Roll in my sweet baby’s arms

This was a nice surprise. A classic song that Nelson had recorded before, this time with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, in the early 2000s. I don’t like Nelson’s voice too much, but here, at around age 70, he sounds gritty and cracked, weathered, relaxed. What makes this recording special to me is how perfectly easy and off-beat Nelson and the band make the song sound. The instruments are stressing the twos and fours, and as a result, Nelson seems to be off the beat as well, off balance, dazed out, floating over the accompaniment. He’s not going to work for the railroad, but the mail train is always present, rolling through his dream of rolling in said baby’s arms, who, sweet as she (he?) may be, doesn’t want to pay Willie’s bail.

On Apple Music

On Spotify