Sure, everyone knows the amazingly talented Norah Jones as a jazz/pop songstress, made most famous by her Grammy-winning hit "Don't Know Why." You may even know that she's collaborated here and there with country legends such as Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. But did you also know she has her own country band?
Jones certainly does, and what's more, she and her bandmates in the Little Willies have been keeping it twangy for many years now--almost a decade, to be exact.
Jones, who was raised in Texas, notes that she's always had country creeping in and out of her body of work. Her love of the genre's vintage tunes spurred her to form the Little Willies as a side project with co-vocalist and guitarist Richard Julian, guitarist Jim Campilongo, bassist Lee Alexander, and drummer Dan Rieser. At first, the project was meant just for fun. However, finding an unlikely and appreciative audience for their classic country covers in New York City, the band released their first album in 2006.
Being, of course, tremendously busy with their various other projects, it took a while for the group to put together another record, but when they did--the time was definitely right. The Little Willies made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry in late November 2011 and are receiving considerable critical acclaim for their sophomore effort.
And not just critic's critical acclaim: The Little Willie's second album, For The Good Times, features yet another slate of carefully chosen covers by country's finest, including a soulful version of Parton's "Jolene." This is a song that's been covered many times by many artists in all genres--yet Parton has said she was "overwhelmed" by Jones's iteration of the song. Can't get any finer praise than that.
The Little Willies visited the Ram Country studios to show off their version of that very song that blew Dolly away, as well as several other beautiful classics. Enjoy these exclusive performances, as well as our interview with the band.
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