Willie Nelson, The Willie Way

Andy Beta

By Andy Beta

on 05.15.11 in Reviews

The Willie Way

Willie Nelson
An early exegesis of his philosophy

In 2006, Willie Nelson and writer friend Turk Pipkin published The Tao of Willie, a cheeky yet spiritually-minded tome about Willie Nelson’s own peculiar way through this world. Tao, or as it’s often gets translated in the West, “the Way,” is not really a religion but rather a way of regarding the world. So consider Willie’s unheralded 1972 album The Willie Way an early exegesis of the man’s philosophy, taking the well-worn tropes of country music’s loss and pain and infusing them with meditations on memory. The walkout of opener “You Let Me a Long Time Ago” twists and dilates time as does “Undo the Right.” Elsewhere, Willie sings that “my past and my present are one and the same and the future holds nothing for me.” The future though, held plenty for the man, as by the next year, his career was about to take off.