However, Nelson adds, he doesn't really keep tabs on how much he's writing versus how much he's recording other people's material.
"With writing, some days you feel like doing it, some days you don't," explains Nelson, who also recorded songs by Vince Gill, Billy Joe Shaver, Billy Burnette and others for "Band of Brothers." "A lot of times you get an idea and you have to write about it, or at least I do. The ones you have to write are usually the ones that become the best songs."
A case in point from the new album is "The Wall," on which Nelson sings about "a pretty rough year" in his life.
"I kind of overbooked myself, I guess, and like they say I hit the wall," he says. "I had a shoulder problem and had to go to Germany for, like, an orthoscopic kind of surgery; they take out the blood and recharge it with something and put it back in and that fixes the problem, or at least makes it feel better. George Clooney turned me on to this guy, and while I was over there Kobe Bryant was there. It's a four or five day process, but it was worth it."
"Band of Brothers" isn't the only new music we'll be hearing from Nelson this year. In the fall he'll be releasing "December Day," which he recorded with his regular band. Nelson says the set has "about eight or nine originals" including "Back To Earth" and "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" as well a version of Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band."
"I've been waiting to put one out with me and the band for a long time," Nelson says. "These are songs we've been playing for a long time. I really like working with the guys we had for ('Band of Brothers') and anyone else I record with, but I really wanted to do something with my band, too."
Nelson is currently on the road with Alison Krauss + Union Station and will host his annual Fourth of July Picnic this year at Billy Bob's Texas in Forth Worth.