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Milk Cow Blues
Artist: Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson
Label: Island
List Price: $13.98
Price: $13.98
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Edition: Audio CD
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Price: $13.98
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Customers who bought this also bought:
1. Stars & Guitars
2. Red Headed Stranger
3. Willie Nelson & Friends: Outlaws & Angels
4. Teatro
5. It Always Will Be
Editorial Reviews:
Ask a country legend like George Jones or Chet Atkins, and they will tell you they learned to play and sing from the neighboring bluesman/sharecropper. Likewise B.B. King is apt to mention that he tuned in the Grand Ole Opry growing up. Thus it feels natural for country's grand old hippie Willie Nelson to record a CD of blues standards--especially since he wrote some of them (see: "Night Life"). Producer and featured guitarist Derek O'Brien lays down a funky but relaxed bed for the King of Laid-Back and some serious musical synergy with veteran guests like Dr. John and the aforementioned King. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's incendiary guitar on "Texas Flood" notwithstanding, the contributions of the younger contingent (Susan Tedeschi, Jonny Lang, Keb' Mo'), while heartfelt, seem more like perfunctory marketing ploys. Those who buy Milk Cow Blues for those names will be disappointed. Those who buy it for Willie will be delighted as he proceeds to show the youngsters (and all of us) what soul, and phrasing, and the blues are all about. --Michael Ross

Product Details
  • Audio CD (September 19, 2023)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00004XT11
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 Based on 38 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 19507

Track Listings
  • Milk Cow Blues (Featuring Francine Reed)
  • Outskirts Of Town (Featuring Keb' Mo)
  • Black Night (Featuring Dr. John)
  • Funny How Time Slips Away (Featuring Francine Reed)
  • Rainy Day Blues (Featuring Jonny Lang)
  • Crazy (Featuring Susan Tedeschi)
  • The Thrill Is Gone (Featuring B.B. King)
  • Wake Me When It's Over
  • Kansas City (Featuring Susan Tedeschi)
  • Fool's Paradise (Featuring Dr. John)
  • Ain't Nobody's Business (Featuring Jonny Lang)
  • Night Life (Featuring B.B. King)
  • Sittin' On Top Of The World
  • Lonely Street
  • Texas Flood (Featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5Blues for yous courtesy of Willie and his pals, Feb 11, 2023
My favorite Willie album. At his peak w/ his friends!

This is the peak of blues for Willie! HIs voice posesses the peak of 'gravelty' and texture and southwest expression.
The centerpiece of the entire album, which depicts his real life, is his duo with B.B. King in "The Night Life." This is one of the most heartfelt renditions I have ever heard Willie sing. B.B.'s exquisite string bends provide a sensual backdrop to this emotional ballad in which Willie expresses the hardships of night life entertainers.

The album presents a wide selection of guests to help Willie with this, his first true blues album. Willie's voice is perfectly suited to the blues and I always wondered why he had never presented this musical venue before. The songs all posess a great liveliness and are presented with great arrangements. The CD also provides a very luxurious sound with excellent audio. Again Willie demonstrates his myriad talents and again reinforces the fact that he is a real gift to be enjoyed.

This is a must have CD for anyone who appreciates the blues and Willie along with his friends.

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

5Comparing Willie's albums, Dec 11, 2022
If you are reading this you probably already know that Willie is one of the most creative, powerful, and diverse performers of all time. In this review, I'm not going to rate the albums, just offer some insights into the CD's and DVD's that I have purchased - and I'm glad I've purchased them all.

"The Essential Willie Nelson" is essential. Be that as it may, Willie's individual CD's are so strong and the songs are so interrelated, often in a story or a tight thematic format, that they almost make the "essential" Willie Nelson unessential - but it is such a great collection of songs, that you can't get as easily any other way. Definitely worth the buy.

"The Red Headed Stranger" is one of the greatest albums of all time. It is pure genius. If you get the 70th birthday edition, you get a remastered track and extra songs. There are no less than six "A" level songs on this CD, nothing short of amazing. Plus, you get fourteen minutes of great story telling. As a story teller, Willie is only rivaled by Native American artist Robert Mirabal ("Indians Indians", "Taos Tales", "Music From A Painted Cave", "Mirabal", etc.).

"Willie and Family Live", done around 1975, is a great live album. It has lots of energy. A highlight for me was Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris, and Johnny Paycheck singing "Amazing Grace" together. It also contains the fourteen minute story of the Red Headed Stranger, including "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain". This live performance of Willie's first #1 hit is the best I have heard on any album. There is a little extra "oomph" on every song in the CD. Again, make sure you get the 70th birthday edition, it has extra goodies.

If you like the early super hits that Willie wrote for everyone else, like "Crazy", "Night Life", and "Funny How Time Slips Away", then you need to also get the "Milk Cow Blues" CD. Willie performs these and more Blues standards, usually in a duet format, with outstanding artists such as B.B. King - Rolling Stone Magazine's choice as the 3rd greatest guitarist of all time. Hearing BB and Willie strum and sing together on "Night Life" and "The Thrill is Gone" is indeed a thrill. Willie performs this album with a first class Blues band and it is a first class Blues album.

Willie's latest album, "It Will Always Be" is once again a solid piece of work. Duets with Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams help make it special, but the best part of this album is the haunting duet of Willie and Paula Nelson on the song "It Will Always Be". This is a song that hits you in the gut, and it rivals Bruce Springstein's "Streets of Philadelphia" in terms of its raw emotion. A number of people, including me, cried the first time they heard it: "I'm tied of this and I'm running out of time; feels like dyin', feels like cryin'; and I'm running out of time." Say it ain't so, Willie!! A second good song was written by another member of the Nelson clan. The title song is very beautiful. The tribute to the land Willie loves, "Texas", is too short but very meaningful. If this was Willie's last CD, he went out as "The Midnight Rider", a great song for the leader of the outlaw movement: "They ain't gonna catch me, I ain't go let `em catch the Midnight Rider."

"Spirit" and "Teatro" are brother/sister CDs. Both have a strong thematic core, although they are not stories. "Spirit" is one of those rare CD's when every note seems important. For most, you'll listen to it less than the other CD's, but love it equally as much. For a few, you'll play it by the hours. It is essentially a story of coping with lost love, redefining your relationship with yourself and with God, and finding love again. The music and the whole CD are moderately paced, with a strong, steady spiritual tone to it. It has a light Latin sound, essential to Willie's roots. Pictures of Willie on this album look like he came from an ancient Holy Land.

"Teatro" is the mirror of "Spirit". Again, it is a story of coping with lost love, but the story goes south, ending in murder and psychological ruin. Teatro means "theater" in Spanish and this is good to keep in mind in listening to the CD. It is just a play folks! The CD is very hard-hitting, because Willie's music is very hard-hitting and very close to the heart. The music tends to have a lively beat, with strong Latin overtones. Its haunting nature is reinforced by Emmy Lou Harris, who accompanies Willie on most of the songs. The back picture on the back of the CD case is one of the best pictures of Willie ever taken.

The "My Life" DVD is well worth the buy. The story ends before the 90's, but there is a brief update. I knew about Willie and Farm Aid, but I didn't know about the scope of his philanthropy and the diversity of populations targeted in his giving until this DVD. I was also amazed to learn that he paid his $16 million IRS debt off in one year, selling $17 million worth of songs as info-mercials to radio stations. That's a lot of love, translated into a lot of power.

A number of people criticize the "Live In Amsterdam" DVD and some of the criticisms are merited. But hey, the DVD has a large collection of great songs. Some criticisms are not fair. You perform differently and 70 than you do at 40, it is a biological rule. Willie's shows have always moved quickly from one song to the other, so the pace of the concert is nothing new. The love from the audience is shown at the end when Willie is signing autograph after autograph. The bottom line is this, if you like Willie, if you would like to watch him live occasionally instead of just hearing him through the box, and if you want those images of him at 70, then you should buy this DVD. You'll find it worthwhile.

In the final analysis, the raw power of Willie's work, formed by singing in the cotton fields with Black and Mexican laborers, and his keen insight into what people really want in music, formed not through record company analysis but through live performances on the ground, make Willie Nelson one of the most creative, powerful, and loved performers of all time.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5Willie at his original best!, Mar 5, 2023
Milk Cow Blues and Stardust are two of Willie's best. Buy one Milk Cow for yourself and one for a friend. You can't go wrong!

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5Country Man Gets Blue, Nov 15, 2022
Willie Nelson is one of those artists that denies categories and defies being dubbed simply a country artist. Rather he is a fine musician with adept skills shown here at a great set of blues. Keb Mo really cooks on Outskirts and the whole album simply flows together in this perfect blues zone of rythm. Nelson's singing captivated me so much that I went out and bought his box set, and haven't regretted this intro to Willie at all, nor further exploration. If you like the blues or just great music, get this album!


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