Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17: The Little Willies, "The Little Willies"

Artist: The Little Willies
Album: The Little Willies
Year: 2006
Label: Milking Bull

When Norah Jones is in a group, and NOT the superstar, you can guarantee it’s a record worth buying! In the case of the self titled release from the relatively unknown NYC supergroup, The Little Willies, the guarantee is delivered in full.

Formed after Norah released her second album, the band name is a nod to music legend Willie Nelson. The record brings Jones’ country/bluegrass roots (which undertone her solo records) to the forefront in brilliant fashion. The record is mostly covers (4 originals) and stays true to the mellow, mostly acoustic, feel throughout. Jones and Richard Julian (who one can make the case is, in fact, “leading” the band) have vocals that blend so beautifully, it’s almost disgusting.

Whether they are taking the whimsical “Roly Poly” or the soulful, “Easy As The Rain,” this band of superstar musicians doesn’t miss a beat. Even when the album slows down for the more soulful tracks, it quickly recovers its amazingly catchy, bouncy vibe. Each song stands tall on its own, yet melds perfectly with the other songs to create an anomaly: a record that is perfect for long drives, a night in with friends, “putting the moves on,” or even getting over a break-up.

Chances are, not only do you not own this record, but you've never even heard of it. You should do your best to change both of those mistakes as quickly as possible. Even after hundreds of listenings, The Little Willies remains fresh and a pleasure to experience each and every time.

Standout tracks: "Roly Poly," "Best of All Possible Worlds," and "Lou Reed."

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