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You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker
     

You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker

5.0 3
by Willie Nelson
 
Cindy Walker got her big break in 1941 when Bing Crosby had a pop hit with her song "Lone Star Trail," but her reputation soared that same year when Bob Wills recorded four of her songs. Wills continued to record Walker's songs, including 39 that she wrote for his movie appearances between 1942 and 1944, the

Overview

Cindy Walker got her big break in 1941 when Bing Crosby had a pop hit with her song "Lone Star Trail," but her reputation soared that same year when Bob Wills recorded four of her songs. Wills continued to record Walker's songs, including 39 that she wrote for his movie appearances between 1942 and 1944, the latter year also being the occasion of her first Top 10 country hit as a solo artist with "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again," which became a country standard and was even covered by Elvis Presley. Now Willie Nelson, himself deeply indebted to Bob Wills, pays tribute to a great American songwriter with a finely wrought baker's-dozen package of Cindy Walker gems, about evenly divided between spirited workouts and what the old-timers refer to as "buckle polishers," meaning ballads meant for close, slow dancing. Willie and crew feel right at home with both styles, playing with a feeling that's casual but committed. In a high-spirited mode, the ensemble offers a sprightly "Bubbles in My Beer," a jovial, good-time reading of "Miss Molly," and a thumping but graceful take on "Cherokee Maiden." Willie's not in his best voice here, but his ragged, uncertain timbre turns out to be perfect for laying on the ache in the lovely, pop-inflected ballads in which Walker's hallmark subtle irony was embedded in heart-tugging vows of abiding, yearning love, notably "You Don't Know Me," "Not That I Care," and "I Don't Care." In recent years Willie has eagerly embraced styles beyond the country framework, with more or less agreeable results, but here, in pure western swing territory, he sounds like he's real happy to be back where he belongs again.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker finds Willie Nelson in comfortably familiar territory, which may come as a bit of a relief for those who found his 2005 reggae album Countryman an unwelcome detour. Indeed, with the possible exception of 2004's It Always Will Be, You Don't Know Me is Willie's purest country album in many a moon, and it's designed that way: it's a tribute to a songwriter who was one of the leading lights in Western swing at its peak. Cindy Walker's name may not be known to anybody outside of aficionados, but many of her songs became standards, including "Bubbles in My Beer," "Take Me in Your Arms," "You Don't Know Me," "Sugar Moon," "Cherokee Maiden," "Miss Molly," and "It's All Your Fault." Many of these tunes were popularized by Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, whose influence on Nelson was profound -- indeed, he's covered Wills before, including "Bubbles in My Beer," which appeared on Shotgun Willie, and is revived here, along with all the previously mentioned tunes. Willie doesn't fix what wasn't broken -- although some of the slower songs do recall his quieter outlaw ballads, this is an exceptionally faithful record, especially on the up-tempo cuts. Nelson and his band know this material inside out, and it shows in the easy-rolling, relaxed, jazzy playing. It's hardly surprising, but that's what's good about it: after so many half-baked experiments and bad ideas, it's a joy to hear Nelson playing to his strengths. Nevertheless, this is a shade slight. As nice as it is that Willie is shining a spotlight on the underappreciated Cindy Walker, the very casualness of the performances, combined with Nelson's increasingly thin but still strong voice, makes this a little bit less than a major record, but that's fine: it's one that's easy to enjoy, and one of his few records of the 2000s that's worth returning to on occasion.
Rolling Stone - Gavin Edwards
1/2 He's never better than when he's singing lonely-Texas-cowboy songs, and on this album he draws from the best writer of those songs not named William Hugh Nelson: the forgotten but legendary Cindy Walker.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/14/2006
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0602498897270
catalogNumber:
000607902
Rank:
6130

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nelson   Primary Artist,Vocals,Gut String Guitar
Buddy Emmons   Pedal Steel Guitar
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle
Jordanaires   Background Vocals
Radney Foster   Background Vocals
Don Potter   Acoustic Guitar
Buzz Cason   Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers   Drums
John Hobbs   Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Gordon Mote   Piano
Michael Rhodes   Bass,Electric Bass
Curtis Young   Background Vocals
Randy "The Owl" Elmore   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Eddy Arnold   Composer
Willie Nelson   Author
Cindy Walker   Composer
Tommy Duncan   Composer
Fred Foster   Producer,Author,Audio Production
Brent Maher   Engineer
Webb Pierce   Composer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Daniel Cooper   Liner Notes
Charles Yingling   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great pure-country album, refreshing to hear in light of the pop-a-fied stuff that's force-fed listeners on most FM country stations. Willie's in his element here. The arrangements are just right the singer's own guitar work moving underneath most of the time. Refreshing to hear Willie back on track.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have listened to this CD over and over again, it's what country western songs are all about, Willie's voice is sharp and so clear you feel that he is singing each and every word just to you. If you don't sing along on "you don't know me" or "not that I care" then you should not be listening to country western music and should go live in a cave. It truly is great music.