2017 Spring/Summer Country Preview: 25 Anticipated Albums, Festivals

From new releases by Angaleena Presley and Jason Isbell to annual blowouts like Stagecoach and CMA Music Festival

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Willie Nelson
25
Gary Miller/Getty Images20/25

Willie Nelson

Album: God's Problem Child
Release Date: April 28th
At nearly 84, it's remarkable to make and record new music, let alone be able to laugh at your own mortality. And on God's Problem Child, Willie Nelson does both: the country legend co-wrote seven out of 13 songs, one of which is pithily titled "Still Not Dead," addressing the greatly exaggerated rumors of his own demise. There's wit and wisdom in equal measure on Problem Child, along with plenty of musings on the passage of time. The ghosts of his past echo strong, with a tribute to Merle Haggard ("He Won't Ever Be Gone") among the Buddy Cannon-produced album's offerings, and the voice of Leon Russell can be found the title track, recorded shortly before be passed away. "Old father time, he just keeps on ticking," Nelson sings softly on "Old Timer." He can't slow down the days, but he still can make every note and minute meaningful. M.M.

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