Monday, February 23, 2009

Phosphorescent plays Willie Nelson on new album, Iron Horse this Thursday 2/26 at 10PM

Willie Nelson is anointed as a forefather of freak-folk on “To Willie” (Dead Oceans) an album of his songs remade by Phosphorescent, the nom-de-band of Matthew Houck. These aren’t the songs that show up regularly in Mr. Nelson’s upbeat stage sets. They’re his bleak, plainspoken studies of addiction (“Reasons to Quit”), infidelity (“It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way”), excess (“I Gotta Get Drunk”) and remorse (“Heartaches of a Fool”) — the aftermaths of self-destruction and betrayal. The Phosphorescent band plays them as if floating in a hangover haze: the songs are still recognizably Mr. Nelson’s, but slow and woozy, with meandering guitars and scratchy, diffident vocals. “To Willie” is more than a curatorial feat; Phosphorescent reaches down to the pain.- NY Times

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