night Life" and "Crazy" fare best, but numbers that have become blues standards like "The Thrill Is Gone" and "Ain't Nobody's Business" satisfy as well.
All in all, another wonderful Willie album, but still four stars out of five as the production is flat and glossy, providing none of the texture necessary to make this a classic. You want to smell the smoke, taste the whiskey on this one, but it's just too clean. Still, it's a keeper - a marvelous follow-up to TEATRO."
Not so fast
Mike Huston | Jasper, Florida USA | 10/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love Willie Nelson-and I love the Blues.I respectfully recommend you buy one or the other.Willie's "there you are" is an awesome song but its a stretch to do this.I don't see a "good man feelin' bad" just a so so album.With respect."