His finest hour occurred about 38 years ago, but the red-headed stranger has stayed trucking. Willie Nelson's latest record, Let's Face the Music and Dance, is one of 2013's more pleasant listens. Nelson wrote just one of its 14 songs himself (the rest are standards like Carl Perkins's "Matchbox" and Django Reinhardt's "Vous Et Moi"), but he sings all of them with an intimacy that suggests they're his and his alone. Modestly arranged with acoustic guitar usually at the fore, it's a quiet record, perhaps deliberately so in order to protect the 80-year-old Nelson's ears. But ultimately, Face the Music hits hard enough to persuade listeners to keep up with the guy so long as he keeps recording stuff this tender.
Tue., July 16, 7 p.m., 2013