Willie Nelson

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Chet Flippo

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[Willie Nelson is probably the most underrated songwriter] in America today….

[Nelson] writes about feelings as such, exclusive of the people who possess them…. [His] songs are pensive and sober, understated morning-after reflections when despair comes creeping in. [The Willie Way] opens with "You Left a Long, Long, Time Ago": "Today might be the day you walk away, / But you left me a long, long time ago."

That's followed by "Wonderful Future," equally despairing. "My past and my present are one and the same," his crisp autumn voice intones, "and the future holds nothing for me." Depression is a staple of country blues and no one can beat Willie at that.

Chet Flippo, "Records: 'The Willie Way'," in Rolling Stone (by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. © 1972; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission), Issue 122, November 23, 1972, pp. 68, 70.

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