Singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin rounded up talented friends Alex Kline and Tara Thompson for new single and music video “World Without Willie.” It’s a stunning tribute to Willie Nelson that dares to ask what country music might sound like without one of its greatest talents and proudest ambassadors.
The video shows Enderlin explaining the greatness of Stardust to her dog before enjoying the Red-Headed Stranger’s music with two close friends. Nelson’s songs inspire the trio to write their own version of “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” George Jones’ timeless celebration of Opry legends and country music history.
“There are two reasons I love this song, it’s about one of my heroes Willie Nelson, and I wrote and recorded it with some of my best friends,” Enderlin says in a press release. “Several years ago I got to go on tour with Willie and watching him every night it just really sank in the breadth of characters and stories that he has brought to life. Alex, Tara and Leslie (Satcher) are all such great talents and it was a lot of fun to get to write this with them, and if that all wasn’t enough, Mickey Raphael, my favorite harmonica player, played on the track!”
The artist behind 2017’s sleeper album, the Jamey Johnson-produced Whiskeytown Crier, namedrops several memorable Nelson titles throughout the song. For example, she muses that “We’d still have rain storms, but there’d be no crying blue eyes” in this theoretical Willie-less world.
Enderlin is on the Chris Stapleton and Lori McKenna career path, going from the sought-after songwriter of Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call” and Alan Jackson’s “Monday Morning Church” to one of Nashville’s best-kept secrets as a solo artist. She’s also written songs for Luke Bryan, Joey + Rory and others and collaborated with Terri Clark.
Thompson, a distant relative of country legend Loretta Lynn, is another talented singer and songwriter with the same honky-tonk heroes and traditionalist leanings as her duet partner.