Willie Nelson at ACL Fest

October 22nd, 2016
Willie Nelson plays the Samsung Stage at ACL Fest weekend on Sunday October 9, 2016.  Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Willie Nelson plays the Samsung Stage at ACL Fest weekend on Sunday October 9, 2016.

photo: Dan reaney

Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson, “Just Breathe” (The BackYard, 3/28/2013)

October 22nd, 2016

Micah Nelson responds to Neil Young fan’s concerns about “Neighborhood”

October 22nd, 2016




Thrasher’s Wheat is a great, informative blog for Neil Young fans, with concert and album updates, reviews, analysis, and other Rock & Roll ramblings.  “Separating the wheat from the chaff since 1996.”


Micah Nelson wrote this moving letter in response to a letter written by a Muslim-American fan to express his concerns about the lyrics to Neil Young’s song, “Neighborhood”.    Rabih Hamzeh posted his “Open Letter to Neil Young on the YouTube page comments,

You can read the complete letter on Thrasher’sWheat site here.

Micah Nelson responded and reached out:

Hello Rabih,

As a member of Neil Young’s band (I’m the guy in the video playing guitar on the right) and his close friend I can assure you the sentiment of his song “Terrorist Suicide Hanggliders” is not what you’ve interpreted. The song is calling out the hypocrisy of the prejudice people here in our country, mainly Trump supporters who can’t tell the difference between an innocent Muslim man and a terrorist. The song is a critique of shallow, narrow-minded viewpoints that sadly pervade our culture.

The character in the song is not “Neil”. Neil is playing a character in the song, representing the racism and fear-based thinking that exists in America today. Neil plays other characters in his songs quite often to paint a picture of an opposing viewpoint while remaining detached from the perspective itself. Take a look at the verses of “Rocking in the Free World” for instance:

We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand
We got department stores
and toilet paper
Got styrofoam boxes
for the ozone layer
Got a man of the people,
says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn,
got roads to drive.
Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

Much of that song is satire as well. Neil drives an electric car that he built and is a major advocate for alternative renewable energies and sustainable fuels.

Clearly these lyrics are an ironic statement designed to make people think more critically, or even just to think at all. Take the new verse he added about a year ago:

Got a water cannon for the standing man
Got misinformation from the corporation
In the endless search for a drop of oil
People’s lives get shattered while we suck it from the soil
Gotta show the children
We just don’t care
So we keep on burnin’ it
And put it in the air
Keep on rockin in the free world!

Look especially at the line “Gotta show the children/We just don’t care/So we keep on burnin’ it/And put it in the air”. Obviously Neil cares way more than most people about keeping oil in the ground for the sake of our children and the welfare of the Earth! So you see, it is simply an artistic statement, a powerful tool to present these views in a satirical way and expose them for how horrible they are.

I hope that helps clear things up for you. Neil Young is an artist who has nothing against you or any Muslim people.

Neil is one of the most outspoken people I know against people who hate others for reasons they don’t understand. This song is intended to call bullshit on ignorant people who blindly follow fear-mongering in the established media, but just like most great art, it can be interpreted subjectively. I just want you to know that hating on Muslims is not Neil’s intention — it is in fact the opposite.

Neil loves you and is fighting with you against the contagious disease of hate.

Cheers, ~ Micah



Willie Nelson on Boulder’s eTown Radio Show 2016 and 1996

October 21st, 2016



eTown hits the road to Denver’s Fiddlers Green Amphitheater this week to welcome back legendary outlaw country artist Willie Nelson to eTown’s airwaves. We’ll hear lots of great music from Willie, plus a candid conversation with eTown host Nick Forster direct from Willie’s tour bus. Also with us is up-and-coming country artist and eTown newcomer Kacey Musgraves, who became a household name after landing a slot as a competitor of the hit TV program Nashville Star early on in her career. It’s a one-of-a-kind hour of great music and conversation this week. Be sure to tune in!


Tune-in HERE: http://bit.ly/2eGtzY1

Welome back legendary outlaw country artist Willie Nelson to eTown’s airwaves. We’ll hear lots of great music from Willie, plus a candid conversation with eTown host Nick Forster direct from Willie’s tour bus. Also with us is up-and-coming country artist and eTown newcomer Kacey Musgraves, who became a household name after landing a slot as a competitor of the hit TV program Nashville Star early on in her career. It’s a one-of-a-kind hour of great music and conversation this week. Be sure to tune in!


Since Willie Nelson is gracing the eTown airwaves this week, we felt it appropriate to revisit his 1st visit to eTown from all the way back in 1996 w/Angélique Kidjo!

Stream the show in it’s entirety HERE: http://bit.ly/1TsQtzs

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Willie Nelson’s braids

October 21st, 2016



Happy Shoeshine Friday!

October 21st, 2016

Country Rhythms (September 1981) (UK)

October 20th, 2016

[Thanks so much  to Phil Weisman for gifting me this great magazine from the UK.  The country music magazines always have the best photos.]

Country Rhythms
September 1981

It takes three buses and two trucks to move Willie Nelson and his band and crew around the country for the over 250 performances that Willie gives each year.  But for all it grueling aspects, life on the road never loses that sense of freedom and adventure so important to country musicians like Willie Nelson, who spent much of their early lives yearning to escape from backgrounds of poverty and rural isolation.

These photographs by Michael Abramson, courtesy of Columbia Records, tell the story of Willie’s magic caravan better than worlds could ever do.

Willie Nelson, Connie Nelson and daughters Amy and Paula



As unspoiled by his fantastic success as any one could possibly be, Willie Nelson is always available t his fans after a show.  Although he values his privacy, Willie knows how important it is to maintain personal contact with the people to whom he means so much.


rhythm2_0002 rhythm7

Winners Wear Wrangler

October 20th, 2016



Car owner Richard Childress and his then-driver, Dale Earnhardt, participated in an advertising campaign back promoting Wrangler jeans back in the 1980s that also featured country-music star Willie Nelson.

In the ad, a beaming Nelson, complete with guitar, is flanked on one side by Earnhardt and on the other by Childress underneath the slogan , “Winners wear Wranglers.”

Now, more than 30 years later, Childress can tell why he thinks Nelson was smiling so mightily in the ad.

“I came in from hunting in British Columbia and Dale and I ate at one of those really neat seafood restaurants there,” Childress said Wednesday during a promotional event at Wrangler corporate headquarters. “We got up early the next morning for the photo shoot. Dale and I were sitting there waiting. I was expecting Willie to come out with a cowboy hat and everything.”hat isn’t what happened. And although Childress admitted perhaps he should not have been surprised, what happened next also caught him off-guard.

“He came out with a baseball hat on and wearing a black Member’s Only jacket. That was his disguise back in the day,” Childress said. “So he jumps in the limo and we shake hands. That was the first time I had met him. I’m not sure if it was for Dale.

“But he sat over there and fired up a (marijuana) joint, and started smoking on his joint. He leaned over (as if to offer it to his fellow passengers) and Dale said, ‘No, we’re going to drink some whiskey later.’ But that’s the story behind that photo shoot right there. That’s why he’s smiling.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was just a kid at the time and had no idea any of that was going on.

“Dad had ‘One tough customer’ on the back of the car and they were cross-promoting that with Willie’s tour. So it was a pretty neat deal for me at that age,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I didn’t look at dad as famous or any sort of celebrity. … We were all pretty giddy that Willie Nelson was involved in anything we were doing.”

Apparently, Willie was pretty giddy at the time, too.

Willie Nelson & Family Tour Bus For Sale

October 20th, 2016
  • paulbusy
  • photo:  Nick Simonite

by:  Will Anderson

One of Willie Nelson’s tour buses is back on the market,according to an online ad.


The Craiglist’s post, first noticed by Reddit, says the “Me and Paul” bus, named after Willie Nelson Family Band drummer Paul English, was used to ferry the Red Headed Stranger and his friends around the country for years on tour.

The auction closes Nov. 7. Go to meandpaulbus.com to bid on the vehicle — as of Wednesday afternoon, the top bid was $75,500.


Austinites Taylor Perkins and Michael Tashnick, backed by a group of investors, bought the 1983 Eagle bus in 2014 for $100,000. They had planned to rent it out through their business, Vintage Innovations. But the Craiglists ad indicates the two “have been too busy with work and family and have decided to get the bus on the road again for its next journey.”

Click on the slideshow attached to this story to take a look inside the bus when an Austin Business Journal photographer climbed aboard in 2014.  see more photos here.

The Highwaymen, “Big River”

October 19th, 2016

Willie Nelson & Family – Five Nights in Las Vegas. (Jan 28 – Feb 4)

October 19th, 2016


The Venetian Theatre.
(702) 414-9000
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Tickets can be purchased at any Venetian or Palazzo Box office or by calling 702.414.9000 or 866.641.7469.

by:  Jason Bracelin

Such an extensive catalog of songs demands an extended run of shows to hear them all, and that’s what we’re getting with “Vegas on My Mind,” an exclusive, five-concert engagement from Nelson to take place at The Venetian Theatre from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4.

All the shows will feature a set list and production uniquely designed for Nelson’s Vegas residency.

With 68 studio albums and 27 collaboration records, Nelson will have plenty of material to choose from.

He’s put out 10 records in the past five years alone.

Tickets for Willie Nelson’s “Vegas on My Mind” go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

October 19th, 2016

Willie Nelson Fans at Farm Aid 2016

October 19th, 2016

What can we say? We ?? Willie fans! @willienelsonofficial #williewednesday #FarmAid2016 Photo credit: @due_south_media

Willie Nelson at the Armadillo World Headquarters

October 19th, 2016

Thanks to www.budrock.com for sharing his great collection of Willie Nelson posters, pics, pictures, and more.

Top five favorites at Austin City Limits Festival (Willie Nelson #1)

October 19th, 2016


photo:  Cambria Harkey

by: Nathan McVay

As Austin returns back to normal following the 15th annual Austin City Limits Festival, we reflect on our favourite performances of the second weekend of the event. The two-weekender festival continues to stand out as one of the best in the world (read our official recap) and while there were many highlights, here are our top five.

#1 Willie Nelson

I am just as surprised as anyone that this was my favorite set of the festival. Country and bluegrass is not necessarily my bag of music. I haven’t spent nearly enough nights at Saloons and country western bars to be able to say that I am a fan of Willie Nelson music but there was something truly special about Willie’s show Sunday evening.

Willie is perhaps Austin’s favorite son and there isn’t a better representative of this town and everything it stands for than Willie Nelson. So the fact he was slated to play the festival’s biggest stage was hugely appropriate and something many people anticipated all weekend. Before the show the festival ran a video package of several of the bands playing the festival thanking Willie for everything he has done. This automatically gave you an idea of the scope of the significance of this show.

At 83 years old, it is an incredible feat that Willie can play one song live, let alone an entire one hour set. But there WIllie was, standing front and center as the only guitarist and strumming and singing like it was back in the 1950s. He hit on so many of his hits like “On The Road Again”, and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, and other covers and tributes to his fallen friends.

What made this such an amazing show to be at was realizing the moment and observing the crowd around. Just where I was standing there were kids in their teens singing along with men and women in their 60s and 70s. Looking on the side of the stage, you saw the VIPs and other bands of the festival gathered to take a glimpse of a living legend. Matthew McConaughey, along with his family, stood gleaming and taking pictures the entire show. Members of Mumford and Sons stood watching along with many others. This turned out to be just as seminal and important moment for them as it may have been for Willie himself. This was his home. There were his fans that have supported him for so many decades and there he was at 83, bringing so many people together.

As his show closed, he was joined on stage by probably 40 people including friends, bands and crew members. In this moment it was clear this wasn’t just a concert, it was a celebration of his life and everything he has done. It became clear that this may have meant to him as much as it meant to everyone else. As he wrapped his show, Nelson took several moments to look into the crowd and wave and thank the 100,000 plus in attendance.

The sincerity and the many thanks he was throwing out showed that this meant the world to him as well. Will it be his last time he ever plays ACL? Only time will tell. But for everyone in the crowd and on that stage that Sunday afternoon it was a show they will never forget.

Honourable Mentions

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Die Antwoord
Jack Garratt

To see their other top 5 favorites here.