Willie Nelson will pay tribute to an old friend with the Feb. 26 release of Frank Sinatra tribute album That's Life (Sony Legacy Recordings). It's the Red-Headed Stranger's second tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes in a short span, following 2018 album My Way.
Nelson upped anticipation on Jan. 15 when he shared a lyric video for the title track. It's a jazzy treatment of a pop classic from 1966, paired with a video that shows the creation of cover art that pays homage to Sinatra's 1955 album In the Wee Small Hours.
"I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank," Nelson told AARP in 2018 (as quoted by Rolling Stone). "He didn't worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever -- he could sing it either way, and that's the feel you have to have."
Nelson worked with producers Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings at Sinatra's old stomping grounds: Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Additional tracks were recorded at Nelson's Pedernales studio in Austin, Texas.
Standout selections beyond the title track include "A Cottage For Sale," a Larry Conley and Willard Robinson which was previously covered by the late Jerry Jeff Walker.
The popular music legends' mutual appreciation society dates back at least to when the Grammy-winning success of Nelson's 1978 collection of pop standards, Stardust, caught Sinatra's attention. By 1984, they were co-headlining shows in Las Vegas.
The new album follows the 2020 release of a book Nelson co-wrote with his sister and bandmate Bobbie Nelson, Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band.
That's Life Track List
1. "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
2. "Just in Time"
3. "A Cottage for Sale"
4. "I've Got You Under My Skin"
5. "You Make Me Feel So Young"
6. "I Won't Dance (featuring Diana Krall)"
7. "That's Life"
8. "Luck Be a Lady"
9. "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning"
10. "Learnin' the Blues"
11. "Lonesome Road"