It’s been about six months since Willie Nelson last put out a record (a near eternity in Nelson time), so of course he’s got another one ready to release. Keeping in theme the first offering of “Willie’s Secret Stash” (a collection of duets with his older sister Bobbie), “Vol. 2” finds Nelson teaming up with his sons Micah and Lukas, both solid singers in their own right.
The trio cover 11 country classics, including a handful of Hank William Sr.’s songs (“Move It On Over,” “Mind Your Own Business,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and an achingly beautiful “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”). Most of these songs have been covered ad nauseum over the years, for good and bad, but the Nelson boys manage to add relevance to yet another cover with their versions. There’s also great takes on Hank Cochran’s “Can I Sleep In Your Arms,” and a nice reimaging of Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On.” I’m just realizing that all of country music’s great Hanks are covered here. There is also a new track from Willie, “Healing Hands of Time,” a solid song, but one that gets overshadowed by the classics it’s sandwiched between.
Lukas and Micah both share Willie’s distinct nasally vocals, but to a lesser extent, making for some fantastic harmonies throughout. The two have played shows off and on with Willie over the years, so it’s great to finally have them all together one on record.