Willie Nelson Tributes Harlan Howard on New Album, ‘I Don’t Know a Thing About Love’
Willie Nelson returns this spring with a new studio album, I Don't Know a Thing About Love, a 10-track tribute to Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Harlan Howard.
The new music kicks off with Nelson's version of the classic "Busted," which Harlan wrote in 1962. Johnny Cash recorded the song with the Carter Family a year later, and Ray Charles and John Conlee both subsequently had hit singles with their versions of the song, too. Nelson himself has sang the song plenty in the past, too: He and Charles included a live version of "Busted" on Charles' 2005 live project, Genius & Friends.
Nelson's new version of "Busted" is bluesier than ever, with an optimistic, soulful beat and a prominent harmonica line. It's a preview into an album full of Howard-penned essentials, including tracks like "Tiger by the Tail," "She Called Me Baby," "Beautiful Annabel Lee" and "Too Many Rivers."
In recent years, Nelson has been releasing an album annually, typically surrounding his birthday on April 29. This project will come out a little ahead of that schedule — it's due to arrive on March 3 — but this birthday is a big one for Nelson, who's turning 90 years old in 2023.
Next up, the icon has a big night in store at the 2023 Grammy Awards: He's nominated in four categories, including Best Country Song, Best Country Album, Best Roots Gospel Album and Best Country Solo Performance. The Grammys are scheduled to take place on Feb. 5.
I Don't Know a Thing About Love features cover art designed by the singer's son, Micah Nelson, who is also a musician and performs under the moniker Particle Kid. The country legend's new album is currently available for preorder in digital and CD form, and later this year, subscription service and record label Vinyl Me, Please will offer a 12" vinyl edition of the record.