Willie Nelson Covers Songs From Chris Stapleton, Toby Keith On 70th Album

Willie Nelson is releasing his 70th solo studio album, First Rose Of Spring, on Friday, April 24, which falls right before the legend’s 87th birthday on April 29.

The project features 11 new studio tracks and original artwork created by Willie’s son Micah, and was produced by Buddy Cannon, who also penned two new songs on the CD with Nelson, “Blue Star” and “Love Just Laughed.” Alongside his new compositions on the album, Willie also pays tribute to a variety of pop and country writers and performers, interpreting songs penned by Toby Keith (“Don’t Let The Old Man In”), Billy Joe Shaver (“We Are The Cowboys”) and Pete Graves (“Just Bummin’ Around” – a song recorded by Jimmy Dean, Dean Martin and others). Among the writers contributing to the project are Randy Houser, Allen Shamblin, Mark Beeson, Marla Cannon-Goodman, Casey Beathard, and Don Sampson.

A key track on First Rose Of Spring is Willie’s heartfelt rendering of “Our Song,” a new song by Chris Stapleton. Willie Nelson & Family will appear as special guests on Stapleton’s “All-American Roadshow” on two big dates this year: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on March 14 and “A Concert for Kentucky” at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky on April 25. The album also includes a moving interpretation of the classic “Yesterday When I Was Young,” which has been recorded by Roy Clark, Bing Crosby, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Mel Tormé, Jack Jones, Lena Horne, Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, Julio Iglesias, Johnny Mathis, Elton John and many more.

First Rose Of Spring will be available on CD, vinyl and digital formats as well as part of exclusive merch bundles on Willie’s web store. The album’s title track and the “First Rose Of Spring” music video are being released today.

First Rose Of Spring Track Listing:
1. First Rose Of Spring (Randy Houser, Allen Shamblin & Mark Beeson)
2. Blue Star (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
3. I’ll Break Out Again Tonight (Sanger Whitey Shafer & Doodle Owens)
4. Don’t Let The Old Man In (Toby Keith)
5. Just Bummin’ Around (Pete Graves)
6. Our Song (Chris Stapleton)
7. We Are The Cowboys (Billy Joe Shaver)
8. Stealing Home (Marla Cannon-Goodman, Casey Beathard & Don Sampson)
9. I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised (Wayne Kemp, Bobby Borchers & Mack Vickery)
10. Love Just Laughed (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
11. Yesterday When I Was Young (Hier Encore) (Charles Aznavour & Herbert Kretzmer)


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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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