Legacy Recordings, the catalogue division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Willie Nelson’s latest album, FOR THE GOOD TIMES: A TRIBUTE TO RAY PRICE, on 16th September.
On his new album, Willie has teamed up with a pair of longtime friends – producer Fred Foster and conductor/arranger Bergen White – who, like Nelson, are American country music veterans with deep connections to the legendary Ray Price. Foster and White worked together to complete Ray Price’s final album, at Nashville’s Ocean Way Studios, where Willie Nelson has returned to create the magic of FOR THE GOOD TIMES: A TRIBUTE TO RAY PRICE.
FOR THE GOOD TIMES: A TRIBUTE TO RAY PRICE celebrates the wide-reaching impact and influence of Ray Price on American pop and country music, from Price’s hallmark lush orchestral arrangements (presaging “countrypolitan“) to the patented “Ray Price Shuffle,“ the groundbreaking 4/4 walking bass line which transformed honky-tonk and country-western swing music in 1950s on hits like Crazy Arms.
Providing musical backup for Willie on six of the album’s tracks – Invitation To The Blues, Heartaches By The Number, Crazy Arms, City Lights, I’ll Be There, and Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me – Willie is joined by The Time Jumpers, the Grammy-nominated Western Swing dream team comprised of Vince Gill (electric and acoustic guitar, harmony vocals), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Joe Spivey (fiddle), Kenny Sears (fiddle), Brad Albin (bass), Billy Thomas (drums), Jeff Taylor (piano and accordion), Paul Franklin (pedal steel) and Willie’s Family Band harmonica player Mickey Raphael.
For the orchestral tracks on FOR THE GOOD TIMES: A TRIBUTE TO RAY PRICE, the Nashville String Machine, a full ensemble featuring violins, violas, cellos, string basses, sax, flute and oboe, accompanies Willie.
The profound musical relationship between Willie Nelson and Ray Price goes back to 1960, when Nelson, an aspiring singer-songwriter, moved to Nashville to further his career. Willie’s composition, Night Life became Ray Price’s theme music, the song he’d use to open his shows. As Willie’s star rose in the country music firmament, he continued to collaborate with Price, releasing the albums SAN ANTONIO ROSE (1980),RUN THAT BY ME ONE MORE TIME (2003) and LAST OF THE BREED (2007), a trio album with Merle Haggard. Ray Price made an appearance, singing Cold War with You, on Willie’s 2012 Legacy album HEROES.