2006 Was a good year to be a Willie Nelson Fan

And here are only a few reasons why…

 

Willie on Tour! 

As usually, Willie Nelson and Family toured extensively in 2006.  Getting to see Willie Nelson and Family live in concert is the best thing about being a fan.  There is nothing like a Willie Nelson concert!. He sings these incredible songs, many of which he’s written himself, and all of them hits.  He is an incredible guitar player, and standing in front of him and watching him play is a blast.  My shows started in January, in Reno, and ended with a magical show at Red Rocks in Colorado in September.

Songbird:

In 2006 Wille released ‘Songbird’, produced by Ryan Adams and backed up by Adams’s band, the Cardinals.   Willie continues to surprise with his fresh collaborations.  Edgey, interesting, with willie’s sweet familiar phrasings surrounded by this electric wall of sound from the Cardinals.

 

Willie’s Fourth of July Picnic:

Willie  hosted another Fourth of July Picnic in 2006, once again at the Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas.  It was a perfect picnic, with Willie, and his family and friends, and a long day filled with great music:  Billy Joe Shaver, Kris Kristofferson,  Ray Price, Johnny Bush, Shooter Jennings, and so many more,.  We had lots of sun, and rain and mud and beer, and it was a great time.  Carl’s Corner, just outside of Fort Worth, hosted pre-picnic warm-up concerts the week before, which culminated with a concert late into the night on July 3, 2006 with Willie, Billy Joe, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and more.  We listened to music, partied with our friends all day, and then Willie came on stage after midnight.  Then in the early morning hours we all drove back to Fort Worth and got in line for the Picnic the next day.

Abbott Church Service:

On July 2, 2006, Willie joined his sister Bobbie, Leon Russell and friends for a service at the Methodist Church in Abbott, Texas.  Willie and Sister Bobbie grew up in Abbott, where they lived with their grandparents, and attended the church as children.  When Willie and Bobbie learned that the church was struggling financially and the building was for sale this year, they purchased the Church.  Willie invited  church members, Abbott residents, family, friends and fans to attend, and it was an amazing day filled with Grace.  The church was full, and they let the rest of us sit outside under tents around picnic tables where we watched and listened to a live feed of the service.  Willie sang gospels, and also sang his ‘What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth’ song.   After the service Willie stayed and talked with neighbors and fans, posed for pictures and signed autographs, then treated us to a delicious organic picnic under the tents. The video of the service is available for sale by the Methodist Church with proceeds going to fund scholarships for local teens. 

Tao of Willie

Willie wrote and published another book this year, and to me it is his greatest.  The book is so personal, and I imagine it must be like sitting with Willie, and listening to his stories about growing up in Texas, being a song writer and singer, touring, raising a family.  His book is inspiring, funny and entertaining.  get to learn more about Willie and his life in this book, interwoven with jokes and pure inspiration.

Songs of Cindy Walker:

Willie recorded songs written by Cindy Walker, a Country Music Hall of Famer, who wrote from the heart; great songs like ‘You Don’t Know Me”; “Bubbles in My Beer”, “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age”, and so many others.   People have raved over this album, CMT gave awarded it’s Best Country Album of 2006″, it’s been nominated for a grammy, and has one other people’s favorites poll.   This is a winning combination;  Willie singing these sweet country songs written by Cindy Walker.  No one can sing the classics like Willie

 

Farm Aid:

What can I say about Farm Aid?  Willie and other board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews hosted another fundraiser for American Farmers in September, this time in New Jersey.  In twenty years of operation, Farm Aid has raised more than $29 million dollars.  Farm Aid is only one of many charitable events Willie supports and lends his name to each year.

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The Complete Atlantic Sessions:  

Willie recorded two albums with Atlantic Records:  Shotgun Willie in 1973, and Phases and Stages, in 1974.  In 2006 Rhino Records released a 3-cd boxed set, which includes these two Atlantic Records albums, along with a cd of a complete show recorded live at Austin’s Texas Opry House, which was never released, because he was changing labels.  Also included are some extensive liner notes and over two dozen outtakes, demos, and alternate versions of songs.   Willie released the concept album ‘Phases and Stages” cd even before everyone went crazy over his concept album “The Red Headed Stranger’, Shotgun Willie is one of his best ever, and the unreleased concert show.  this is a great boxed set.

Willie posed with young outlaws Shelby Lynn and Scooter Jennings on motorcycles, for the November 2006 Vanity Fair magazine.

Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?

Willies supports the troops in many ways, but he has never hidden his opposition to the Iraq war.  He wrote this anti-war song at Christmas 2003, following the US Invasion of Iraq.  His first public performance of the song, as far as I know, was on January 3, 2004, at an Austin fundraiser for Dennis Kucinich, when the progressive Democrat was running for president.  In November 2006, Willie released a digital version of this song, recorded with sons Lukas and Micah, Michael McDonald, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Pat Simmons, Sr, Pat Simmons, Jr., Amy Holland,  Marty Dread, Donnie Smith, and David Choy.  Proceeds were targed for the benefit the National Veterans Foundation. It”s available  for purchase at all digital music stores, as well as at www.nvf.org.

Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?
By Willie Nelson

There’s so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth
We believe everything that they tell us
They’re gonna kill us
So we gotta kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier’s life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
So I guess it’s just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let’s just kill em’ all and let God sort em’ out
Is this what God wants us to do
(Repeat Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
Now you probably won’t hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there’s a time, and if you’re ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
But don’t confuse caring for weakness
You can’t put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free
(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth.

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