Willie Nelson – “Busted” (Harlan Howard Cover)

Willie Nelson – “Busted” (Harlan Howard Cover)

Willie Nelson will turn 90 in a few months, and he continues to crank out new albums at a dizzying pace. Last year, Nelson released his LP A Beautiful Time and contributed to a Billie Joe Shaver tribute comp. Today, Nelson announces another new album, and this one is a tribute to an old peer.

Before Willie Nelson achieved icon status, he was part of the Nashville songwriting system; he gave “Crazy” to Patsy Cline more than 60 years ago. In that world, one of the big names was Harlan Howard, a behind-the-scenes legend who died in 2002. Howard wrote or co-wrote hits like Guy Mitchell’s “Heartaches By The Number,” Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces,” and Buck Owens’ “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail.” Howard is also coined the much-repeated phrase about how country music is “three chords and the truth.” You can see why Willie Nelson might admire this guy.

On his new album I Don’t Know A Thing About Love, Willie Nelson takes on 10 of Harlan Howard’s classics. Nelson’s son Micah did the cover art, and Nelson recorded the LP with his longtime producer Buddy Cannon. For the first single, Nelson has done a bluesy version of “Busted,” a playful poverty lament that Howard wrote in 1961. In the early ’60s, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles both had hits with their versions of “Busted,” and Willie Nelson recorded a live version of “Busted” as a duet with Ray Charles in 2005. Below, check out Nelson’s new version of “Busted” and the tracklist for I Don’t Know A Thing About Love.

01 “Tiger By The Tail”
02 “The Chokin’ Kind”
03 “Excuse Me (I Think I’ve Got A Heartache)”
04 “Life Turned Her That Way”
05 “I Don’t Know A Thing About Love”
06 “Streets Of Baltimore”
07 “Busted”
08 “She Called Me Baby”
09 “Too Many Rivers”
10 “Beautiful Annabel Lee”

I Don’t Know A Thing About Love is out 3/3 on Sony/Legacy.

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