Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn

February 10th, 2016


Willie and Loretta Lynn at the filming of their new music video.  Lynn’s new album “Full Circle,” due out March 4, features a duet with Willie on the song,  “Lay Me Down.”

Willie Nelson Spirit

February 10th, 2016


Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings

February 9th, 2016


Willie Nelson & Family in Nashville at Schermerhorn Symphony Center (Nashville) (February 11 and 12, 2016)

February 9th, 2016

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Willie Nelson & Family will perform at two shows Thursday night and Friday night in Nashville, at this amazing venue.

Named in honor of the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the GRAMMY Award-winning Nashville Symphony for 22 years, Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home of the Nashville Symphony. Located in downtown Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood, across from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the buidling hosts a wide range of musical events, including classical, pops, jazz, and world music.

Construction of Schermerhorn Symphony Center began in December 2003. Less than three years later, the building opened to the public on September 9, 2006. The design was inspired by some of the world’s great concert halls, many of which were built in Europe in the late 19th century. The building’s main venue, the 1,844-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall, is one of the few halls nationwide to feature natural interior light through 30 special soundproof windows. Seats are distributed over three levels, including a special choral loft behind the stage, which can seat up to 146 chorus members or audience members during non-choral performances. The stage can accommodate up to 115 musicians. The design of Laura Turner Concert Hall provides vivid acoustical clarity, warmth and reverberation specifically catering to the sound of natural instruments. An automated system of movable banners and panels located around the hall can adjust the acoustics to accommodate a variety of musical genres.

The hall also features a custom-built concert organ, crafted by Schoenstein & Co. of San Francisco, comprised of 47 voices, 64 ranks and 3,568 pipes with three 32-foot stops that create a lyrical sound with expressive range. For more information on the organ, click here.

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One of the most innovative features of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a convertible seating system designed to give the hall unique versatility. The orchestra level seating of Laura Turner Concert Hall can be transformed from rows of theater-style seating to a 5,700-square-foot hardwood ballroom floor, typically used for cabaret-style events such as pops and jazz concerts. A unique motorized system lowers rows of seats into a special storage space below the surface of the ballroom floor. This convertible system gives the concert hall great flexibility for numerous types of events throughout the year.


In addition to this state-of-the-art concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center houses the Mike Curb Family Music Education Hall, a 3,000-square-foot space designed to accommodate performances, educational events, meetings and other gatherings. The building regularly hosts concerts for schoolchildren and a wide variety of special events, including weddings, conferences, luncheons and corporate meetings. For information about renting Schermerhorn Symphony Center, click here.

The building also has a public garden enclosed by a colonnade. Facing Hall of Fame Park across Fourth Avenue South, the garden is open to the public throughout the day and during concerts. The adjacent Cherry Street {eatery & sweetery} serves breakfast and lunch, and is open on concert evenings as well.


February 9th, 2016


Willie Nelson, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, “One More Cowboy”

February 9th, 2016

Rest in Peace, Dan Hicks, who died on February 6, 2016, at 74.


Dan Hicks, a singer, songwriter and bandleader who attracted a devoted following with music that was defiantly unfashionable, proudly eccentric and foot-tappingly catchy, died Saturday at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He was 74.

The cause was liver cancer, said his wife, Clare.

Hicks began performing with his band, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, in the late 1960s in San Francisco, where psychedelic rock bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead dominated the music sound. The Hot Licks’ sound could not have been more different.

At a time when rock was getting louder and more aggressive, Hicks’ instrumentation — two guitars (Hicks played rhythm), violin and stand-up bass, with two women providing harmony and backup vocals — offered a laid-back, all-acoustic alternative that was a throwback to a simpler time, while his lyrics gave the music a modern, slightly askew edge.

He came to call his music “folk swing,” but that only hinted at the range of influences he synthesized. He drew from the American folk tradition but also from the Gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt, the Western swing of Bob Wills, the harmony vocals of the Andrews Sisters, the raucous humor of Fats Waller and numerous other sources.

“It starts out with kind of a folk music sound,” Hicks explained in a 2007 interview, “and we add a jazz beat and solos and singing. We have the two girls that sing, and jazz violin, and all that, so it’s kind of light in nature, it’s not loud. And it’s sort of, in a way, kind of carefree.”

Songs like “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?,” “Milk-Shakin’ Mama” (“I found the girl who keeps the ice cream/And now it’s I who scream for her”) and “Hell, I’d Go,” about a man whose fondest wish is to be abducted by aliens, displayed his dry and often absurd wit, as did his gently self-mocking stage presence. But he had his serious side, too: “I Scare Myself,” a longtime staple of his repertoire, was a brooding, hypnotic minor-key ballad about being afraid to love.

Hicks’ records never sold in the millions, but at the height of his popularity in the early 1970s, he and his band appeared on network television and headlined at Carnegie Hall, and he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Fellow musicians were among his biggest fans: Guest artists on “Beatin’ the Heat” (2000), the first Hot Licks album after a long hiatus, included Bette Midler, Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, while Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett joined him in the studio four years later for “Selected Shorts.”

Daniel Ivan Hicks was born on Dec. 9, 1941, in Little Rock, Ark., the son of Ivan Hicks, a career military man, and the former Evelyn Kehl. His family moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., near San Francisco, when he was a child.

He took up drums in sixth grade and guitar as a teenager. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in broadcasting, he performed in local folk clubs while also playing drums with dance bands.

From 1965 to 1968, Hicks was the drummer and occasional vocalist with the Charlatans, widely regarded as the first San Francisco psychedelic band, although he himself remembered it as less a band than “just kind of some loose guys.” While still with the Charlatans, he formed the first version of the Hot Licks.

The group’s 1969 album, “Original Recordings,” sold poorly, but three subsequent albums for the independent Blue Thumb label established it as a successful touring act.

Hicks nonetheless disbanded the group in 1973, at the height of its popularity. “It was getting old,” he explained in 1997. “We became less compatible as friends. I was pretty disillusioned, had some money, and didn’t want to do it anymore.”

His career stalled after that, but he returned in the 1980s with a new group, the Acoustic Warriors, which duplicated the Hot Licks instrumentation without the female singers. In the late 1990s, he added two singers and brought back the Hot Licks name.

The band, with frequent changes in personnel, toured regularly and continued to perform occasionally in recent years when Hicks’ health allowed, most recently in December in Napa, Calif.

In addition to his wife, Hicks is survived by a stepdaughter, Sara Wasserman.

“I will always be humble to my dying day,” Hicks, tongue in cheek as usual, said when interviewed in 2013 by Roberta Donnay of the Hot Licks. “On my dying day I will explain to the world how lucky they have been to be alive the same time as me.”

Willie Nelson and his fans

February 9th, 2016


Thanks, Phil Weisman, for this great photo.

The Cactus Blossoms talk about writing songs and Willie Nelson

February 9th, 2016


by: Emily Maxwell

Minnesotan sibling duo The Cactus Blossoms, one of the most promising up-and-coming classic country acts around, adorn their songs with warm two-part harmonies and unmistakeable elements of bluegrass. We chat with brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum about Willie Nelson, working crowds and the best jukebox standards.

How long have you been writing songs?

Jack: I’ve been writing songs for eight years or so. Cage, you’ve been writing songs for a few years, right?

Cage: I’ve written a couple songs over a few years. A song a year or so.

How old were you guys when you started playing together?

Jack: I guess we started playing out together a few years ago. I was about 24 and Cage was 29.

Page: It was about six years ago that we started. It was our first band where we were leading together, singing and playing guitar. I had played drums in some local bands in Minneapolis, and Jack had been writing songs on his own.

What’s your typical songwriting process now?

Jack: Well, I guess it’s changing. I’m kinda waiting to find out what the next change is gonna be like. It’s mostly just an idea that kinda knocks around my head and eventually comes out as a whole song. It’s a pretty simple process for me. There’s a little editing at the end and then it’s done. I don’t have a huge, drawn out creative process for it. I heard Willie Nelson talking about it and he was right on. He said it was like hearing your neighbor’s music through the wall. You hear something that catches your ear, but you don’t get the whole thing, and it takes a while before you finally do and it all pops off.

Do you usually start with music or lyrics first?

Jack: Sometimes it’s just a funny line, some irony or play on words that unfolds into a whole song.

Page: Yeah, there was one song I wrote on this album that I had a melody in my head for for almost two years. I just had the chorus “powder blue” – those were the only words I had – knocking around in my mind for a while until I could finally finish it.

Who are your favorite songwriters?

Jack: I’m a big fan of Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson. Those are people I feel have had a direct impact on me. The Beatles were so good. They were amazing songwriters.

What’s a song someone else wrote that you wish you had written?

Page: “You Really Got A Hold On Me”. I heard it when I was young and I think it just stuck in my head. It’s just so simple and so good. The words perfectly fit the melody.

Jack: I probably would have written “Crazy” by Willie Nelson. On multiple levels, it’s the top jukebox song of the century.

Read article here.

Willie Nelson, “Someone To Watch Over Me” from new album, “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Geshwin’

February 9th, 2016

Enjoy this beautiful recording from Willie Nelson’s soon-to-be-released album: “Summertime: Willie Nelson sings Gershwin”.


“Summertime:  Willie Nelson sings Gershwin”, featuring Willie Nelson singing the classics written by the Gershwin Brothers, will be on record shelves on February 26, 2016.

Track List

1. “But Not for Me” by Willie Nelson
2. “Somebody Loves Me” by Willie Nelson
3. “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Willie Nelson
4. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Willie Nelson feat. Cyndi Lauper
5. “It Ain’t Necessarily So” by Willie Nelson
6. “I Got Rhythm” by Willie Nelson
7. “Love is Here to Stay” by Willie Nelson
8. “They All Laughed” by Willie Nelson
9. “Embraceable You” by Willie Nelson feat. Sheryl Crow
10. “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” by Willie Nelson
11. “Summertime” by Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson and his fans in Biloxi

February 9th, 2016


Thanks so much to Andy Bush for sharing photos from the Biloxi, Mississippi shows this week.


“Got my first bandana in over 40 shows.”



February 8th, 2016


Carlos Santana, “Willie Nelson’s also a pretty mean guitar player”

February 8th, 2016

“Willie Nelson’s impact on American music is indelible. He stands at the crossroads of all the sounds and colors of this country. What he reflects is true soul and sincerity. He’s also a pretty mean guitar player.”

— Carlos Santana

Paula Nelson and Willie Nelson, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

February 8th, 2016

Willie Nelson & Family and Old Crow Medicine Show to Headline Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival in Evans, GA (May 27, 28)

February 8th, 2016


Willie Nelson And Family, Old Crow Medicine Show
When: Friday, May 27 & Saturday, May 28 – Memorial Day Weekend
Where: Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd. – Evans, GA

Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival is excited to announce the full lineup of artists that will play at the 7th Annual Event during Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28 at Evans Towne Center Park. The 2016 lineup includes:  Willie Nelson And Family – Old Crow Medicine Show – Steep Canyon Rangers Blitzen Trapper – Mountain Faith – Sarah Jaroz – Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Susto – Ben Miller
Have Gun Will Travel – Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree – Little Roy & Lizzie Show – Great Peacock – Josh Roberts & The Hinges – Motel Radio – Packway Handle Band – Laney Jones & The Spirits BooHoo Ramblers – Georgia-Lina Boys – The Mason Jars – Muddy Johnson – Delta Cane

Once again, the Grammy Award winning group, Old Crow Medicine Show will be bringing their magic back to the Banjo-B-Que. The band was on the very first Banjo-B-Que lineup back in 2010 and this will be their 4th time as a headliner. We are also very excited to have Willie Nelson And Family for the first time at Banjo-B-Que.

The festival this year will bring several new bands to this area and will up the total band count to 22 for 2016! In addition to the many great artists you can see on stage, we are proud to once again feature a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned barbecue competition. Professional barbecue cookers from across the country will compete for $40,000 in prize money. We will also host a large variety of craft beer for our adult patrons. There will be plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy including a petting zoo, pig races, face painting and much more!

Weekend passes will go on sale Monday, February 8 at banjobque.com. Weekend passes are available for $60. Kids 12 and under are free with a ticketed adult. VIP Weekend Festival passes are available for $325. VIP includes barbecue, beer, preferential viewing and bathrooms. Please visit the website for other available ticket outlets. Daily passes will be available at a later date and any remaining tickets will be sold at the gate.

Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival came to life in 2010 to honor Joe Pond, who gave so much to his community. Feel-good music,
southern barbecue & most of all a family atmosphere were a few of the things Joe Pond enjoyed and loved sharing with his family. All
proceeds benefit the Joseph R. Pond Memorial Foundation. In 2015, the foundation donated $46,000 to local charities in the CSRA.
Join us Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 & 28 at Evans Towne Center Park in Evans, GA for the 7th Annual Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que &
Music Festival! We’ll have some of the best roots, rock and bluegrass music you can find, finger-lickin’ good barbecue, a large selection
of craft beer, a petting zoo, pig races, and so much more.

February 7th, 2016