Most of “Willie and the Boys,” the new album teaming Willie Nelson with his sons Lukas and Micah, revisits classic tunes from country greats named Hank: Williams, Snow, Cochran, Locklin. But “Healing Hands of Time” is one of Willie’s own, dating back to his early days as a songwriter struggling to make a name for himself in the early 1960s.
The tune appeared on his 1965 album “Country Willie,” and in the 1990s he recorded a lushly orchestrated rendition on an album that bears the same title as the song. The version on “Willie and the Boys,” due out Oct. 20 on Legacy Recordings, was recorded in 2011 with producer Buddy Cannon at Willie’s Pedernales Studio in the hill country just outside of Austin.
For this down-home video, Willie and his sons bring “Healing Hands of Time” back to its simple roots. They strum acoustic guitars, trade lead verses and sing harmony, prefacing the performance with a minute or two of casual father-sons chatter about picking and golfing together. “It’s as good as it gets, being up here with you kids,” Willie says to Lukas and Micah. Here’s the full result, straight outta Spicewood:
Catch Lukas with his band Promise of the Real at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13, and at Antone’s for an ACL Fest official late-night show on Oct. 11. And on Dec. 29-31, Lukas and his band will open all three nightsof Willie’s annual year-end stand at ACL Live. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday, Sept. 29, at 10 a.m. via the ACL Live website.