Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson to Be Featured on Rita Wilson’s ’70s Cover Duet Album

by Blake Ells

Rita Wilson is recruiting country music’s finest for her new duet album. Now and Forever: Duets arrives on September 27. It features collaborations with Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Keith Urban, Jimmie Allen and Vince Gill. It also features duets with artists outside of country music, including the legendary Smokey Robinson and Jackson Browne. The songs are renditions of hits from the 1970s.

Tim Mcgraw joins Rita Wilson for a version of Bread’s “If.” Willie Nelson’s track is Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away.” Keith Urban hooks up with Wilson for Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.” Vince Gill is on “Without You.” And Jimmie Allen is on Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”

“I wanted to honor where I came from with songs of the Seventies,” said in a statement to Billboard. “It was really about showing enormous appreciation for the songwriting of that period; how these songs are still relevant even though they are 50 years old. The album is really a continuation of sharing who I am musically and what it is that I want to say.”

Rita Wilson also released a teaser trailer for the project. Check it out below.

“Songs that came from the 70s, they’re almost like my American Songbook,” she says in the video. “All of those song were speaking to me.I think I grew up in one of the best eras for music ever. We had such a great variety and so many different people expressing themselves in so many different ways. And I wanted to just get int here and explore that with some great duet partners.”

Rita Wilson released one single from the project in June. “Songbird” is a duet with crooner Josh Groban.

Rita Wilson Returns With New Music

She released another collaboration with Vince Gill in 2021, but it doesn’t appear that one is included here. “Count Your Blessings” hit streamers last November. The new duets collection is Rita Wilson’s first studio album since 2019’s Halfway to Home. She did release a series of EPs in 2021, as well. That was the Trilogy collection, and each had three songs.

Rita Wilson first crossed over into music in 2012 with AM/FM. She’s regularly collaborated with other artists and paid tribute to those that influenced her. She hooked up with late rock and roll star Chris Cornell for a version of “All I Have to Do is Dream” once. She’s also recruited Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow and more. The new album isn’t the first time that she’s work with Jimmie Allen, either. She appeared on his Bettie James EP in 2020. Wilson was on the track “When This is Over” with Tauren Wells and The Oak Ridge Boys. She hasn’t announced any tour dates to support the album yet.