Picks and Pans Review: The Promiseland

updated 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Willie Nelson

Hallelujah! It's been a long time since Willie just sat back and recorded a batch of country songs that suit him so well—and with such splendid backing. Nelson produced the album, coming up with a mix of material that blends such standbys as Do You Ever Think of Me? and Basin Street Blues with new tunes such as David Lynn Jones's Here in My Heart and Willie's sweetly mournful I'm Not Trying to Forget You ("The best day of my life is still when you walked through my door"). Nelson augmented his band with fiddlers Johnny Gimble and Jimmy Belken, drummer Richie Albright and guitarist Clint Strong among others, providing an attractive framework for his knowing, relaxed vocals. This is not a country singer trying to be Howard Keel or a jazz scatter. It is someone who sounds happy with being Willie Nelson, which is very nice, satisfying work if you can get it. (Columbia)

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