Nathaniel Rateliff follows up his March 2021 appearance alongside Margo Price for CMT Crossroads with a cover of the Willie Nelson’s 1974 single, “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way,” featuring Nelson himself.
The track released today (April 29), on Nelson’s 88th birthday. The rootsy crooner’s a frequent collaborator with the “On The Road Again” singer’s son Lukas. However, this is his first pairing with the iconic country artist.
“I really appreciated Nathaniel doing this song out of my catalog and it was a pleasure to sing with him,” notes Nelson in a press release. “Nathaniel and his band have been great friends and supporters of Farm Aid ever since we got to know each other six years ago.” As well, Rateliff adds, “’It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way’ is a powerful song and it meant a lot to get to sing it with Willie. Having [harmonica player and oftentimes Nelson accompanist] Mickey [Raphael] play so beautifully on it was icing on the cake.”
The song is the latest installment of Rateliff’s own Marigold Singles Series, a project intended to raise money for the performer’s Marigold Project foundation, which supports economic and social justice-aimed community and nonprofit organizations. This particular installment’s revenue is earmarked for Farm Aid, as well as the StrongHearts Native Helpline, which combats domestic violence in Native American communities.
The limited-edition 7″ single version of “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way” is currently available, with an official digital release forthcoming in May. The B-side of the 7” is the previously unreleased “Willie’s Birthday Song,” featuring Bobbie Nelson, Mickey Raphael, Lukas and Micah Nelson, Nikki Lane, members of Rateliff’s band, The Night Sweats and more. This record is exclusively available via shop.nathanielrateliff.com.