Saturday, October 21, 2006
The Lefty Frizzell anthology I picked up a couple years ago has turned out to be one of my favorites. Besides being my introduction to Frizzell’s unimpeachable style of honky-tonk, it also serves as one of the best reasons yet for my headlong crush on country music. One of the great lateral pleasures to come out of my Lefty love was the discovery that Willie Nelson recorded a tribute to Frizzell back in 1975. Nelson cut an album of Frizzell covers just months before Frizzell’s unlucky passing (he was 47, died of a stroke) that same year. Not wanting to look like he was taking advantage of his death, Nelson held off from releasing the album until 1977. Frizzell’s own sublime barroom swing and twang is beautifully distilled into Willie’s own sweet-tempered saunter. I’ve listened to it twice tonight—its mellow mood a perfect accompaniment to my own. Even better, it’s mood has subtly altered own. Perfect mid-October music.