Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard: Django and Jimmie

A pair of country heroes size up their history together

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard during the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on January 24th, 2014. Credit: Kevin Winter/WireImage/Getty

Willie and Merle coined the modern country-bromance LP with their 1983 hit Pancho & Lefty; their latest looks back. The title — referring to Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, major influences on both men — suggests a rich dig into country archaeology à la Haggard's 1970 Bob Wills tribute. Instead, we get a grab bag of new songs and rerecorded signatures fixed on the duo's own mythology, largely sans blue yodels or gypsy jazz. Highlights are Haggard's "Missing Ol' Johnny Cash," a story-swap with guest Bobby Bare, and "It's All Going to Pot," the "420 Day" single that shows two masters nailing the right song at the right time.