Willie Nelson’s next album God’s Problem Child will be released through Legacy Recordings on April 28, the eve of his 84th birthday.
The collection features 13 new songs that reflect on mortality while marveling at the beauty and absurdity of it all. Nelson and Buddy Cannon, his longtime collaborator and producer, co-wrote seven songs for the album.
Jamey Johnson and Tony Joe White co-wrote the title track, with both singers and Leon Russell contributing guest vocals. According to a release from Nelson’s publicist, the song may be one of Russell’s very last recordings. Before his passing on Nov. 13, 2016, Russell was one of Nelson’s closest friends, and he was the first musician to sign Nelson’s famous acoustic guitar, Trigger.
The opening song is “Little House on the Hill,” a song written by Lyndel Rhodes, Cannon’s 92-year-old mother. Songerwriter Gary Nicholson’s tribute to the late Merle Haggard, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” closes the collection. Haggard’s final album was the 2015 Nelson collaboration, Django and Jimmie.
God’s Problem Child will be his ninth studio album with Legacy since 2012’s Heroes. His seventh Legacy collection, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, is nominated for best traditional pop vocal album at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12.
On March 16 during Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest music conference, Nelson will headline the annual Luck Reunion at his famed “Luck, Texas” property. The day-long event will feature live music by more than 40 acts across three stages including Conor Oberst & Friends, M. Ward, The Felice Brothers, Margo Price, Valerie June, Big Thief, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and more. Lineup updates will be listed on the Luck Reunion’s website, and special codes to purchase tickets will be available through the Luck Reunion’s social media accounts.