Call it the next rose of summer? Willie Nelson’s new album "First Rose of Spring," previously scheduled for release April 24, has been pushed to July 3, his record label Sony Legacy announced Monday.
The change comes as no surprise given the effect of the coronavirus on almost all aspects of life at present. The July 3 date would position the release in such a way that Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic could be come a giant record-release party. But plans for this year’s picnic had yet to be announced, and chances of the Picnic happening this year seem in jeopardy under the unusual circumstances.
Meantime, though, "First Rose of Spring" will continue Nelson’s remarkable late-career resurgence as a recording artist, as he closes in on turning 87 next month. Nelson released more than a dozen albums in the 2010s, adding three Grammy Awards to the seven he’d received previously.
Producer Buddy Cannon, who’s been Nelson’s go-to studio and songwriting partner in recent years, was at the helm again for "First Rose of Spring," the title track for which surfaced up in a recent YouTube video. It was also shown at the outset of last week’s Luck Reunion livestream event that raised more than $170,000 for musicians and charities.
"First Rose of Spring" mostly features tunes written by other artists, including Billy Joe Shaver, Chris Stapleton and Toby Keith. Here’s the full tracklist and songwriting credits:
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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