For the Good Times

Turns out Norah Jones packs a sweet and true country twang. On the Little Willies' second album, Jones and four buddies remake down-home classics like Willie Nelson's "Permanently Lonely" and Kris Kristofferson's title track with offhand assurance, like a skilled (but not slick) pickup bar band. The lone original, "Tommy Rockwood," segues into Jones' note-perfect roar through "Fist City" – a Loretta Lynn dust-up that's never sounded so giddy. That's the Little Willies' appeal: Their straight-shooting renditions don't reinterpret material so much as celebrate it wholly.

Listen to "Permanently Lonely":

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Photos: Random Notes

From The Archives Issue 1149: February 2, 2012
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