Norah Jones's first significant project after 2004's Feels Like Home, the Little Willies' self-titled debut finds the superstar vocalist/pianist playing band member and running through a laid-back set of country songs with other New York City-based musicians, including singer-songwriter Richard Julian, guitarist Jim Campilongo, bassist Lee Alexander, and drummer Dan Rieser. (The latter two are Jones's frequent collaborators.)
The group is clearly having fun on this lighthearted outing, offering up a few originals (the tribute tune "Lou Reed") and plenty of twangy covers, including Townes Van Zandt's "No Place to Fall" and a breezy, bluesy rendition of "Night Life," one of Willie Nelson's signature songs. (Nelson apparently provided inspiration for the ensemble's tongue-in-cheek name.) While Jones has a strong presence on the record (handling country songs with the same assuredness and nuance of her more jazzy numbers), Julian is equally prominent, contributing vocals that recall the amiable delivery of Lyle Lovett. For fans of Jones, Julian, and the loose groove of musicians and songwriters indulging themselves a bit, The Little Willies is sure to deliver.
I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
Streets Of Baltimore
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