By Bennett Owen
Long years in the Big Apple have neither extinguished that Texas twang, nor the torch Norah Jones carries for country. “I love playing country music,” she says. “More than any other genre, it makes me feel at home.” That from a jazz artist who has sold over 40 million albums since her stunning debut in 2002.
Jones’ second recording with The Little Willies is a trip down a winding country lane of classics including Jolene…Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves…and the title track…For the Good times. No camp posturing here, each member’s love of the music shines pure and powerful.
But it’s far from Jones’ first venture into the countryside. There is all kinds of it on her 2004 release, Feels Like Home…along with the guiding hand of longtime friend and mentor Willie Nelson. The playlist includes a duet with Dolly Parton in an Emmy-nominated rendition of ‘Creepin In.’
And then came The Little Willies. Though the band is mostly New York natives, they all grew up listening to classic American music including Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. As a group they try to maintain a bar-band feel and it comes through in this joyous rendition of Willie Nelson’s chestnut ‘Gotta Get Drunk…’
You can almost smell the stale beer and cigarette smoke, can’t you? As for the new effort, check out the promo and band interviews below…looks like there’s a good time to be had wherever the Little Willies are ‘Wailin’.