New Willie Nelson Album to Include Last Recordings w/ Paul English
Paul English Willie Nelson.jpg

It was announced this week that Willie Nelson will release his second album, The Willie Nelson Family, through Sony's Legacy Records in 2021 on November 19th. Since it's Willie's 16th album for the label since signing in 2012, it's a steady dose of Willie Nelson releases with about two clips a year to the point where the announcement of a new Willie Nelson may take a back seat occurs. Apart from the fact that at 88 we are just happy to have Willie Nelson with us and still make a contribution.

But this upcoming album feels like a special case, especially for its legacy recordings era. Sure, he goes over some old standards, including Willie's own Family Bible, Hank Williams' I Saw The Light, and Keep It On the Sunnyside. But this will be the first non-Buddy Cannon record on Legacy, aside from the 2016 Ray Price Tribute. Instead, this selection of songs was made at Willie's own Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas, right next to him Ranch recorded and produced by Willie Nelson himself with sound engineer and mixer Steve Chadie.

Aside from being a real family affair – with Sister Bobbi, sons Lukas and Micah, daughters Lana and Amy all contributing, along with Mickey Raphael on harmonica – it also includes the final recordings Willie Nelson has with his longtime drummer and right-hand man, Paul English. The hero of Willie's hit song "Me & Paul", English died on February 11, 2020 at the age of 87, but not before he released new versions of "Heaven and Hell", "Kneel at the Feet of Jesus", "Laying My. " Burden's Down and Family Bible recorded with the rest of the family band.

Paul English's parents, born in 1933, were devout Christians, but despite his upbringing, English became the leader of the "peroxide gang" in Ft. Worth, TX and later a pimp. Fort Worth was the first place Willie Nelson really started making music professionally, and it was a rough scene in the late 50s and early 60s. One club Willie played was Gray's Bar, which had to put wire mesh in front of the stage to protect the band.

Sometimes Willie Nelson wasn't paid. This is when Willie met Paul. He became Willie's strong man and eventually Willie's drummer. Many believe that Willie wouldn't have been nearly as successful without Paul. And Paul says, "If it wasn't for Willie, I would be dead or in jail."

Willie Nelson attributes his success to the fact that he managed to have the same people around for so long. The very first part of this family was Paul English. Initially, Willie Nelson preferred to play Paul's brother Billy English as the drummer in the band because he believed he was a better drummer. But Paul's skills as a manager and businessman made him a mainstay in Willie's band until his death.

While not entirely a religious record, The Willie Nelson Family will have a very gospel feel to it, with Willie recording many of his most religious songs. The album also includes George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" with Lukas Nelson as lead singer and Willie Nelson singing Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me".

Lukas Nelson has his own career as the front man of the band Promise of the Real, Amy Nelson has been a solo artist and SiriusXM DJ for years, Lana Nelson is one half of the enterprising and hilarious duo Folk Uke and Micah Nelson plays in the band Particle Kid. They all appear on this record in one function or another, which makes it a real family affair.

The Willie Nelson Family is now available to pre-order.


1. Heaven and Hell (Willie Nelson)
2. Kneel at the feet of Jesus (Willie Nelson)
3. Lay Down My Burdens (Willie Nelson)
4. Family Bible (Claude Gray, Paul Buskirk & Walt Breeland)
5. In the garden (traditional)
6. All things have to happen (George Harrison)
7. I saw the light (Hank Williams, Sr.)
8. In God's eyes (Willie Nelson)
9. Keep it on the Sunnyside (A.P. Carter)
10. I thought of you sir (Willie Nelson)
11. Too Sick to Pray (Willie Nelson)
12. Why me (Kris Kristofferson)


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