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Willie Nelson Releases Powerful Interpretation of Rodney Crowell's 'The Border' From Upcoming New Album

Willie Nelson

Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Willie Nelson's new studio album The Border in all configurations on Friday, May 31.


Willie Nelson's The Border will be available digitally, on CD and black vinyl. Meanwhile Barnes & Noble will be offering an exclusive LP edition of The Border, pressed on orange vinyl and there will be an exclusive vinyl version offered on Willie’s D2C store that includes a 12” x 12” designed lyric book featuring the gorgeous album artwork with extensive listening notes by noted writer Mikal Gilmore and photos by Pamela Springsteen.


The album's title track - Willie's insightful interpretation of Rodney Crowell's "The Border" - is available on all DSPs.


Co-written by Rodney Crowell and Allen Shamblin for Crowell's 2019 Texas album (a thematic tribute to the Lone Star State which featured guest artist Willie Nelson), "The Border" describes the inner life and outer reality of a border guard ("I work on the border, I see what I see") with Crowell's composition described in Rolling Stone as "more humanist than political, but no less tragic because of it." Willie's wise worldly take on the provocative song taps into an urgent universal relevancy that defines The Border.


The Border (his 152nd album, according to Texas Monthly's interactive All Willie Nelson Albums Ranked list) premieres 10 newly recorded Willie Nelson studio performances including four new Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon compositions -- "Once Upon a Yesterday," "What If I'm Out of My Mind," "Kiss Me When You're Through" and "How Much Does It Cost" -- and "Hank's Guitar," a new song cowritten by Buddy Cannon and Bobby Tomberlin.


In keeping with his longstanding tradition of shining a light on country music's finest songwriters, Willie rounded out The Border, his first album in 2024, with his versions of compositions by Larry Cordle & Erin Enderlin ("I Wrote This Song for You"), Rodney Crowell & Will Jennings ("Many a Long and Lonesome Highway"), Shawn Camp & Monty Holmes ("Made in Texas") and Mike Reid ("Nobody Knows Me Like You").


Produced by longtime musical collaborator Buddy Cannon, The Border showcases Willie Nelson (lead vocals, Trigger) accompanied by Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Bobby Terry (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, steel guitar), James Mitchell (electric guitar), Jim "Moose" Brown (Wurlitzer, B-3 organ, piano, synthesizer), Fred Eltringham (drums, percussion) and Barry Bales (upright bass); backing vocals are by Buddy Cannon, and Melonie Cannon. The Border features cover art depicting the Big Bend border area between Texas and Mexico.


Willie Nelson and friends are enjoying this year's Luck Reunion today and will be performing at the 2024 Stagecoach Country Music Festival at Empire Polo Field in Indio, California, on Saturday, April 27.


Willie Nelson & Family will be on the road from June through September co-headlining the Outlaw Music Festival Tour 2024. With an all-star lineup featuring Willie, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp, Billy Strings and more, this year's Outlaw Music Festival promises a once-in-a-lifetime epic musical experience.


Willie Nelson - The Border

1. The Border

2. Once Upon a Yesterday

3. What If I'm Out of My Mind

4. When I Wrote This Song for You

5. Kiss Me When You're Through

6. Many a Long and Lonesome Highway

7. Hank's Guitar

8. Made in Texas

9. Nobody Knows Me Like You

10. How Much Does It Cost


In February 2012, Willie Nelson entered into an historic new record deal with Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, marking a label homecoming for Nelson, who, from 1975-1993, had cut a phenomenal string of top-selling singles and albums for Columbia Records, beginning with 1975's seminal smash Red Headed Stranger. New titles by the artist under the Legacy imprint include newly recorded songs and performances as well as archival releases, personally curated by the artist, drawn from all phases of his career including his recordings for RCA Records and others. Since signing with Legacy, Willie Nelson has sold more than 1 million albums for the label.



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