Last of the Breed

Last of the Breed

5.0 1
by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price
     
 

Country Music Hall of Famers Willie Nelson, Ray Price, and Merle Haggard have never before recorded as trio, but they don't mess around on Last of the Breed. This two-disc, 22-song collection of newly recorded versions of country classics plus two original numbers, recorded in Nashville and produced by Fred Foster, who worked the boards on Willie's GrammySee more details below

Overview

Country Music Hall of Famers Willie Nelson, Ray Price, and Merle Haggard have never before recorded as trio, but they don't mess around on Last of the Breed. This two-disc, 22-song collection of newly recorded versions of country classics plus two original numbers, recorded in Nashville and produced by Fred Foster, who worked the boards on Willie's Grammy nominated You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker. Of course, Nashville's finest appear on the sessions, including steel guitar legend Buddy Emmons and fiddler Johnny Gimble. Elvis's favorites, the Jordanaires, provide the backing vocals.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
The title Last of the Breed speaks with a defiance that, for the most part, the music on this album does not, and that's just as it should be -- while Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price are indeed among the last functioning practitioners of pure, unadulterated Western swing, honky tonk, or countrypolitan blues in the classic manner, on this album they seem less concerned with fighting the changing face of country music than with playing this music with the easy confidence and quiet conviction that's been the hallmark of their respective careers. For the most part, Last of the Breed finds these three friends and occasional collaborators working through a set of old-school country classics (Haggard is the only member of the trio to bring any original material to the sessions, and delivers one of the album's best performances on his new song "If I Ever Get Lucky"), and they treat chestnuts like "Heartaches by the Number," "I Love You Because," "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," and "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down" with both strength and familiarity -- these guys could probably sing these numbers in their sleep after all these years, but they also approach them like pros, realizing these old standards gained their status as classics because they endure and people love them, and they give them the respect and care that they deserve. Haggard is in fine voice on this set, and Nelson sounds good though his phrasing occasionally lags behind the melodies a shade more than is comfortable. As for Price, time has added a slight wobble to his instrument, once one of the most impressive in country music, but he still projects a dignity and commendable emotional warmth, and when he joins voices with his pals Willie and Merle, it's a stirring reminder of just how much these artists still have to offer. Legendary producer Fred Foster supervised these sessions, with a band of seasoned Nashville veterans backing the singers (and the Jordanaires adding harmonies on several numbers), and at its best Last of the Breed really sounds the way these things did in the old days, and Nelson, Haggard, and Price achieve something more than nostalgia -- they offer a stirring reminder of the strength of this music when country music spoke to something deeper than just a marketing demographic.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/20/2007
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0602517240179
catalogNumber:
000853002
Rank:
5202

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nelson   Primary Artist,Vocals,Gut String Guitar
Merle Haggard   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ray Price   Primary Artist,Vocals
Buddy Emmons   Pedal Steel Guitar
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle,Mandolin
Kris Kristofferson   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Jordanaires   Background Vocals
Don Potter   Acoustic Guitar
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Vince Gill   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
John Hobbs   Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Gordon Mote   Piano
Boots Randolph   Saxophone
Michael Rhodes   Bass
D. Bergen White   Chant
Aubrey Haynie   Fiddle,Mandolin
Charlie McCoy   Harmonica,Vibes
Elana James   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Gene Autry   Composer
Jimmie Davis   Composer
Lefty Frizzell   Composer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Willie Nelson   Composer
Mickey Newbury   Composer
Floyd Tillman   Composer
Stuart Hamblen   Composer
Leon Payne   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Jesse Ashlock   Composer
Lou Bradley   Composer
Fred Foster   Producer,Audio Production
Harlan Howard   Composer
Brent Maher   Engineer
Jimmy Long   Composer
Jim Beck   Composer
Charles Yingling   Engineer
Hank Williams   Mastering

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