Seeing that the legendary Willie Nelson is performing at his annual 4th of July picnic this Friday, we at DC9 thought it time to do some wishful thinking about dear Willie. The guy has always loved doing duets. He's performed songs with (among others) Snoop Dog, Steven Colbert, Julio Iglesias, Kid Rock, Carlos Santana, Neil Young, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Ray Charles.
As anyone can see from the above list, Nelson doesn't mind mixing in the unexpected collaboration. Interestingly, he always seems to get it right even when the duet partner is well outside the country mainstream. We think Mr. Nelson would do well with duets with just about anyone. Here are some choice suggestions that we'd love to see happen.
1. Slayer Nelson's reedy tenor might not make it through the full-throttle roar of Slayer, but it would be fun to try. The speed metal version of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" is crying to be made. Or perhaps it would simply make you cry.
2. Ice-T I'm thinking Ice-T with Body Count banging away at "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys." Of course, Ice-T would have to take time away from Law and Order and he hasn't made an album with Body Count since 1994. But a guy can dream, can't he?
3. Black Flag This would be the real Black Flag with Henry Rollins, not the fake version currently being perpetrated by Greg Ginn. Who wouldn't enjoy Nelson harmonizing with Rollins on "Whisky River?" This duet would get extra points seeing that Rollins abstains from drugs and alcohol and everyone knows Nelson's predisposition for illegal substances.
4. Ministry Al Jourgensen kind of looks like a demonic version of Nelson, so why not an industrialized, mutant version of "On the Road Again?" This would have needed to happen back in the '80s when Ministry still mattered. It would have probably energized both Nelson and Jourgensen.
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5. Toadies This should have already happened. Hearing Fort Worth's best rock band united with Nelson on a stomping version of "Crazy" would be an alt-country wet dream. I think a couple of publicists ought to start making some calls and make this happen.
6. Old 97's See above, but change the song to "Night Life."
7. Roger McGuinn Two of music's most recognizable voices meld perfectly on a killer take of "Angels Flying Too Close to the Ground." The song has already been covered by Bob Dylan and we know how McGuinn, the former Byrd, loves him some Dylan.
8. The Replacements What else does Paul Westerberg have to do rather than duet with Willie on "City of New Orleans?" Westerberg cannot harmonize to save his life, but he'd stumble his way through it in prime Replacements tradition.