Despite recent forays into country music hyphenated with just about every genre imaginable, such as the reggae-country of 2005’s Countryman, Willie Nelson’s nasal, high-pitched voice has always seemed best suited to American roots music. The perfect proof of this hypothesis comes from Nelson’s 2010 album “Country Music.” The album features a slew of traditional folk and country covers, from “Dark as a Dungeon” to “I Am A Pilgrim,” with production to match by T-Bone Burnett. My favorite track off this album is without a doubt Nelson’s cover of the traditional “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down.” The build and atmosphere are note perfect. Between the sparsely plucked banjo, Nelson’s wavering voice and the evangelical subject matter this track seems plucked directly from another time and place.
Willie Nelson, “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” (2010)