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Begun a decade ago with super-producer Don Was, Willie Nelson’s country-reggae fusion album was originally intended for Island Records (the label that made its name with Bob Marley). When Island folded into Universal, the album lost its allies until a former Island executive landed at Nelson’s current label. Unfortunately, the story behind Countryman is better than its music: With the exception of a folky rendition of the Jimmy Cliff classic “The Harder They Come,” Nelson’s vocals sound like they’re in a different world than these slick, overly tinkered-with instrumental tracks. Don’t hold your breath for Willie in Dub.


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