143

The Little Willies: The Little Willies

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The Little Willies: The Little Willies It was only a matter of time before Norah Jones would give into her country music jones and deliver the goods. The Little Willies is Jones' first project since the comfortable Feels Like Home (Blue Note, 2004). She takes members of her Handsome Band and mixes them with some additional New York City-based musicians, including singer-songwriter Richard Julian and guitarist Jim Campilongo.

The resulting entity, The Little Willies, takes it easy as the musicians stroll through some classic country tunes written by the likes of Fred Rose, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Driftwood. The band even provides a couple of new country standards along the way. They are obviously having fun, and this contributes to a very fun recording. Listeners have suspected Jones' honky tonk piano roots, as well as her chops. She exercises the vernacular of the country trinity of Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart with a perfectly muscular, two-fisted approach to the barrelhouse eighty-eight.

Jones shares lead vocal duties with Richard Julian, who is a fine country singer, kind of like Rodney Crowell singing the Lyle Lovett songbook. The covers include two by the group's namesake, Willie Nelson. Jones sings a rushed jazzy "I Gotta Get Drunk and a perfectly languid "Nightlife, where she also displays the piano wares which were muted on her solo recordings. From Townes Van Zandt, the Willies sing not "Pancho and Lefty but the exquisite "No Place to Fall." From the Kris Kristofferson songbook we hear "The Best of All Possible Worlds, not "Me and Bobby McGee. From Hank Williams, Sr. we have "I'll Never Get Out.

There's not a pedal steel guitar to be found here, only the honest piano of Jones and stinging electric guitar of Jim Campilongo, sharpening the edges of this otherwise quite laid-back recording.


Track Listing: Roly Poly; I'll Never Get Out; Love Me; It's Not You It's Me; Best Of All Possible Worlds; No Place To Fall; Roll On; Gotta Get Drunk; Streets Of Baltimore; Easy As The Rain; Tennessee Stud; Nightlife; Lou Reed.

Personnel: Richard Julian: vocals, guitar; Norah Jones: vocals, piano; Jim Campilongo: electric guitar; Lee Alexander: bass instrument; Dan Rieser: drums; Jon Dryden: accordion, organ.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Milking Bull Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Under the Influence" CD/LP/Track Review Under the Influence
by Doug Collette
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Whirlwind" CD/LP/Track Review Whirlwind
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!