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Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger” (1975)

It took all of a minute or so for me to realize I loved this album (when Willie sings “…and he screamed like a panther in the middle of the night,” the phrasing just kills me.) It took a full five minutes to actually give me chills (at the end of track three “…and the killin’s begun.”) “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain” and “Can I Sleep in Your Arms Tonight” are two of the most beautiful, aching songs I’ve ever heard. My experience with Red Headed Stranger and country music is akin to the experience I had with Kind of Blue and jazz. The very first album I tried in the genre turned out to be the best, but it doesn’t matter because it was so good it led me to explore and enjoy so many others. –Lucas

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