If you are alive, “Ready To Roar” will get you smilin’ (at worst) and (at best) tappin’ or clappin …and it’s not even a great song, it’s just an OK song that hits the right note, the right rhythm, the right tone, and that’s because Willie Nelson, the song’s co-writer and singer, doesn’t do just OK songs.

“Ready to Roar” is roadhouse juke joint music, simple lyrics that say a lot, fun to sing along with, easy to dance to.

You can’t expect every Willie Nelson album to be a “Red Headed Stranger” or every song to be a “Crazy” but you can count on Willie Nelson to sing his philosophy, sometimes brilliantly and perfectly timed to the zeitgeist, and sometimes it’s just “Ready to Roar” –not top of the line Willie, but what could be hundreds of other artists best song ever, which is why we take time today to say happy 85th birthday, this Sunday (April 29th),  to an American cultural and music icon, nothwithstanding that the word gets tossed around much too loosely.

BTW, Willie’s 85th makes us Boomers seem like babies.  Just saying.

Nelson’s had some health issues, but he’s still working full time.  Next month he kicks off his “Outlaw Music Festival” tour; he’ll be back in Austin for his annual 4th of July Picnic.