Wil­lie, Merle honor Django, Jim­mie

Nel­son and Hag­gard’s third col­lab­o­ra­tion re­flects their shared mu­si­cal in­flu­ences.

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Randy Lewis

When Wil­lie Nel­son and Merle Hag­gard last got to­gether in a record­ing stu­dio, it was with their fel­low coun­try mu­sic vet­eran Ray Price for the 2007 al­bum “Last of the Breed.”

That trio is now down to two, af­ter the death of Price in 2013 at 87, but to hear Nel­son and Hag­gard’s lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion, “Django and Jim­mie,” re­leased Tues­day, you’d think they were a cou­ple of young bucks just get­ting their feet wet.

The two old-school coun­try out­laws sound down­right play­ful on the al­bum’s first sin­gle, “It’s All Go­ing to Pot,” which was writ­ten by the al­bum’s pro­ducer, Buddy Can­non, along with Jamey John­son and Larry Shell. It not only winks at the coun­try vets’ shared fond­ness for a cer­tain type of smoke but also notes the decline of some at­tributes of their coun­try.

“I think Wil­lie’s sound­ing like a teenager — he’s never sounded bet­ter,” Hag­gard, 78, said, re­lax­ing on his tour bus re­cently at the Stage­coach Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in In­dio. “He just knocked me out, made me have to stand up and pay at­ten­tion.”

To Nel­son, 82, “It’s al­ways

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