Picks and Pans Review: City of New Orleans

updated 09/03/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/1984 01:00AM

Willie Nelson

In addition to appearing on the Charles' duet album (on the Tex-Mexy Seven Spanish Angels), Willie is continuing his crusade to record every popular song ever written with this selection of 10 tunes that are closer to his country roots than a lot of the pop standards he's been dipping into lately. The title track—the Steve Goodman song that was a hit for Arlo Guthrie—is on the listless side, especially for a train song. Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues, the 1972 Danny O'Keefe tune, is vintage, sob-in-your-beer Nelson, though. Buffy Sainte-Marie's Until It's Time for You to Go is done gentle justice, and Nelson shows the restraint and timing of the great singer in giving a new life to Cry, the wrung-out Johnny Ray weeper written by Churchill Kohlman. Hurry up and listen to this LP in any case; Willie will probably have something else out next week, and we don't want to fall behind. (Columbia)

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