Archive for August, 2007
Country music’s megastar Willie Nelson is beloved by fans for both his unique musical sounds and his action-packed movies, but much of his energy and excitement on stage comes from the magical power of his golden-toned guitar.
So says noted Chicago area psychic Joseph DeLouise who explains Nelson’s guitar is a tremendous reservoir of creativity because of the autographs of all the country music greats who have signed the instrument.
It’s those high energy signatures, as much as Nelson’s innate talent, that give the star much of his magnetism.
This metaphysical instrument, named Trigger, Jr., is an acoustic Martin N-20 Classic made of rosewood, spruce and ebony which retailed for $475 when the performer purchased it back in 1969.
The star remarks that Trigger Jr. wasn’t his first guitar.Â “The Baldwin company gave me a guitar with a pickup on it,” relates Nelson.Â A pickup is a device to electrically amplify the instrument.
“I dropped the Baldwin one day and busted it.Â So I had the Baldwin pickup put in this Martin Classic.Â The tone knocked me out when I first heart it.
“I’ve tried putting other Baldwin pickups in Martins, but I can’t get an equal sound,” he explains.
According to Nelson, Leon Russell told him having somebody sign your guitar was a good insurance policy.
“I had Leon sign it, and as I traveled around, I got everyone else I worked with to autograph it,” the singer smiles.
Nelson says he has so many names on the instrument now he can’t even remember everybody who has signed it.Â The all star crew includes such big guns as Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Rita Coolidge.Â DeLouise explains that the signatures contain the energy of the stars they belong to, and this energy is transmitted to Nelson everytime he picks up his instrument.
“Nelson is a metaphysial genius,” says DeLouise. “By having fellow performers sign the guitar, Nelson taps into their greatness.Â Their talent and their energy becomes part of Nelson’s talent and energy.
DeLousie claims Trigger, Jr., is so powerful that if you placed the guitar in a museum, people walking by it would feel the energy.
“There is no way Willie can have a bad day or perform an off concert when he uses that guitar,” states DeLouise.Â “All he has to do is run his fingers over some of those names.”
According to DeLouise, most successful people use a metaphysical technique similar to this one to help acieve their goals.
It’s the same idea as trying to touch somebody who is famous or wanting a photograph of somebody great.Â By having that part of the person whom you admire in your possession, some of that person’s magic rubs off on you.
xmÂ satellite radio has announced that they will again be offering radio coverage of this year’s Farm Aid, broadcasting from Randall’s Island in New York City.Â Â This isÂ xm’s third year in a row of broadcasting the concert.
xm’s new channel “XMX” (XM2) and deep classic rock channel “Deep Tracks” (XM 40) will be on-site in Randalls Island, NY to broadcast live from Farm Aid 2007 on Sunday, September 9, featuring performances fromÂ Willie Nelson, Â Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews,Â among others.
xmâ€™s live coverage for Farm Aid 2007 kicks off Sunday, September 9 at 4pm ET on XM 2 and XM 40.Â In advance of the live broadcast, beginning Saturday xm will be airing “Farm Aid Radio,” featuring some of the best performances from past Farm Aid concerts along with interview segments and songs by the artists headlining this yearsâ€™ Farm Aid. The broadcast begins Saturday, September 8 at 12 midnight ET on XM 2.
My ears are still feasting off the sounds and my eyes still blinking back those camera flashes dancing like fireflies around the darkened arena when Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Merle Haggard took the stage Saturday night at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.In an era when many artists are so eaten up with their own image they won’t even allow cameras at a concert, it was refreshing to see the old-school country gentlemen who treat fans like family.
Armed with a near country music orchestra (including a four-person string section), Ray Price smoothly shuffled back through hits such as “Crazy Arms,” “Heartaches by the Number” and “City Lights.”
He closed out with “Mansion On the Hill,” paying homage to the late, great Hank Williams, who was his roommate for a year.
After Hag’s 10-piece band The Strangers warmed up the stage with Waylon Jennings’ “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” Merle sauntered on stage with sunglasses and tipped his hat to a crowd of more than 5,000 at the arena that roared to its feet.
If anything, the Hag’s great set of songs such as “Working Man,” “Silver Wings,” “Rambling Fever” and “Okie From Muscogee,” went by too quickly as Willie and Trigger walked on to play guitar to “Okie,” a real nice treatment.
Haggard did stay on as Price came back out for some of the great swing songs that the three worked up for their spring release, “Last of the Breed.”
Haggard, too, stayed a little longer, and played guitar on a number of Nelson’s hits, including “Crazy” and “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
In between his treasure chest of hits, Nelson, too, paid homage to Hank Williams with a medley of “Jambalaya,” “Hey, Good Lookin’ ” and “Move It On Over.”
Those shots of Hank were tossed into a set that included a lot of hand-clapping gospel from the American songbook such as “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” (which in true Willie fashion got nailed down not once, but twice), as well as several new Willie tunes.
I loved the humor-filled blues song, “Superman,” “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore,” and his song, “A Peaceful Solution,” that’s up with the common working man, and down with the war and this so-called government.
Just in case people can’t understand my bumper sticker, “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Willie Nelson,” and to make sure Willie stays ahead of the IRS, I made my political contribution for the year: an over-priced bandana for my birthday, “Willie Nelson for President: 2008.”
Yes, of course, “Paul English for Vice,” pun intended, I’m sure.
Thanks to Tom and Sandra Conway for sending this picture of Willie Doll hanging out in paradise.Â Lucky doll!
I can almost hear him singing, can’t you?Â
Hey, Mr. Tally Man!Â Tally my bananas, daylight come and I wanna go home.Â Day- Oh!
Tom is part of Gypsy Pacific, from Maui, and you can learn more about them, and hear their music at www.myspace.com/gypsypacificÂ Willie shares their admiration of Django Reinhardt, and recorded with them while in Maui.
August 31, 1984
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s Pancho & Lefty LP certified platinum.
- Pancho and Lefty (by Townes van Zandt)
- Itâ€™s My Lazy Day
- My Mary
- Half a Man
- Reasons to Quit
- No Reason to Quit
- Still Water Runs the Deepest
- My Lifeâ€™s Been a Pleaure
- All the Soft Places to Fall
- Opportunity to Cry
by Sherri Hayes
Willie Nelson and Family played what you might call a pre-New Year’s Eve party in Lafayette, Louisiana, on December 30 before going on to Houston to appear with George Jones at the Summit on the 31st.Â After being at his Lafayette concert, several thousand Lousianians were ready to follow Willie to Texas to keep on partying.
Willie and Family appeared at the newly built $60 million Cajundome, which opened in November 1985.Â According to Cajundome box office figures, Willie drew a crowd of over 6,000 fans; but from the noise they made for him, you’d have guessed that 12,000 were there.
Many country entertainers these days come on stage only after a huge build up with lots of fanfare, drums rolling strobe lights flashing and a booming announcer’s voice.Â Willie doesn’t do that.Â Without any introduction whatsoever, he just walks out with his Family and picks up his battered old guitar.Â Willie doesn’t need any fancy introduction.Â His fans are on their feet before he ever hits the first guitar lick.
One of the most unique of Willie’s new recordings is on his “Half Nelson” album, a duet with Hank Williams, Sr. entitled “I Told a Lie to My Heart.”Â The recording was produced by Willie Nelson and Bill Ivey for the Country Music Foundation.
In a December 2, 1985, inerview Willie told Maria Shriver that “to find out that there was a new Hank Williams’ song that no one had heard, that had never been released and that I could possibly sing with him, was quite a thrill.”
Bill Ivey located the recording by Hank Sr. that had been cut as a demo in 1946 or 1947 direct to an acetate disc.Â It had been in a record collection in California for years, undiscovered, a previously unknown Hank Williams song.Â
Bill took Willie Nelson into the past and added Willie’s harmony vocals and lead guitar.Â Ivey explained, “Not like we took Hank and brought him up to the present; but as though we took Willie, put him in a time machine, sent him back to 1946 or 1947, and he was suddenly standing there in a little studio recording that simple demo performance with Hank.”
Linking the past with the present is what this recording is all about — giving life to the past through “I Told a Lie to My Heart.”Â The entire “Half Nelson” album is great, but this one is magnificent.
Among Willie’s other new projects is a partnership with Wrangler jeans.Â Future ads will focus on Willie’s “Wrangler life style.”Â Then there’s the “Red Headed Stranger’ movie that will be in the theaters in a few months.Â And, of course, there was Willie’s 1985 Farm Aid concert which raised approximately $ million.Â When asked if he’d do another, he said that June of ’86 is “way to far in advance for me to think”; but he didn’t rule out the possibility.
With Willie Nelson almost anything is possible.Â Not many other country artists could have attracted 6,000 fans to a concert the night before New Year’s Eve as Willie did.
Demonstrating their admiration for him, many people tossed Willie hats and caps for him to put on as he sang.Â This has been a tradition at Willie’s concerts for years.Â But the Lafayette group got a little rowdy.Â One man threw his sports coat, which hit Willie’s microphone, causing it to sway precariously.Â Another sent a neck tie flying.Â Willie caught it in mid-air and wore it too before throwing it back.Â By the end of the concert Willie had a stack of caps and hats at his feet.
The crowd didn’t neglect the other members of Willie’s Family, which include his sister Bobbie Nelson Fletcher on piano, Jody Payne on guitar, Bee Spears on bass, Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Paul English on drums and percussion and Grady Martin on guitar.Â
Immediately after the show the fans charged up to the stage hoping to get an autograph, a handshake and a chance to get closer to Willie and his Family.Â However, the security was tight, and only a select few got backstage with passes to see Willie.Â Quickly, after some handshakes, hugs, photos and autographs, he made his way out the back door toward the waiting tour buses, one of which is named “Honeysuckle Rose” after his movie.
From Lafayette, they were headed to the Summit for New year’s Eve with Geroge Jones.Â About 5,000 people in the Cajundome wished that they were going to Houston also.
All of Willie’s shows are consistently wll planned, organized, engineered and staged.Â For this, much credit must go to the technical crew.Â I made apoint of watching the men who worked the lights and sound, and I was amazed at their skill.Â They made everything about the concert flow with such ease.
Willie’s long time stage manager, Poodie Locke, is not only a technical genius, but also a fine fellow who wasn’t too busy to stop and chat with us for a minute.Â People such as Poodie who work with Willie clearly demonstrate the aspect of “Family” that shows so strongly in his stage performances.
All in all, this particular concert was a thrilling experience.Â Â You know,Â I think Louisiana loves Willie as much as Texas does.
>Bethel â€“ Merle Haggard had just sung â€œWe donâ€™t smoke marijuana in Muskogeeâ€ when Willie Nelson, who knows a thing or two about the subject, ambled on stage at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Wednesday night.Â Â
With two of Americaâ€™s great voices seeming to speak, not sing, to one another, they turned â€œPancho and Leftyâ€ into an intimate conversation, making the cheering crowd almost stop and think about a simple line like â€œI suppose.â€ Then, after the men in black took that crowd of some 7,000 down a â€œWhiskey River,â€ another country legend, Ray Price, joined them to sing the song Willie wrote for Patsy Cline, â€œCrazy.â€Â
Thatâ€™s the kind of succulent summer night it was when â€œThe Last of the Breedâ€ tour rolled into the arts center at site of the 1969 Woodstock festival.Â
The three and a half hour show was about surprises, contradictions and some of the meatiest popular music America has produced. (more…)
August 30, 1987:Â
Willie Nelson staged the FarmAid III concert at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln as a benefit for farmers.
Set your tevo’s and VCR’s.
Willie’s on Letterman tonight, with Kenny Chesney.
|Horny Toad Entertainment Complex||Lake Ozark, MO|
|Cedar Point Sportsman Club||Peru, IL|
|Lake Superior Big Top||Bayfield, WI|
|Orpheum Theater||Sioux City, IA|
|Rushmore Plaza Civic Center||Rapid City, SD|
|The Joint, HardRock Cafe||Las Vegas, NV|
|Flores Country Store||Helotes, TX|
|L Auberge Du Lac Casino||Lake Charles, LA|
|L Auberge Du Lac Casino||Lake Charles, LA|
|Big State Festival||College Station, TX|
|Concrete St. Amp||Corpus Christie, TX|
|Nacogdoches County Expo Cntr||Nacogdoches, TX|
|Monroe Civic Center||Monroe, LA|
|Eureka Springs City Auditorium||Eureka Springs, AR|
|Smirnoff Music Center||Dallas, TX|
|Joplin Memorial Hall||Joplin, MO|
|Von Braun Center Arena||Huntsville, AL|
|Beau Rivage Resort||Biloxi, MS|
|Amphitheater at the Warf||Orange Beach, AL|
|BancorpSouth Center||Tupelo, MS|
Scooterville sells these cool license plate holders at Willie’s concerts.Â
The new 40 pointsÂ cd is available already by download at itunes, and you can download it and listen to it on your computer or on your ipod.Â Â Â However, at this point the cd is not yet available for purchase at your local record stores, and that’s where we fans can help.
Â Micah posted this atÂ www.myspace.com/40points site:
40 Points debut album NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES!!! check it out!
…its going to take some help from YOU, the 40 Points fans, to get our CD out and available in actual record stores nationwide.
Although the album has already been released digitally, the increasing popularity in purchasing music online and the decline in purchasing CDs at the store calls for a high demand for 40 Points by store buyers if its ever going to be readily available on the shelves at your local music outlet.
Personally, this is something i would really like to see, having created the artwork for not only the album’s cover, but for the inside booklet and disc as well, which wouldnt be seen unless the hard CD was released in stores. Also, more importantly, for our album to be available in stores would gain significant recognition for us, a wider audience… more tender, slumbering earholes to awaken with our mind-deflowering sounds!!!
So, ask for it by name next time you are in a record store.Â Or make some calls.Â Who knows what can happen if enough of us ask for the album. Â I want to buy the cd and read those liner notes, how about you?