Pay heed and disbelieve: the best of Willie Nelson

Here’s to a pioneer, an avatar for ambition disguised as languor, a master singer who can teach poets where to stress syllables. I saw him in 2005 and his “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” could have taught headliner Bob Dylan that night a thing or two about precision. In April he released a fine little album, on which his guitar picking and voice remain more or less intact.

For this list I included performances of songs he sang but didn’t write.

1. Hello Walls
2. Stardust
3. Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
4. Crazy
5. We Don’t Run
6. Moonlight in Vermont
7. Bloody Mary Morning
8. I Never Cared For You
9. Devil in a Sleepin’ Bag
10. Help Me Make it Through the Night
11. Forgiving You Was Easy
12. Always on My Mind
13. I’m Not Trying to Forget You
14. Blue Skies
15. Night Life
16. Shotgun Willie
17. I’ve Just Destroyed the World (I’m Living In)
18. Family Bible
19. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
20. Pancho & Lefty
21. Whiskey River
22. Funny How Time Slips Away
23. Me and Paul
24. On the Road Again
25. Pretty Paper
26. The Highwaymen
27. He Was a Friend of Mine
28. Your Memory Has a Mind of Its Own
29. Yesterday’s Wine
30. Used to Her

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