Willie, Merle honor Django, Jimmie
Nelson and Haggard’s third collaboration reflects their shared musical influences.
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