The Little Willies
For The Good Times
There’s surprisingly little difference between Norah Jones’s solo albums and her work with country music side project the Little Willies, whose second covers disc drops today. Jones makes understated jazz albums with blues and country undertones; the Little Willies, whose members include her longtime collaborator Lee Alexander and singer Richard Julian, make understated country albums with blues and jazz undertones.
“Good Times,” which contains well-tended covers of songs popularized by Kris Kristofferson, Patsy Cline and band namesake Willie Nelson, charms throughout. It’s expertly played, flawlessly sung, nimbly curated and affectionately done. And yet, it has inherited the same sense of unearthly calm that anchors all of Jones’s work, and while jazz albums thrive on that sort of brunch-tastic gentility, it snuffs out almost any spark of life in these would-be rave-ups.