You can't hold Willie Nelson solely responsible for this head-scratchingly nutty country-meets-reggae concept album. Countryman was actually conceived by Chris Blackwell with producer Don Was and recorded for release on Island 10 years ago, only to be shelved. That was four years before Was assisted in Garth Brooks's career-suicide Chris Gaines project. The fact that Nelson enjoys his herbal remedies as much as some reggae artists evidently wasn't enough of a natural connection to make this unlikely musical marriage work. And Was didn't help matters any by filling the studio with his own musician buddies rather than reggae session ringers with a feel for country. As it is, there's no perceptible connection between what Nelson is singing and the music being played. He gamely attempts Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come and Sitting In Limbo, but most of this sounds like a mash-up gone wrong, with Was dropping some canned Nelson vocal tracks on generic reggae riddims. A failed experiment.