Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion (March 14, 2019)

January 22nd, 2019



Beginning as an exclusive event hosted on Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas ranch, “Luck Reunion” is a movement dedicated to cultivating and spreading the culture of Luck, Texas and the evolution of our American roots. Our goal is to attract and celebrate musicians, artisans, and chefs, who like the outlaws and outliers before them, follow their dreams without compromise.

By collaborating with a group of creators who share our vision, we aim to celebrate the legacies still among us, while lifting up the new crop of individuals who share a respect for those who blazed the trails before them. We are on a mission to cultivate the new while showing honor to influence.

Join us in preserving the legacy of Luck, Texas.


We heard you. We know that getting tickets to Luck Reunion can be frustrating. In 2018 we went back to the fans to get your thoughts on fine-tuned ticketing. Thanks to your valuable feedback, we are pleased to introduce the LUCKY DRAW, your opportunity to purchase tickets without racing the clock or cursing your Internet connection. Beginning in JANUARY 2019, we will present FOUR TICKET DRAWINGS leading up to Luck Reunion on March 14. We are giving everyone an equal shot to get lucky. Here’s how it works:

You can ENTER the Lucky Draw beginning one week from each on-sale date.These dates will be announced via Luck Reunion social media platforms and e-mail list.

Once you’ve entered a Lucky Draw, you are eligible for that individual round. Each Lucky Draw is INDEPENDENT from the last, so make sure you enter each time. *Please note entries will be processed at random.

Those who are selected will receive an e-mail with a purchase code for up to two (2) tickets. Your purchase code is only valid for 72 hours. If you do not use your personal code, your tickets will be re-entered into the Lucky Draw and offered to the next eligible entrant.

If you haven’t received an e-mail within 72 hours of the Lucky Draw date, you’re out of Luck this time. You can always double check your status on our ticket lookup page.

January 22nd, 2019

Thanks, Phil Weisman, for another great Willie Nelson and his fans photo.

Another Willie Nelson fan, Drew Holcomb

January 22nd, 2019

by:  Drew Holcomb

Every artist has heroes. Heroes who made the art they loved as a younger person that inspired them to make their own art. For me as a young songwriter, the list was pretty long: Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Patty Griffin, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, and many others. By the time I got around to having my own fans, a lot of my idols had passed away. A few years ago, my manager and booking agent had me make a dream list of artists I would love to open for. On the top of my list was Willie Nelson.

In November of 2017, that dream came true. Almost every singer and songwriter alive today would put Willie Nelson on their Mount Rushmore of living legends. I have been a huge fan of Willie’s since I was in college. I love his jazz singing, his inimitable songwriting, the loyalty of his band and family, his deep love of his home state of Texas, and the way he never stops touring. My wife Ellie and I saw him for the first time at Farm Aid in 2005, then again with BB King down on the Gulf Coast, and every time if feels like a family reunion. With his sister on keys for nearly half a century, and mostly the same band members since he was a kid, it really is “making music with my friends” for Willie Nelson.

So, when I got the call that Willie had invited us to do a 10 day tour with him, I was speechless. Not only did we get to tour with him, we decided to take the whole family. The first show was at the historic and infamous honky tonk Billy Bob’s, in Fort Worth. Then we made a big circle through Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and back to Texas. We played honky tonks, regional small town theatres, casinos, and and an arena in Houston, a little taste of everything. No matter the room, everyone adores Willie Nelson. They sing along to his songbook of American classics, and even at 84 he was still able to stand on his feet the whole time and give the audience a glimpse of his legend.

Since he’s in his mid-80s, we were told by his band and crew that getting to spend time with him would probably be short and sweet, but they would do their best to make it happen. About halfway through the tour, they told me he wanted me to come up and sing with him that night. I got to sing onstage with him three of the next five nights of the tour, singing harmonies to “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and “I Saw The Light.” It was a thrill.

My final memory from the tour was after our last show with him. We decided to let our 5 year old daughter, Emmylou, stay up late and watch Willie’s entire set sidestage. After watching me sing with him for the last time, the band was still playing and Willie was shaking hands and signing posters and bandanas at the front of the stage. My wife Ellie was holding Emmylou, and as Willie walked offstage, he stopped, gave Emmylou a kiss on the cheek and says, “Goodnight princess.” Of course, she might not remember this when she is older but it is a moment we will remind her about for the rest of our lives.

Being on the road with Willie left a big impression on me in a lot of ways. The loyalty of his crew and band made me want to be a better bandleader, and hopefully be the kind of person who deserves that sort of loyalty in our band. I dug deeper and deeper into his vast catalog and even found a heart-wrenching cover of The Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection” that I play to help our newborn son Rivers go to sleep at night. The older two kids have become accustomed to our vagabond troubadour lifestyle and “On the Road Again” is an anthem of sorts in our home and in our cars. So, in honor of those magical 10 days spent on the road with the living legend, and in honor of our kids, who have been strapped on to the backs of our dreams, we recorded our own version of “On the Road Again.” Nothing will ever have the magic of the original, but it feels good to give it our own spin. We hope you enjoy it.

Willie Nelson sings with Ronnie Milsap on “Ronnie Milsap: The Duets” album

January 22nd, 2019


NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Country soul icon Ronnie Milsap is a bit of a studio geek, and he thinks a lot about music technology and recording equipment. So it makes sense that he spent a long time getting 13 other singers and bands into the studio to record duets with him for a new album, “Ronnie Milsap: The Duets,” to be released Friday, just two days after his 76th birthday.

“I am a lot into the technical side of it,” he said during a recent interview at his home in Nashville. “I believe in certain types of microphones. I believe in certain pre-amplifiers.”

He says it took him a few years to finish the album because of scheduling, but he’s amassed an impressive list of partners, from Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Kacey Musgraves and many more.

“The whole trick was trying to find a time that Luke Bryan could come in or George Strait could come in,” Milsap said.

Born in North Carolina, Milsap was a wunderkind at musical instrumentation, learning gospel, country and pop music from radio and classical techniques from the State School for the Blind in Raleigh.

Early on in his career, he played piano on Elvis Presley records such as “Kentucky Rain,” in which the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll implored him for “more thunder on the piano, Milsap!”

After moving to Nashville, he bought a Music Row studio from Roy Orbison, renovating it and turning it into a hit factory, starting with his 1979 hit “Nobody Likes Sad Songs” through his major hits like “Stranger in My House.” He had the recording console equipped with a Braille label and kept it until 1995.

The studio known as Ronnie’s Place is still in use today by record label Black River Entertainment and that was where Milsap returned to record the new album. The six-time Grammy winner said he tried as much as possible to be in the studio with his duet partners when they were recording, rather than recording at separate times.

Full track listing:

1. “Southern Boys and Detroit Wheels” feat. Billy Gibbons
2. “Stranger in My House” feat. Luke Bryan
3. “Smoky Mountain Rain” feat. Dolly Parton
4. “Prisoner of the Highway” feat. Jason Aldean
5. “A Woman’s Love” feat. Willie Nelson
6. “Happy Happy Birthday” feat. Lucy Angel
7. “No Getting Over Me” feat. Kacey Musgraves
8. “Lost in the Fifties” feat. Little Big Town
9. “Houston Solution” feat. George Strait
10. “What a Woman Can Mean to a Man” feat. Jessie Key
11. “Misery Loves Company” feat. Leon Russell
12. “You’re Nobody” feat. Steven Curtis Chapman
13. “Shaky Ground” feat. Montgomery Gentry

January 22nd, 2019

How the government shut down hurts farmers #FarmAid

January 22nd, 2019


2019 looks like another busy year for our farmer hotline. We’ve already received more than double our typical number of calls. Nearly every call is from a farmer hurt by the government shutdown. It’s not lost on us that the agency established to be there for farmers when traditional banks won’t help, is now powerless to show their utility.

It’s a common misconception that farms are most active in spring, summer, and fall. The truth is that winter is equally–if not more–important, because winter is when farmers sell their crops, pay their bills, acquire the next year’s operating loans, and prepare for the upcoming season. Winter is not time off for farmers; winter is business time. For the USDA to be shut down during this critical time is incredibly stressful for the farmers we hear from every day.


Lukas Nelson andd Micah Nelson, “I Thought About You Lord” and medley (1/12/2019)

January 21st, 2019

Happy Birthday, Susie Nelson

January 20th, 2019

Best wishes to Susie Nelson for a great birthday.

Heartworn Memories” by Susie Nelson


Heartworn Memories
A daughter’s personal biography of Willie Nelson
by Susie Nelson

“I wouldn’t want anything to change his loyalty. He has an enormous capacity for being loyal and, as a consequence, people are loyal to him. Paul English stuck with Dad through the lean years, selling his rental property and going without pay in order to help Dad follow his dream. His loyalty and consideration for other extends to everyone around him.

He is almost apologetic whenever he asks anyone to do something for him. ‘It’s almost like he works for you,’ his pilot once told me. He’s still the same appreciative boy from Abbott who used to ask for a ride to the baseball game in West.

In a way, Dad has never left Abbott, never forgotten where he came from. He still drops in on his boyhood friends from Abbott, and he still remembera and keeps in touch with all of the folks who helped him on his way up.

Of course he has never lost his touch with the fans. He will sign autographs as long as there is anybody asking for one. He has said over and over again that he can’t understand performers who think they are bigger than their fans, who won’t sign autographs, who cut the shows short or don’t even show up. ‘I always figure that if my audience shows up, I ought to show up too,’ he says.

The size of the audience doesn’t make any difference. He’ll put on the same show for one person crowded around the bandstand as he will for 70,000 screaming fans.

Dad is an extraordinarily popular figure, a hero and an idol to millions around the world. Very few people in history have the kind of following that Dad has. For some people, going to one of Dad’s concert is like a religious experience.

I think the source of his great and enduring appeal is the fact that he truly believes that in the grand design of the universe, he is no more important, no more unique, no better than any other individual human being on the planet. He communicates a true belief in equality, in tolerance, that we are all in this together. That’s what his music is all about. And that sums Dad up about as well as any I’ve heard.

Paul English tells a story that sums Dad up about as well as any I’ve heard.

After a concert, a woman came up to Dad, ‘I met you in San Antonio five years ago,’ she told him, ‘but I don’t suppose you remember me.’

‘No, I’m sorry, but I don’t,’ he answered, ‘but I sure appreciate you remember me.’

That’s my dad. And I love him.”

– Susie Nelson

Willie Nelson Celebrated By George Strait, Margo Price & More at ‘Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw’

January 20th, 2019

Photo:  Al Wagner

by:  Isaak weeks

Willie Nelson and George Strait perform at Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 12, 2018 in Nashville, Tenn.
Given the universal appeal and introspective catharsis that marks the best of Willie Nelson’s work, the sheer range of talent who took the stage to celebrate the life and career of Nelson at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw should have come as no surprise.

As the dozens of guest performers — from old friends like Kris Kristofferson and Emmylou Harris, to fresher upstarts like the Avett Brothers and Margo Price — came together at the end of the roughly four-hour commemoration to follow Nelson in a closing medley of “On the Road Again” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” it became even more apparent just how ubiquitous the outlaw legend’s hits have become over the last 50 years.Aid

“I think everybody in America grew up with Willie Nelson to some degree,” the Hawaii-born Jack Johnson told Billboard on the red carpet before the event, where he was on hand to perform his song “Willie Got Me Stoned.”

“He was on my radar as a kid just from my parents playing his records around the house, but shortly after I started putting out albums in 2001, I had a chance to jam with Willie at his house one island over from me. Willie is empathetic to the mixture of cultures that come together to create music in Hawaii, and I think that respect to a melting pot of influences has been felt throughout his career.”

The following five performances were highlights of a night that was recorded and is slated to be aired as a major broadcast special on A&E Network in 2019.

A pair of Margo Price duets

A nominee for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammy Awards, the current Queen of Americana took the lead mic on a rendition of the 1978 hit “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” alongside Outlaw legend Bobby Bare. It proved to be merely a warmup to a barn-burner of a moment when Bare exited and Steve Earle appeared to join her for a rousing recreation of the Phases and Stages era “Sister’s Coming Home.”

Lukas and Micah Nelson’s trilogy

While Lukas is arguably better known around Nashville, thanks to his appearances at various local events in the wake of the release of the 2017 album Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and his work on A Star Is Born, Micah stunned those unfamiliar with his vocal talents in the future-folk project Particle Kid by embracing the classical and Spanish influences found within the gospel-tinged “I Thought About You, Lord.” He then accompanied his brother on a pair of their father’s standards that span across his career, as Lukas’ talent shined through “Time of the Preacher” (from Willie’s 1975 commercial breakthrough Red Headed Stranger) and “The Songwriters,” a cut from Willie’s 2014 album Band of Brothers.

Alison Krauss stuns

Having previously recorded a cover of Nelson’s 1981 hit “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” for an extended edition of her 2017 release Windy City, Krauss’ vocals filled every corner of the arena, as the audience put away cell phones and stopped speaking in mid-conversation to appreciate a master at work. To quote Vince Gill, who walked onstage to perform “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” as Krauss exited: “Damn, damn, damn!”

Willie Nelson performs in concert during the Luck Reunion at Luck, Texas on March 16, 2017 in Spicewood, Texas. 

When the bearded Johnson took the stage, several people in the crowd excitedly mistook the singer for Chris Stapleton, who had opened the show earlier with a rousing rendition of “Whiskey River.” The difference between Stapleton’s performance — which was a crowd pleaser, don’t get me wrong — and what the audience witnessed from Johnson’s handling of the oft-covered “Georgia on My Mind” was that the latter resulted in a standing ovation that began a full minute before the final lyrics were bellowed by an artist that deserves much more recognition than he currently has.

George Strait finally sings one with Willie

It’s remarkable to realize that, before last night’s performance, George Strait and Nelson had never performed together. The two reigned as key talents in country music in the ’80s, and Willie has made a career out of performing duets with fellow legends on multiple projects. It made sense, then, that the first time they would share a stage Strait would mark the occasion by debuting a new song seemingly titled “I Ain’t Never Got to Sing One With Willie.” The tune, making light of the two entering their twilight years as performers, had the two arguing over whether this occasion finally made Strait’s career or ruined it.

Willie Nelson talks country music with Al Roker

January 19th, 2019

Willie Nelson on Austin City Limits (airs Saturday January 26th)

January 17th, 2019

Photo:  Scott Newton


See more photos at the ACL Website.

Relish an hour with American music legend Willie Nelson. The Texan superstar performs a set of hits and songs from his latest album My Way.

Photos: Scott Newton.



Whiskey River
Still is Still Moving
Good Hearted Woman
Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away
Fly Me to the Moon
Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die
Georgia (On My Mind)
Georgia on a Fast Train
Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
On the Road Again
You Were Always on My Mind
Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I’ll Fly Away


Willie Nelson & The Family Band
Willie Nelson – lead vocal, lead guitar
Bobbie Nelson – piano
Paul English – drums, percussion
Mickey Raphael – harmonica
Billy English – drums, percussion
Kevin Smith – upright bass, electric bass

One with Willie

January 13th, 2019

Terry Mahlum —

Willie and George have never performed together on stage, last night was the first time at Willie’s tribute

Lukas Nelson: “Every single person that came are the loves of my life, for the love they showed my father”

January 13th, 2019

Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw concert (January 12, 2019) (Nashville, Tennessee)

January 13th, 2019

Everybody loves Willie Nelson.

We realize that’s an obvious statement — but it was made even more obvious Saturday night at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, during the all-star tribute concert “Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw.”

More than 2 dozen acts — almost uniformly huge names in country, rock and Americana — shared the stage to play their favorite songs by Nelson, and several of them got to do so with the man himself.

It’s no small feat to stand out among a crowd that includes Chris Stapleton, Alison Krauss, George Strait, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, John Mellencamp, Lee Ann Womack, Eric Church, Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson — man, it’s hard to know where to stop — and others.

But throughout the night, there were performances that were more than just a really good cover. They were moments that truly did justice to an iconic “outlaw.” Spoiler alert: a bunch of the best moments came from Nelson himself.

Derek Trucks and Willie Nelson perform during the Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com)

The mood was electric from the moment the stage lights turned on, revealing Stapleton at center stage. His soulful take on Nelson’s 1978 hit was a prime showcase for his voice, of course, but the rollicking tune also flexed the muscles of a stacked house band, with Jamey Johnson, Don Was, Mickey Raphael, Paul Franklin and Amanda Shires among their ranks.

She also provided fiery backup for Steve Earle, but Price’s finest moment came when she took on Willie and Waylon’s classic cover, giving it an inspired spin as a “Mamma” herself. Bonus points for bringing Country Music Hall of Famer Bare along to belt out the chorus.

Lukas and Micah Nelson: “Time of the Preacher”

Nelson’s two youngest children have followed their dad into the music business, but unsurprisingly, they don’t make a habit of performing his songs on stage. That made their medley at Saturday’s show a rare, touching treat, and their lineage couldn’t have been clearer when they harmonized on “Time of the Preacher” from the classic “Red Headed Stranger” album.

Jason Isbell: “Milk Cow Blues”

“Willie Nelson loves the blues,” the Americana giant told the crowd. “And I love Willie Nelson.”

Stands to reason, then, that Isbell loves the blues. He made that clear in the ensuing five minutes, presiding over the tune in that same cool, meter-breaking way Willie has, whether he’s singing the blues or a ballad. He also got to whip out the kind of classic blues solo you don’t tend to hear at his own shows, along with turns from pedal steel master Paul Franklin and 400 Unit bandmate Amanda Shires.

Lyle Lovett: “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”

The Texas native was truly in his element Saturday night, and was greeted with a standing ovation before strumming and singing his way through Nelson’s 1980 chart-topper.

Alison Krauss: “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”

Saturday’s show was taped for TV, which naturally led to a number of stops and starts, and then in turn led to a lot of loud conversations and trips to the beer stand for fans. But you’d be hard-pressed to find an empty seat when Krauss began her stunning (surprise, surprise) rendition of Nelson’s 1981 chart-topper. The room was brought to a whisper — aside from all the whistles and cheers that greeted bluegrass great’s voice, ringing pristinely across the arena floor.

Jamey Johnson – “Georgia on my Mind”

In terms of artists who’ve truly picked up Nelson’s torch, perhaps no one deserved to be on the bill

more than Jamey Johnson. He paid tribute to his hero with with one of his most famed covers – a Hoagy Carmichael composition that both Nelson and Ray Charles made their own. Johnson’s spin was a worthy, reverent one, too.

Norah Jones and the Little Willies: “Remember Me/ I Gotta Get Drunk”

The acclaimed singer-songwriter (and Nelson collaborator) had apparently been preparing for this gig since 2001, when she first formed the “Little Willies” band in tribute to Nelson. Their two songs were an all-too-brief celebration of the country legend’s jazzy side.

Jack Johnson: “Willie Got Me Stoned And Took All My Money”

Embracing the idea of country music being “three chords and the truth,” Johnson treated the crowd to a goofy three-chord song based on a real experience: the time Nelson invited him to his house to play poker. Just look at the song title, and you’ll know how one that turned out.

Willie Nelson and Dave Matthews: “Crazy”

Two singular croons intertwined on what might be Nelson’s most beloved composition. Matthews seemed a little sheepish about “dressing up” for the show – which in his world, apparently, is wearing a blazer – while Nelson threw his coat on the ground right before they played.

Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris: “Pancho and Lefty”

Right after taking the stage, Harris asked the crowd a rhetorical question: “Are we not all blessed to be living in the time of Willie?”

Her harmony vocal soared during her duet with Nelson – on a Townes Van Zandt tune he recorded with Merle Haggard in 1983.

Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Eric Church: “Me and Bobby McGee”

Only one artist gets to come to a Willie Nelson tribute concert and play their own famous song, and that’s Kris Kristofferson. His performance of his signature tune — with Nelson’s harmonizing — was a celebration of their lifelong friendship, and a genuine thrill for the packed house.

Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Eric Church, “Me and Bobby McGee” (January 12, 2019)

January 13th, 2019