The Little Willies
Reader, it is rare I am dazzled by new music. I am set in my ways now. I know who I like, and frankly we aren't hiring anyone new. The one phrase I am just can't stand anymore is "you gotta check out this new band". I don't care about your music, which is funny because music is my great passion. That being said, I hate to be the guy who tells you same.
The good thing is that I know more about music than you, and my choices are frankly better than yours. I want to make you better, and so I am telling you about the Little Willies. They are a new band with a debut album out now, The Little Willies. I first heard them in a buddies car and was totally smitten. The sound is a folk country kinda thing, but in a good way. How do I mean that? Well, most country today is done by great looking douche bags who have professional songwriters. I like my country from mean old ugly people, because you know they have lived those songs. This group isn't mean, old, nor ugly... but I was illustrating a point. The music of the Little Willies is soulful, and fun.
You don't get fun much. You can get funny. I mean, there is the Weird Al punny kind of funny, and the Barenaked Ladies 'aren't we witty' kind of funny. In fact, 'fun' is rarely an attribute I look for in music. This is the kinda fun that sounds like some dedicated music lovers playing on a porch together. At the risk of starting a cliché explosion, I have even a better description > organic! It is a beautiful and simple CD that has made me a better person. As you might suspect, the name is an homage to Willie Nelson. The songs are primarily by a gentle country singing voice. When it is right, the gal pops in with amazing harmony. Which gal? Norah fucking Jones! Not just a great talent, but a ridiculously attractive woman. I wish I could tell you that didn't matter (like the ugly cowboy comment earlier) but let's just say Norah and Fergie nightly have pillow fights in my dreams.
The most beautiful song I may have ever heard in my life is 'Streets of Baltimore'. It has anchored my Fall, and is in almost every playlist on the iPod. I used to think of Baltimore as a horrible, poor, and cold place. Not sure why, but Monopoly probably had a hand in it. Seriously, any property you can score for $45 is suspect. Somehow, this song makes Baltimore the most romantic place on earth. It is a song I tend to listen to over and over again. If I got remarried, this would be my wedding song. It is the best song written in the last ten years, and that is a serious and weighty statement. Give a quick listen here, but it works better in a convertible.
The album rounds out with some short and sweet contemporary country gems like 'Lou Reed', 'Roly Poly', 'Gotta Get Drunk', and Norah Jones does a re-telling of Willie Nelson's 'Nightlife' that rivals the original. In fact, several of the tracks on this are covers. Admittedly, I didn't know that until someone pointed it out. That is how unique the telling is (and how little I listen to Country). I think of the CD as a romp, does that make any sense? The closest musical inspiration or analogy I can give here is Tom Wait's first disc 'Closing Time'. It is also something you need to own. Seriously, I just used the terms 'organic romp'... which makes me Thomas Kincaid of writing. So, before you go buy another Gretchen Wilson disc, or Toby Keith singing about what a better American he is than you... instead pick up the Little Willies. I stake the name 'Lono' and all I have written on it.
I should also state that Bicho did a better, and more thorough review right here. The thing is, you still don't have it yet. So, I had to try one more time to convince you to pick it up. Don't burn it off your buddy, either. Do that with established and rich artists. You may not think Norah Jones needs your cash, but they need the sale to rack up on Soundscan so they can get backed to do another. Thanks for reading, and thanks for listening. We'll talk in a bit.