God’s Problem Child, Willie Nelson‘s new studio album has entered the Billboard Country chart at #1, making it the artist’s second US country chart-topper in less than two years. Nelson’s 6th Legacy release, Django and Jimmie, an unforgettable musical collaboration with Merle Haggard, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country chart in June 2015. God’s Problem Child is Willie’s first album to debut all-new songs since Band of Brothers (his 4th Legacy release) reached #1 on the Billboard Country chart (and #5 on the Billboard 200) in June 2014. Willie’s new album has also entered the Billboard 200 at #10 and is his third Legacy release to break into the Top 10 pop charts.
God’s Problem Child was released on April 28th, on the eve of Willie’s 84th birthday (April 29). God’s Problem Child is being lauded in both the mainstream and underground press as an essential addition to the Willie Nelson catalog with The Wall Street Journal naming it one of “This Spring’s Best Country Albums.” Rolling Stone called God’s Problem Child “…a tightly-woven, poignant collection of ruminations on aging and fading faculties that amounts to Nelson’s most moving album in decades.” The Los Angeles Times concurred praising “…the most bountiful batch of Nelson songs since 2014’s ‘Band of Brothers.’”
“….one of pop culture’s few reigning icons who remain creatively engaged,” noted Paste who wrote that God’s Problem Child “…feels like Nelson’s personal state of the union….as vital as anything he’s done.”
“The key,” opined the Austin American-Statesman, “is a near perfect balance between Willie as songwriter and as interpreter.” Wide Open Country summed up, saying, “God’s Problem Childis a peek into the next chapter in the book of Willie, a promise that he’s not even close to being done and another helpful guide on how to live. It’s been a wild ride and it sure as hell ain’t over yet. Thank God.”
Appreciation is shared across the Atlantic where the UK’s Uncut praised the new song “Still Not Dead” as “one of Willie’s modern masterpieces” and as “an album that can stand comfortably alongside any of his iconic work…. approaching life and love from angles that can only result from a career spent studying both with a restless sense of wonder. It’s the kind of perspective that most songwriters can only dream of attaining-for Willie Nelson, it’s just another day at the office.”
Willie has lensed several music videos for songs from God’s Problem Child. These include “Still Not Dead”, which pokes fun at the many exaggerated reports of his demise he’s heard over the years, and the album’s closer, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” a song written by Gary Nicholson which pays tribute to Willie’s outlaw country comrade, Merle Haggard. (Haggard’s last album was 2015’s Django and Jimmie, his musical collaboration with Willie Nelson.)
An album that reflects on mortality while marveling at the beauty and absurdity of it all, God’s Problem Child finds Willie Nelson at one of the creative peaks of his career, writing and singing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that can only come from the kind of life he’s living.
Nelson continues making music every day. When he’s not in the studio, Willie’s on the road and performed more than 100 live shows in the past year. Coming up on his calendar are a number of tour dates in June and July including the Outlaw Music Festival and Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Austin. For details on Willie’s upcoming performances.
The show that made country music famous is scheduled to salute the veterans of Desert Storm with a red carpet parade and annual Salute the Troops Opry performance Tuesday, May 23. The public is invited to be a part of veterans’ red carpet arrivals outside the Opry House beginning at 5:45 p.m., and the evening’s Opry performance begins at 7:00 p.m. with performances scheduled from Trace Adkins, Terri Clark, Dailey & Vincent, Charlie Daniels Band, Chris Young, and more, including the Opry return of the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band.
Throughout the evening, fans will learn of the heroic actions of Desert Storm veterans as well as the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association’s work to build the National Desert Storm Memorial in Washington D.C. Over half a million American servicemen and women served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, making it the largest American war of the 20th Century without a memorial in Washington, D.C. currently. The memorial, although approved by Congress, will be built entirely through donations.
“Country music was a major part of the patriotism that swept the U.S. and the support our troops felt from the folks back home in 1990 and 1991,” said Scott C. Stump, CEO of the National Desert Storm War Memorial. “It’s exciting to be able to celebrate that continued patriotism and reflect on the sacrifices of our Desert Storm veterans at the home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry.”
Among other artists coming soon to the Opry stage are Kelsea Ballerini, Crystal Gayle, Chris Janson, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, Ricky Skaggs, and Blake Shelton.