Willie Nelson You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker

Of all the things for which Willie Nelson can be commended, near the top of the list should be the huge number of tributes he’s paid to fellow songwriters over the years. Such a tribute to Cindy Walker is probably long overdue, since her songs are among country’s most treasured, having been recorded by the likes of Bob Wills, Gene Autry, Eddy Arnold and Ernest Tubb. Walker’s bittersweet ballads were clearly a strong influence on Nelson’s own work too, as evidenced by the tenderness he displays throughout this sparkling collection that’s highly reminiscent of his 1978 classic, Stardust. However, there’s a more appropriate Texas swing approach that Nelson and his Family Band have always done with effortless grace. Their versions of "Bubbles in My Beer,” "Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me” and the title track breathe new life into these and other standards. While Walker’s work will never be forgotten among aficionados, You Don’t Know Me should be required listening for a new generation wondering how a country song is supposed to be written. (Lost Highway)