New Music / Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson’s New Studio Album, First Rose Of Spring, Out Now

Willie Nelson

 Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, is pleased to announce that First Rose Of SpringWillie Nelson‘s 70th solo studio album (and 14th for the label)–is out today.  

First Rose Of Spring is now available on CD, vinyl and digital formats as well as part of exclusive merch bundles on Willie’s web store at: https://willienelson.lnk.to/1stRosePR

“Willie Nelson’s First Rose of Spring Might Be the Album We All Need Right Now,” proclaimed the headline in Premier Guitar’s cover feature on Willie Nelson (June 11, 2020). 

The album’s new single, Willie’s interpretation of “Don’t Let The Old Man In”–penned by superstar Toby Keith–is available on all DSPs today.  Willie and Toby discussed the song on SiriusXM’s Town Hall, where Willie said, “there is a line in there, one of the best lines I’ve ever heard: many moons I have lived… but don’t ask me how old I would be if I didn’t know the day I was born. That’s a heavy line, thank you for that Toby.” 

An in-depth essay for First Rose Of Spring tells the story of the song, as written by Mikal Gilmore: 

Keith wrote “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” for Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film The Mule. Both the song and the film are about the same thing: an aged man who won’t let his age impede him. When Toby premiered the song, he related the tale of playing at Eastwood’s Carmel golf tournament in 2018 when he learned that the actor’s 88th birthday was coming up in two days. Toby asked the actor how he planned to celebrate the occasion and Eastwood said: “Funny you should ask. I am leaving tomorrow to shoot a movie for three months called The Mule.” Keith was surprised. At his age and stature, Eastwood could easily have retired. Toby wondered where that sort of energy comes from. Eastwood replied: “I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in.” Keith thought, “I’m writing that.” After Eastwood heard it, he featured the song over the film’s closing credits. And when Buddy Cannon heard it, he wanted to bring Willie’s voice to it. “I think it’s the best song Toby Keith’s ever written,” says the producer. Though Keith wrote “Don’t Let the Old Man In” for Eastwood, it could have been tailor-made for Nelson as his credo. “

Don’t Let The Old Man In” follows the release, earlier this year, of other key album tracks including “First Rose Of Spring,””Our Song,” “I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” and “We Are The Cowboys” (featuring a video created and directed by Willie’s son Micah Nelson, who also created the album’s cover art). 

Willie’s been showing up across the media in celebration of First Rose Of Spring. He appeared on SiriusXM Town Hall with Toby Keith (June 29), the Today Show 10am hour (July 2), and will appear on NPR Weekend Edition tomorrow, July 4, at around 9:50am eastern (check listings for local stations and times.) 

A short clip from Willie’s interview with Zane Lowe will run on Zane’s New Music Daily Show on Friday, July 3 at 10am PST with the full one-hour Willie Nelson special with Zane airing on Beats 1 on Monday, July 6 at 10am PST, before becoming available on-demand. 

NPR’s World Cafe will be broadcasting a new Willie Nelson episode on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Willie Nelson’s segment will be archived for on-demand streaming at WorldCafe.NPR.org by 5pm ET on the day of broadcast.

First Rose Of Spring arrives on the eve of Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic, an annual all-star event celebrating Independence Day. This year’s picnic–featuring live performances streamed directly from Luck–kicks off at 3:30pm CST on Saturday, July 4. Artists on the roster include Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Kinky Friedman, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Ziggy Marley and more with Willie Nelson & Family topping the bill. For more details, please visit williepicnic.com 

Willie will host the 4th of July Celebration on his Sirius XM channel.

First Rose Of Spring is the artist’s first new release since winning the 2020 Best Country Solo Performance Grammy Award–Willie’s 10th overall (not including his Grammy Legend and Lifetime Achievement Awards)–for “Ride Me Back Home,” the title track from his 2019 Legacy Recordings release. The previous year, My Way, Willie’s musical homage to Frank Sinatra took home the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.  

An essential addition to the Willie Nelson canon, First Rose Of Spring is an eloquent new chapter in the chronicles of one of America’s greatest musical troubadours.

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