3 of Willie Nelson’s Best Americana Songs

Willie Nelson is often associated exclusively with country music. However, his career has spanned so many different genres, from folk to blues to reggae to Americana. In fact, Nelson is a pioneer of Americana music. Many of his tracks firmly cemented on countless lists of the best of the genre. Let’s take a look (and listen) at three of Willie Nelson’s best Americana songs!

Videos by American Songwriter

1. On The Road Again, 1980

We cannot have a list of great Americana classics without mentioning “On The Road Again.” This 1980 track is the perfect encapsulation of the traveler spirit that Americana music celebrates. 

The song is about Nelson’s life as a musician constantly on tour. It can also be interpreted as a tune about the nomadic lifestyles of so many Americans across history. Plus, it’s one of his catchiest songs to date.

[See Willie Nelson Live on the Outlaw Music Festival Tour in 2024]

2. Whiskey River, 1973

This is a great example of Nelson crossing genres, complete with an almost honky-tonk country foundation accented by funky blues beats. 

“Whiskey River” has raw lyrics and explores the misery of a man scorned by a lover, seeking solace in the bottom of a whiskey bottle. It’s a perfect Americana tune and one of Nelson’s best.

3. Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, 1980

This is a gorgeous ballad from Nelson and one of his more poignant, emotional tracks. “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground” is a classic Americana ballad with minimal instrumentation and the sharp bite of the harmonica. 

It’s the kind of song you listen to while sitting in the middle of the desert in the American Southwest, mourning a lost love whom you still wish well. With a bottle of whiskey, maybe.

Photo by Gary Miller

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Reply

Judas Priest

Glenn Tipton Takes the Stage with Judas Priest Amid Battle With Parkinson’s Disease