Archive for December, 2006

Pretty Good Review: Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams “Songbird”

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Opening for Nelson at New York’s Beacon Theatre in November 2005, Ryan Adams closed with Whiskeytown classic “16 Days”. “I wrote that song under the influence of much whiskey and Willie Nelson,” he told the audience, “so I thought I’d do it for you.”

It was something of a surprising admission. An appearance at Nelson’s 2002 birthday bash notwithstanding, Adams has been much more associated with other outlaws; Gram Parsons, Dylan and Keith Richards in particular. But listen to, say, “Houses On The Hill” or “Oh My Sweet Carolina” and the Nelson influence is palpable.

They may share a knack for controversy (Nelson recently hit the headlines for a Louisiana drugs bust), but what really draws together these two free spirits is a willingness to absorb all manner of musical styles. Following recent excursions into reggae and jazz, Nelson allows Adams free rein on “Songbird”. By drafting in his own backing band The Cardinals – Neal Casal, Jon Graboff, Brad Pemberton and Catherine Popper – the sound is urgent and instinctive. (more…)

How can you sell your signed Willie Nelson guitar on e-bay? I don’t get it

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

There are over 30 guitars, signed by Willie Nelson, being sold on e-bay.   Doesn’t anyone ever keep their guitars, or are there that many out there?  I know Willie signs a lot of guitars for different causes.  Maybe those are the ones being sold.  None of my fan/friends could ever part with that treasure.

Willie Nelson, “Still is Still Movin”, American Masters Production (2002)

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Willie Nelson:  ‘Still is Still Moving”
2002 CINE Golden Eagle Winner

Features Exclusive Footage From Nelson’s 2002 Concert Circuit, Rare Behind-The-Scenes Glimpse Into Life On And Off The Bus, Musical Performances And Interviews With Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Dave Matthews, and Kinky Friedman

Cradling his battered guitar in his arms, Willie Nelson kicks back on the porch of his Luck, Texas home, reminiscing about a song he wrote in Reno at 3 a.m. called “Half a Man.” The song was born when Nelson wanted a cigarette without waking his wife, who was lying across his arm. Such stories – all personal, all Willie – give genuine life to an American road warrior in AMERICAN MASTERS Willie Nelson: Still Is Still Moving, a 90-minute documentary that profiles this iconic musician who has toured almost non-stop for 40 years, logging millions of miles and thousands of nights. By Nelson’s own estimate, he’s written more than 2,000 songs and released more than 250 albums.

The musician’s craft and the outlaw’s life are explored from all angles in AMERICAN MASTERS Willie Nelson: Still Is Still Moving, which will be re-broadcast Wednesday, August 9 at 9 p.m. (E.T.) on PBS (check local listings). The film is part of the 20th anniversary celebration of AMERICAN MASTERS.

The documentary includes concert footage in cities stretching from one side of the country to the other, including New York, Austin, San Francisco, Atlanta, Portland, and Tampa. Throughout filming, Nelson gave Academy Award-nominated producer/director Steven Cantor exclusive access, allowing him and his crew to travel on the bus as he criss-crossed America during his latest concert circuit.

“The opportunity to travel the country with Willie Nelson and his band was unique and life-changing,” says Cantor. “To watch him light up that stage night after night, to witness first-hand the electric connection he has with all of his fans, and then to gain intimate knowledge of his thought process and hobbies and struggles and concerns – the whole experience was just incredible. He is his music.”

Executive producer Susan Lacy says, “Such unparalleled access makes the audience feel as if they are on the road with Willie Nelson. Whether he’s on stage, at home or kicking through a board in a tae kwon do class, Willie Nelson comes across as a true original.”

Nelson’s reputation is part myth and part legend – the cowboy, the renegade and the outlaw – and AMERICAN MASTERS provides the first bare-all look at this quintessential American folk hero. Nelson is captured in verité through concert footage, conversation and casual eavesdropping as well as in interviews with family, friends, band members, roadies, fans, and other musicians and performers. “Willie is like no other person you ever met,” says singer and long-time friend Waylon Jennings, who died during the course of making the film. “If there ever was a gypsy, that’s what he is.”

Throughout the film, a legion of loyal fans – young, old, yuppie, and country – declare their devotion to the Willie Nelson experience. Says singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett: “He makes everybody feel welcome, everybody feel at home and he makes every single person in the audience feel as though he’s singing to them.”

The film is laced with the stuff of life: Nelson writing music, hitting a punching bag, riding a horse, striking a golf ball, and even playing chess with Ray Charles, who says: “What I like about Willie is he has this unique sound. Nobody sounds like him and this is what really makes any artist outstanding, when they have their own identity. They can sing one note and you know who it is. Well, Willie’s like that.”

Many of Nelson’s best-known songs act as bridges between scenes of the performer at home, on the bus, on stage, and hanging out with star-struck fellow musicians like Dave Matthews, who says: “I always get amazed by the songs that I keep discovering that you’ve written.” But Matthews also gets Nelson to admit that “Crazy” originated from an old Floyd Tillman song that starts out “Baby.”

Of classics he didn’t write that have become so associated with him, Nelson says: “You always know in the back of your mind that when you record something, if it turns out that it does pretty good, you may have to sing it every night. ‘Georgia,’ ‘Always on My Mind,’ ‘Blue Skies,’ and ‘Stardust’ are just great songs that I never get tired of singing.”

Bass player Bee Spears recalls Nelson writing “Bloody Mary Morning” on the back of a plane ticket on his way to Houston. “That’s the way he writes a lot of his stuff,” says Spears, who has been in the band since 1968. “He writes it right now, on whatever he’s got to write it on.” (more…)

Willie Nelson, Austin Chronicle

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

The Willie Nelson Doll On The Road Again, in Luckenbach, Texas, with Two German Bikers

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006


Willie did three consecutive shows at the Backyard in Austin in 2004.  Seats are reserved at the Backyard, so we didn’t have to get in line early, and could just hang out and explore Austin during the day.  We had so much fun.  The last day, we made a day trip to Luckenbach, and these two bikers from Germany, (who spoke no English, as far as I could tell), kindly agreed to pose with our Willie dolls.

Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams at the Beacon Theater, New York City (11/18/2005)

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Okay, here’s another concert I wish I’d attended.  Willie and Ryan, too cute together, aren’t they?  They have a similar look to them, I think.  They both look very kind.  They have done a few things together; concerts, the GAP television ad, and Ryan produced “Songbird”.  I want more!

New York City Goes Crazy For Willie Nelson
by Craig Shelburne, for

NEW YORK — Everything started off smoothly at Willie Nelson’s Wednesday night (Nov. 16) concert at the beautiful Beacon Theater in New York City. When he walked on stage at a quarter past 9, you could see the silhouette of a father in the audience holding his child in the air, and then look down and notice the grizzled hippies in the seat in front of you lighting up a doobie. If anything can unite a diverse city like New York, from teenagers to grandparents, it’s Willie and his guitar.From the instant that the gigantic Texas state flag unfurled behind him — and that’s pretty much the extent of his production value — the red-headed stranger seemed more like a much-loved friend to the eclectic crowd.

He kicked things off with “Whiskey River” (of course), and then followed with “Still Is Still Moving to Me.” On the third song, when he sang the lyric, “Whiskey for my men,” the crowd enthusiastically shouted back, “Beer for my horses!” Who says there are no country fans in Manhattan?   Nelson then transitioned into the earliest days of his career, crooning “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy” and “Night Life.” For whatever reason, a fight had broken out on the left side of the theater, with security guards scrambling and ticket holders stretching their necks, but I couldn’t see what had happened. Beaming with that famous grin onstage, Nelson didn’t seem to notice, and if he did, he might have just chalked it up to the power of honky-tonk music, no matter how gorgeous the venue. (more…)

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Asleep at the Wheel, “Last of the Breed” Tour

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006


3/9/2007      Tims Toyota Center, Prescott Valley, AZ
3/10/2007     Aladdin Theater, Las Vegas, NV
3/11/2007     Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho, NM
3/12/2007     Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, CO
3/13/2007     World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO
3/15/2007     Mabee Center, Tulsa, OK
3/16/2007     The Backyard, Austin, TX
3/17/2007     The Backyard, Austin, TX
3/19/2007     The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN
3/21/2007     Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
3/22/2007     Radio City Music Hall, NYC, NY
3/25/2007     Rosemont Theater, Rosemont, IL (Chicago)

Willie Nelson, “I Never Cared For You”, “Nightlife”

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Andrew Sullivan posted links to videos of Willie at his site.

Willie Nelson, Lone Star songsmith, performs “I Never Cared For You” on tour in Amsterdam. It’s almost note-for-note the same version he delivers on that terrific CD,  “Teatro”.

The vintage clip of “Night Life” is also worth a look, just to see him looking so scrubbed and tidy and respectable. That was a long, long time ago.

Gerald Ford Dies (7/14/1913 – 12/26/2006)

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006


Born: 14-Jul1913
Birthplace: Omaha, NE

Military service: US Navy (1942-46, Lieutenant Commander)

Gerald Ford was the 38th President of the United States, and America’s only President who was never elected to any office higher than the US Congress.

Ford was born and baptized Leslie King, Jr. His father was a drunk who began beating his mother almost immediately after they were married, and they were quickly divorced. When she later remarried a salesman named Gerald Ford, the future President took his stepfather’s name, and became Gerald Ford, Jr. As a Boy Scout, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was an outstanding football player in high school and at the University of Michigan. He turned down professional offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, and instead took a position as assistant coach of Yale’s football team while attending law school there. He served in the Navy during World War II, where he came closest to death not in battle but when he was nearly swept overboard in a typhoon.

By the late 1940s, Ford was a successful lawyer in Grand Rapids, and in 1949 he was elected to Congress. As a somewhat progressive Republican, he was re-elected 12 times, never getting less than 60% of the vote. He was named to the Warren Commission, where he helped provide a palatable public answer to questions about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After becoming part of the Republican leadership in Congress in the mid-1960s, Ford fought against President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s social welfare legislation and opposed the gradual escalation of American military involvement in Vietnam.

In late 1973, Ford was named to replace scandal-plagued Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. President Richard M. Nixon and other high-ranking officials said publicly that Ford was selected for his reputation of integrity and trustworthiness in Congress, while off-the-record some suggested he was chosen more because his blandness made him acceptable to both left and right. He had been friends with Nixon since the mid-1950s. Ford served as Nixon’s Vice President for just eight months, until the Watergate cover-up led to Nixon’s resignation. Ford was sworn in as President on 9 August 1974. (more…)

Willie Nelson, GAP Billboard Ad

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006


Willie Nelson Performs for the Troops, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas (February 2006)

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006


Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams, GAP 2002 Television Campaign, “For Every Generation”

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

This is a snippet of their television ad together, short and oh so sweet….

Willie Nelson’s 2006 Canadian Tour

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Willie went to Canada in 2006:

April 27, London, ON – Ottawa Civic Center
April 29, West Peterborough, ON – Memorial Centre
May 2, Toronto, ON- Air Canada Centre
May 3, Montreal, QC- Bell Centre
May 5, Fredericton, NB – Aitken Centre
May 6, Moncton, NB – Moncton Coliseum Complex
May 7, Charlottetown, PEI – Civic Centre
May 9, St. John, NB – Harbour Station
May 10, Halifax, NS – Halifax Metro Centre
May 11, Sydney, NS – Centre 200
May 13, Corner Brook, NL – Pepsi Centre Canada
May 14, St. John’s, NL – Mile One Stadium

Kenny Chesney Talks about Working With Willie Nelson

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006 posted this about Kenny producing Willie’s next album:


December 21, 2006 — Kenny Chesney can hardly believe he’s been in the studio co-producing Willie Nelson, and here’s the latest on how it’s going. Kenny says, “The beauty of working with Willie is his voice is so much a part of who we are. There were no boundaries, we could just go in with no rules and make music. I wanted to make a classic Willie record — all as good as he is.”

One of the songs they are working on is a remake of Randy Newman’s haunting “Louisiana (1927).” Kenny notes, “I know a lot of people have recorded this song over the years, but Willie and his heart would convey the essence of ‘Louisiana’ better than anyone could. I felt like Willie’s voice would make people really listen to the message. Given Willie’s history of taking up for the unseen people, this song worked for him on so many levels. The people who hear it will be amazed.”

So far, no release date for Willie’s new CD has been set, but for Kenny, who grew up on Willie’s music, it’s like Christmas has come early.  


More Biodiesel News: Hickman, Kentucky

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Hickman hopes to lure biodiesel plant

HICKMAN, Ky. — Community leaders in Western Kentucky hope to revitalize the town of Hickman, banking on the city’s riverport as a magnet to draw renewable fuel-based businesses to boost an eroding population and tax base.

Leaders have called the area “Energy Island,” playing on Hickman’s strengths as a heavy delta grain producer and shipper via the Mississippi River and Tenn-Ken short line railroad to Dyersburg, Tenn.

Dallas-based Earth Biofuels is looking at the Hickman-Fulton County Riverport for a plant to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel fuel annually sold under singer Willie Nelson’s brand.

Earth Biofuels officials say only that the project is in the feasibility stage.

The company received preliminary approval earlier this month for $1.12 million in state tax incentives for the 50-job, $11.1 million plant. If the plant is built, construction would start in the spring and be finished next fall.