Willie Nelson – First Rose of Spring

Willie Nelson - First Rose of Spring



3.9/5 Pros

  • Eleven songs, Nelson style
  • Seventieth Willie Nelson album (amazing!)
  • Still, a good listen Cons

  • A bit of monotonous
  • Few new songs

Willie Nelson is an amazing artist. On 24th April 2020, just some ten months ago since he released his previous album, Ride Me Back Home, the country music legend expected to be back with his new album First Rose of Spring. Covid-19 forced him to postpone the release to 3rd July 2020. After I loved the predecessor, I just had to listen into this release as well – not only because it has the amazing feature that it is Nelson’s 70th studio album (could not add sufficient exclamation marks to emphasize this massive achievement).


Willie Nelson – About The Artist

The age counter is one up to be one up again: Willie Nelson, the 1933-born is already will celebrate his 87th birthday soon! His bio is amazing – so apart from some facts I already mentioned in Ride Me Back Home, I should for example add that he is a Country Hall of Fame member since 1993 and that Austin even named a boulevard after the US legend. Eleven of his albums hit the top of the US Country album charts – his 2019 recent made it up to the second spot. His publications feature 69 studio albums – First Rose of Spring will be his 70th, 25 collaborative ones, 13 live recordings and many more. 25 of his songs made it to the top of the US charts. One song which topped the US as well as the Canadian country charts, is the 1989 Nothing I Can Do About It Now:


Willie Nelson – First Rose of Spring – Track by Track

The eleven song album lasts 41 minutes. A couple of the songs are covers of country music classics.

1. First Rose Of Spring

Summertime would’ve never started
And wintertime would never end
She colored his life, opened his eyes
To things he’d never dream
Without the first rose of spring

The album starts low, set, with the title track. A typical sound by Willie Nelson. Nice. After seventy albums, you don’t need to be a rocker. Just need to be Willie

2. Blue Star

The second track, Blue Star, has a very similar sound: quiet, concentrated, classic. Nice song.

3. I’ll Break Out Again Tonight

As said, the album features a couple of covers. Here is I’ll Break Out Again Tonight, originally performed by Merle Haggard. No doubt, that is the Willie Nelson sound. Enjoy listening to the song.

4. Don’t Let The Old Man In

A Toby Keith original. There are even some strings in this interpretation. Willie Nelson feels like backdating this song, which has been published in 2018 – Back To The Future, country music style.

5. Just Bummin’ Around

This song was originally performed by Pete Graves. The fifth track on First Rose of Spring is the first song which has a touch of uptempo, of swinging. It is still on the very moderate side.

6. Our Song

I don’t know if Heaven’s real
But that’s how you made me feel
You make it all alright
When everything’s wrong
And this is our song

This song is a slow one again, which Nelson wrote together with Chris Stapleton. To me, it is the most intense, most atmospheric track of the album so far.

7. We Are The Cowboys

This track, originally by Billy Joe Shaver, is a real classic. I like that the interpretation has some more power again, compared to most of the songs before. But overall, it is not overwhelmingly catching me.

8. Stealing Home

This song has originally been released by Marla Cannon-Goodman on her My Reflection album in 2009. A touch of melodic, but still in Willie Nelson style.

9. I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised

The album has that very intimate character. The more I am happy for songs like I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised, which give some speed, rhythm to the album. Another cover, the song was originally performed by Johnny Paycheck in 1977. Thankful!

10. Love Just Laughed

She said, “Please don’t let me go”
I said, “I gotta let you go”
And love just laughed
That’s all that I remember
It was a bitter cold December
And love just laughed

Not just because it is a Nelson song, but especially due to its magical atmosphere, this is one of the core tracks of the album to me. Really enjoy listening to it.

11. Yesterday When I Was Young (Hier Encore)

The album closes with a Roy Clark song quote. Feels a bit like a farewell song, like Maybe I Should’ve Been Listening on the previous Ride Me Back Home album. But there is no farewell from Willie. There will be number #71 as well. I am sure.


Willie Nelson – First Rose of Spring – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget to Willie Nelson’s anniversary album:


Willie Nelson – First Rose of Spring – My View

Willie Nelson, I have to clearly state that I loved the previous one more, sorry. The First Rose of Spring is just a bit too monotonous to me, even though I just listen to your tunes. You are a legend and this album is – again – a good one. Number #69 was just better. Look forward to listen from you again. To number #71, #72, #73… Country music just cannot be without you! We need the constant Willie Nelson factor in these times. Country Music Reviews

Here are reviews of all country music albums and EPs I reviewed earlier on the website: