Archive for July, 2009

Willie Nelson’s American Classic (Release Date: 8/25/09)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Another Artist for Peace

Friday, July 31st, 2009


Cherri has created a beautiful video using the song written by Willie Nelson and Amy Nelson, “A Peaceful Solution”, as sung by Amy Nelson and Rattlesnake Annie.   Her video was posted at Willie Nelson’s Peace Research Institute (, and if you visit the site you will many other beautiful renditions of this song.

Cherri says:

“The Perfect Solution, is faith, faith in the Word and faith in your heart. And you got to let it grow.

Love is the answer to all issues!

And I believe in the human race because I believe in myself! I believe in the dream, my dream, Liz’s dream, Jay’s dream, Willie’s dream, Rattlesnake Annie’s dream, and Amy’s dream I could go on and on. We all have the same dreams and thoughts. And we have done well in getting the word out there. Soon the Positive will be more than the negative and there will be Peace on earth !!!   God Bless all !!

The Willie Nelson Challenge — Help the Nobelity Project Build Schools

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin
The Nobelity Project

“Our work at St. Joseph Mahiga Primary School in rural Kenya has already resulted in clean drinking water and electricity, a computer lab and new classrooms. Enrollment is up and water-borne illnesses are down. Mahiga Primary is now the highest rated school in the district.”

— Turk Pipkin


A solid primary school is good, but education shouldn’t end at the 8th grade.

With no secondary school, a complete education for 700 kids depends upon The Nobelity Project’s commitment to build Mahiga Hope High School. The Education District for the area has committed to operate this school but has no money to build it. That’s where we come in. These kids are ready and eager to learn. Let’s open the door on a better future for them and their community!

The Willie Challenge!  To build twelve classrooms, a library, and computer and science labs

Willie Nelson is  lending his hand to our efforts.  Take the Willie Challenge and make a tax-deductible contribution to make this wonderful school a reality!

• Every $100 donation receives a copy of Turk and Willie’s NY Times bestseller, The Tao of Willie, signed by Turk

• Every $500 donation receives a copy of The Tao of Willie signed by Willie too!

• Every $5,000 donation receives signed book AND your name on the door of a classroom!

Click here to make a donation today!

Or mail your donation to:

The Nobelity Project
P.O. Box 161925
Austin, TX  78716

Guitar Doctor

Friday, July 31st, 2009


“Trigger” came to us just before soundcheck for a show Willie & Friends had at the Fillmore Auditorium, here in SF. Willie’s trusted cohort/runner never allowed the instrument to be more than three feet away from his body while Leo was repairing the output jack. We were, however, able to document the occasion by stealing a memorable photo of Leo holding Willie Nelson’s famous guitar. Naturally we stayed open after hours to do it.”

— Gary Brawer,
    Guitar Repair

Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, Lake Tahoe (8/16/09)

Friday, July 31st, 2009


Although the two American music icons have performed in Tahoe over the decades, this is the first time they have shared the bill.

Don’t miss this amazing show under the starts at the Harvey’s Outdoor Arena on Sunday, August 16th at 7pm. 

Bob Dylan and his band & Willie Nelson and Family
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Sunday, August 16

$59.50, $69.50, $89.50 and $125

Call (775) 588-2411 for tickets.

Bob Dylan’s new album, Together Through Life, has entered both the U.S. and UK album charts at #1, marking the artist’s second consecutive U.S. #1 debut and his first chart-topping release in the UK since New Morning in 1970. A true international hit, Together Through Life, achieved #1 debuts in Austria and Denmark, Top 5 entries in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Holland, Norway Switzerland, Sweden and New Zealand, and Top 10 rankings in Italy, France and Belgium.

Before the early 1970s, Willie Nelson was known primarily as a top songwriter, penning hits such as, “Night Life,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Touch Me” and “Crazy” for other performers. When his concept album, Red Headed Stranger, took off and established the “outlaw country” music phenomenon, Willie became one country music’s greatest hitmakers in his own right. Still making great music at age 76, Nelson’s latest CDs include: Moment of Forever; Naked Willie; and Willie and the Wheel (with Asleep at the Wheel).

Willie Nelson Honored (11/1/86)

Friday, July 31st, 2009


Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan in Alpharetta, GA (7/30/09)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

by Rodney Ho

At the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre box office before the triple threat concert of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, a sign noted that the two big screens on the side of the main stage would not be used.

Vanity? Age? It was probably 68-year-old Dylan’s request since he wasn’t allowing professional photos either.

But fans didn’t come to stare at Dylan’s jowls or Nelson’s crow’s feet. They came for the music.

Nelson opened the evening just after 6 p.m. before a giant Texas flag. Already, a vast majority of the crowd was in their seats. With only an hour, he squeezed in about 20 songs, wasting no time on small talk, save for a stray “thank you.”

The audience sang along to the classics such as the always rollicking “On the Road Again,” the enduring “Crazy,” and the still beautiful “Always on My Mind.” Naturally, the crowd vibed on his take of “Georgia on My Mind.” His backing band kept things spare; his drummer used a single snare drum. The focal was always on his voice and at age 76, he is still the master of that domain.

The highest energy portion of the night went to John Mellencamp, a relative baby compared to Nelson and Dylan at age 57. He danced and jumped about the stage as if he were still that rebellious 31 year old singing “Authority Song.” (”I fight authority but authority always wins…”)

He did slow down for a three-song acoustic set in the middle of his 70 minutes/ “How many of you want to hear a new song?” he asked. About 20 percent of the crowd raised their hands. “How many want to hear an old song?” he said. The rest of the audience cheered.

He gave a sly smile and said, “I have the deciding vote,” before breaking into a bit of both.

First up was his nostalgic 1987 hit “Cherry Bomb.” “That’s the old tune,” he said. Then he explained he had a new song, conceived in Savannah, recorded in Memphis on Monday, a wistful ditty called “Take Some Time to Dream.” The reception: very good. He then broke into one of his most popular songs still heard on soft rock stations nationwide, the 1985 classic “Small Town.”

Dylan, in his signature black hat, ended the night. His band shellacked his tunes with a bluesy, rock-a-billy sheen. His voice? At age 69, he’s as raspy and incomprehensible as ever. And in his classic “just the tunes, man” approach, Dylan made not a single comment to the crowd.

But his rapt fans couldn’t care less, cheering and dancing, especially during the hits such as “Workingman’s Blues #2,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and naturally, “Like a Rolling Stone.”

Mickey Raphael’s Website

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Check out Mickey has revamped his website, and he’s blogging, too!  Check out his site for pictures that you can’t see anywhere else, and stories that only a member of Willie Nelson and Family can tell.

Willie Nelson and Family in Alpharetta, GA (7/30/09)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Thanks so much to Alice, from Atlanta, for sending this link to her recording from last night’s concert at the Verizon Center, in  Alpharetta, Georgia:  “Angel Flying too Close to the Ground,” and “On the Road Again.”  Great quality, Alice, thank you so much.  Good job!

Dairy Farmer Crisis Update

Friday, July 31st, 2009

by Jennifer Fahy

Yesterday Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with more than a dozen members of Congress and evidently they came to an agreement to raise the support price for milk for dairy farmers. The official announcement from the USDA could come as early as this week, but definitely before Congress’s August recess. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy said, “We confirmed that we have an ally in Secretary Vilsack. There are obstacles to getting this done, but this was a strategy meeting, not just a discussion.” Senator Feingold (D-WI) said that Vilsack was also willing to look into issues causing the dairy crisis—including corporate consolidation and price manipulation by dairy processors.

In related news, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has requested an investigation into imports of Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC), which undercut American family dairy farmers.

Farm Aid has been working on the dairy crisis since late-winter, when our farmer hotline began ringing off the hook with calls from dairy farmers. The first six months of 2009 saw a 500% increase in calls to the hotline over the previous year—most of which can be attributed to the dairy crisis. So we’re anxiously awaiting positive news here at the Farm Aid office—we’ll keep you posted. Thanks again to the more than 13,000 Farm Aid supporters who helped us deliver petitions to the Secretary of Agriculture. Here’s to (cautiously) hoping that we can all raise a glass of cool, farm-fresh milk soon to celebrate a positive first step (and really, this would just be the first step!) in keeping our dairy farmers on the land and producing family-farm milk for all of us.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


Willie Nelson and the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


Some of the farm folks at Willie Nelson’s Friday night concert in Aberdeen, Maryland, were scanning the stands, not the stage, for a star attraction: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The Secretary and his wife Christie came out from D.C. for the concert, but before they took in the music, they met with Willie Nelson backstage to talk about family farmers.

Willie and the Secretary discussed the opportunities for Farm Aid and the USDA to work together to strengthen family farm agriculture in the United States. Willie and the Secretary spoke in particular about the need to help dairy farmers, the economic stimulus potential of family farmers, and the need to build and improve infrastructure for family farm-product processing and distribution systems across the country.

Both Willie and Vilsack agreed there is a lot opportunity for the USDA and Farm Aid—and other food and farm groups nationwide—to work together. They arranged for future conversation because Willie got his stagecall and the show had to go on! So Willie went onstage and the Secretary and Mrs. Vilsack braved the threatening skies to hear some terrific music from an all-star team of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan.

Farm Aid is very pleased to have these opportunities to meet with top policymakers like the Secretary of Agriculture—they represent an open door and listening ear that we have rarely had since our beginnings in 1985. (And we’re also always pleased to have a reason to catch a Willie concert!)


Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan BallPark Show in Corpus Christie (8/5/09)

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


“The Bob Dylan Show” brings three of music’s biggest icons, Bob Dylan , Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, together for a minor league ball park tour at Whataburger Field.

Tour promoter Don Sutton said fans can expect to hear “Whiskey River” and “On The Road Again” from Nelson, “Pink Houses” and “Hurts So Good” from Mellencamp and “All Along the Watchtower” and “Like a Rolling Stone” from Dylan.

Dylan, 68, has won 10 Grammy awards, a Golden Globe and a Kennedy Center Honor.

His last record, “Modern Times,” debuted at No. 1, and he will be promoting his new album, “Together Through Life,” with this tour. Dylan also has performed 100 concerts a year for the past 15 years.

Willie Nelson, 76, also known as “The Red Headed Stranger” due to the popularity of his 1975 album by the same name, has recorded more than 80 albums, becoming a Texas icon along the way. Nelson has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Country Music Awards. His songs have also provided major hits for other recording artists, including Patsty Cline’s Top Ten pop crossover hit “Crazy.”

In 1993, Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2008 he released the album “Moment in Forever” putting him in the Country Music Top Ten Charts.

The music star also has appeared in many films, including “The Electric Horseman” (1979), “Honeysuckle Rose” (1980) and “Barbarosa” (1982).

He has an album of jazz standards due out Aug. 25. “American Classic” is his solo debut for Blue Note Records and features duets with special guests Norah Jones and Diana Krall.

Mellencamp, 58, has released 23 albums with worldwide sales of more than 40 million, with 22 Top 40 hit songs.

He won the Best Male Rock Performer Grammy Award in 1982 for “Hurts so Good” and has been nominated for 12 others.

In 2008, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone magazine placed the album “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” among the Top 5 albums of the year.

Mellencamp’s latest album is titled “On The Rural Route 7609” and is set for release October 6, 2009.

Whataburger Field Officials consider this concert the biggest event they have hosted. Concert organizers said sales have been strong and they expect the show to sell out.

“To have all three of them in one night is a pretty big deal,” said J.J. Gottsch, executive vice president of Ryan Sanders Baseball, the parent company of the Corpus Christi Hooks. “It’s going to be fun to listen and to be able to see all three of them in one night,” Acosta said. “The night will become iconic.”

 Bob Dylan & His Band, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson in concert
August 5, 5:30 p.m.
Whataburger Field
 $67.50;  children free

Willie Nelson, in bronze

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


Willie Nelson in Bronze, by Carl LoStracco


“I love this photo of Willie, so I created “The Highwayman”, a bust at life and a half size.

Carl LoStracco

Taylor Zettner, cd release party for The Stoplight System

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
John Goodspeed

Guitarist, record producer, singer, songwriter and guitar teacher Joe Reyes is preparing for a Buttercup CD release party  but he took time to send an e-mail touting a CD-release party for The Stoplight System, a band that includes one of his students, Taylor Zettner. ( )

“I’d like to take credit for his improvement,” Reyes wrote, “but he’s just one of those kids that has it. We just basically jam around when he comes in. I told him, ‘Once you join a band, you’ll feel things take off with your playing.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”

The Stoplight System is guitarist Zettner, the great-nephew of the late David Zettner, a bass player and visual artist who was one of Willie Nelson’s main men; Jeb Bakke (bass, vocals); and Travis Kolb (drums). They’ll celebrate the release of the six-song “The Stoplight System” disc Friday night at White Rabbit on a bill with Starluck, A Kid Named Thompson, New Holiday, So Sweet the Hour, Jam Naked, Chasing the Night, Set the Scene, Madore and Anavie.

The trio formed in late ’08 when the members were students at MacArthur High School. The Stoplight System walks a line between hard-edged garage rock and fuzztone-powered hard rock. On songs such as “Leprosy” and “Glued,” Bakke spits out world-weary lyrics while Zettner hits sharp licks and Kolb keeps the beat. Pay attention to The Stoplight System. The band not only has potential, Zettner knows how to take care of business.


July 31, 2009 
6 p.m.
The White Rabbit
San Antonio, TX Goodspeed