Come spring, Willie Nelson will turn 87 years old on April 29, but the First Rose of Spring, the title of his 70th studio album, is set to bloom shortly before on April 24. Nelson has already delivered the title track to his fans today (Feb. 21).
Out of the 11 total songs, Nelson recorded two freshly minted songs he co-wrote with legendary country music producer Buddy Cannon called “Blue Star” and “Love Just Laughed.” For the rest of the LP, he polished off some goodies by putting his own spin on Toby Keith‘s “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” Chris Stapleton‘s “Our Song,” and much more.
The titular track of his album doesn’t carry the sweet promise of spring itself in its somber half-singing/half-talking tone, but the unwavering vow between a husband and wife until death do they part. “The last time he saw her/ He knew everything had changed/ He said goodbye and let the tears fall like rain/ On the first rose of spring,” the closing refrain goes.
Nelson is due for a few live performances this season, as he’ll hit the road with Stapleton for the latter’s All-American Road Show in Arlington, Texas on March 14. Nelson will also return as the perennial headliner of his daylong music festival Luck Reunion on March 19 hosted at his own ranch just outside of Austin. He’ll also share a stage with half of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as Nelson, Neil Young and Stephen Stills are set to perform at the sixth annual Light Up The Blues benefit concert in Los Angeles on May 30, with the proceeds going toward the non-profit organization Autism Speaks.
Listen to “First Rose of Spring” and check out the rest of the album’s track list below.
First Rose of Spring Album Track List:
1. “First Rose of Spring” (Randy Houser, Allen Shamblin & Mark Beeson)
2. “Blue Star” (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
3. “I’ll Break Out Again Tonight” (Sanger “Whitey” Shafer & Doodle Owens)
4. “Don’t Let the Old Man In” (Toby Keith)
5. “Just Bummin’ Around” (Pete Graves)
6. “Our Song” (Chris Stapleton)
7. “We Are the Cowboys” (Billy Joe Shaver)
8. “Stealing Home” (Marla Cannon-Goodman, Casey Beathard & Don Sampson)
10. “Love Just Laughed” (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
11. “Yesterday When I Was Young (Hier Encore)” (Charles Aznavour & Herbert Kretzmer)