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Every time you think Willie Nelson might be slowing down, he starts speeding up again. So, even though Willie had to cancer his February 2018 tour dates while he battles the remaining symptoms of the flu, as Rare Country has reported, it wasn’t long before he was showing off some high karate kicks on a punching bag on his son Lukas’ Instagram page.

And then, on Feb. 16, he surprised us once again.

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In a brand-new music video, Willie sounds better than ever singing his new song, “Last Man Standing,” a light yet haunting look at mortality. “I don’t want to be the last man standing, but on second thought, maybe I do,” Willie sings in the sepia-toned video that takes viewers inside the studio to see the song being created.

He also calls out some of the country music friends he has lost, such as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, singing about how “They lived just as fast as me” and that “It’s getting hard to watch my pals check out.”

The song is just one of the 11 that will be on Willie’s new album, “Last Man Standing,” set for release on April 27. The release date is the perfect present for Willie himself, who will celebrate his 85th birthday on April 29.

According to the press release about the new project, the album, “comprised entirely of songs newly-penned by Willie Nelson and longtime collaborator and producer Buddy Cannon, is the worthy successor to Willie’s ‘God’s Problem Child,’ which showcased seven Nelson-Cannon compositions and debuted at No. 1 on the country charts. Willie and Buddy have been working together since 2008, with [Buddy] producing more than a dozen of Willie’s albums.”

The press release goes on to tell us that the two men actually texted lyrics back and forth with another when creating the songs on the new album, just as they did on Willie’s last project.

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It’s looking like April will be quite an eventful month for Willie, since early that month he will also become the first songwriter to be inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters, one of the most prestigious literary organizations in the Lone Star State. He joins a group of esteemed fellow inductees that includes authors, screenwriters, poets and journalists who have “demonstrated substantial literary achievement in their genres,” according to the institute.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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