Boomkat Product Review:
Performing and recording Willie Nelson's classic Red Headed Stranger album had been a burning ambition of Carla Bozulich's for some time. Finally, in 2003 she got round to it, with a host of notable musicians in tow, including a pre-Wilco Nels Cline and... Willie Nelson himself, who sings on two of the tracks ('Can I Sleep In Your Arms?' and 'Remember Me'), whilst contributing guitar on those same two and the opener 'Time Of The Preacher'. Bozulich's strong, sometimes fitful vocal intonations suit the tone of the songs (which form a concept album about a fugitive preacher, on the run after the murder of his wife), extraordinarily well, and the contribution made by Cline (and members of his band The Nels Cline Singers) might be seen as a premonition of what was to come for the avant-garde virtuoso. His amazing lap steel performance anticipates the kind of role he fills in Wilco nowadays, although on this album his adherence to the traditions of country music can sound a little stricter, and a little more reverential than we're used to from him.