Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles

Willie Nelson paying tribute to Ray Charles? Makes sense: Both men are American icons whose songbooks are full of barroom country, blues and classic pop. But Here We Go Again — recorded live in New York in 2009 with Wynton Marsalis' band and guest Norah Jones — feels like a missed opportunity. Nelson's nylon-stabbing guitar is too scarce here, giving way to Marsalis' jazz band, a slick cast that rotates solos exhaustively. The best moments? Nelson and Jones' duets — they play the part of burned lovers beautifully on Buck Owens' heartbreak ballad "Cryin' Time.

Listen to Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis ft. Norah Jones' "Here We Go Again":

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From The Archives Issue 1129: April 28, 2011