Archive for September, 2011

Willie Nelson

Friday, September 30th, 2011


by Bill DeYoung

Well, hello there

My it’s been a long, long time

With his beatific smile and twinkling bright eyes, Willie Nelson looks like the most serene and centered man on the planet. When he’s wearing a Stetson hat or a wide red bandanna (both trademarks of his for many years), he brings to mind a sort of Western Santa Claus, someone you’d trust to slide down your chimney and come into your house with a sackful of cap guns, singing a cowboy tune.

How’m I doing?/

Oh, I guess that I’m doin’ fine

There has never been a singer like Willie Nelson. He’s a genre–jumper. The rich, mellow timbre of his voice, going tip–toe over the kind of casual jazz phrasing Frank Sinatra used to be able to do in his sleep, gives Nelson the option of singing virtually any style of music and giving it his distinctive stamp. He transcends country music; he transcends music, period.

It’s no wonder Willie Nelson is considered an American Folk Hero. In the best American tradition, he is tireless and his talent is timeless.

It’s been so long now

And it seems that it was only yesterday

For 30 years, Willie Nelson has flown in the face of convention. He’s taken the notion of what a country singer should be and smashed it, time and again, against the sometimes brutal rocks of contemporary show–business.

And even though he often found himself between those rocks and a veritable hard place, Nelson never wavered in his belief that the individual should be allowed to express himself, whatever the arena, usuing the gifts he’s been given. It took him a long time to hit because Nashville—and the world—was suspicious of him. He didn’t look or sound like he came out of any mold.

When he and success found themselves at last running neck–and–neck on the same horse track, Nelson made up for lost time. To date, he has recorded country, swing jazz, Western swing and straight–ahead jazz; he’s made albums of pop standards and albums of gospel standards. He’s sung duets with the biggest stars in the world, not just country vocalists, but pop, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm ‘n’ blues singers. He’s made movies, he’s made TV shows, he’s made news, he’s made history. He made a lot of money. And he lost a lot of money.

Gee, ain’t it funny how time slips away?

Nelson himself chuckles at a suggestion that he’s fearless. “If I am, I’m probably stupid,” he said with a grin. “I think fearlessness and stupidity go together. It’s real corny, but the fist line that comes to my mind are words that I’ve followed all my life. There was a movie with Fess Parker playing Davy Crockett: ‘Be sure you’re right, and then go ahead,’ that was his motto. It’s corny, but goddamn it makes sense.”

Through four marriages, somewhere around 200 albums and a career with higher highs and lower lows than any stretch of Appalachian mountains, Willie Nelson, 61, retains a zest for life and a passionately optimistic outlook that bespeaks a man who knows inner peace. He’s a survivor.

Nelson is the original Zen cowboy—no one knows him can recall any show of temper, ever—and his religious beliefs, while rooted in the Christian church, lean toward Buddhist principles. “I think people like Willie are forever, you know,” observed Waylon Jennings, one of Nelson’s oldest friends and a partner in success. “He crossed all the boundaries in music. He’s bigger than music, that’s what the whole thing is.”

Said Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson, another of Nelson’s buddies: “Waylon at one time said to me, ‘Willie was laid–back before people knew what laid–back was.’ I think Willie has always been that way.”

The trick, Nelson says, is to be ready for anything and learn to land on your feet. “I think everything happens when it’s supposed to,” he said. “And fortunately, we’re not in control.”

Patience, as a virtue was not something he was not born with. It was a lesson he was forced to learn. (more…)

Folk Uke On tour and new album in November

Friday, September 30th, 2011

photo of Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, by Angela Wylie 

The Folk Uke duo Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie will release a new album on November 22, 2011, which coincides with their upcoming tour of Australia.


1. He Needs Me
2. Blessed and Cursed
3. Nobody Blues
4. Quattro Momento
5. Worthless
6. My Little Singer
7. I Miss My Boyfriend (featuring Shooter Jennings)
8. Filthy Floors
9. Long Black Limousine
10. Reincarnation

Oct 26 Lizottes Lambton Nsw, Australia,
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Oct 27 Lizottes New South Wales, Australia
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Oct 28 Notes Newtown Nsw, Australia
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Oct 29 Sydney Blues Festival Windsor, Australia
Oct 30 Sydney Blues Festival Windsor, Australia
Nov 02 Civic Hall Mullumbimby Nsw, Australia,
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 03 Joe’s Waterhole Eumundi, Australia,
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 04 The Old Museum Brisbane, Australia
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 05 Tanks Arts Centre Cairns, Australia
Nov 07 Clarendon Guesthouse Katoomba, Australia,
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 08 Clarendon Guesthouse Katoomba, Australia 
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 09 Brass Monkey Cronulla,
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 10 Caravan Club Vic, Australia 
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 11 East Brunswick Club Melbourne Vic, Australia 
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 12 Wheatsheaf Hotel Thebarton Sa, Australia
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Nov 13 Currant Shed Adelaide Sa, Australia
with special guests The 49 Goodbyes
Dec 08 212 Pier Santa Monica, CA
Dec 09 The Cinema Bar Culver City, CA , Opening for Randy Weeks
Dec 10 The Cinema Bar Culver City, CA, Opening for Randy Weeks

Willie Nelson and Ray Charles, “Georgia”

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Good news! Dallas Wayne will be back on Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius/XM Radio on Monday!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Dallas Wayne interviews Willie Nelson at Farm Aid 2011, in Kansas City, KS.

They announced on Willie’s Road House on Sirius/XM Radio that Dallas Wayne would be back on the air on Monday.  Dallas has taken some time off, after the devastating loss of his home in Bastrop, Texas in the recent Texas fires.  I spoke with Dallas, and he wanted to thank everyone for their best wishes and concern for him.  He said he and wife Jo, and dog, are doing okay, (“safe and well insured”), even though he lost musical instruments and many  other irreplaceable belongings in the fire.


At Knuckleheads, Jo, Dallas, Jeremy Tepper, for Billy Joe Shaver show in August.

Can’t wait to have Dallas back on the radio!

To subscribe to Sirius/XM, visit


18th Annual Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, September 2011

Friday, September 30th, 2011
by:  Jonathan Kosakow

As a writer, it is my dream to write about the town of Telluride, Colorado. However, I cannot tell you about it and make you understand: you have to experience it to believe it. In a way, the town has everything—unfathomable beauty, storied history, rich culture, and a still strong economy (at least according to real estate prices in windows throughout town).

When you are there, you feel cut off from the real world. Work ceases to exist, internet and phones are ignored, reading a newspaper is the last thing on your agenda. Your main priority is to look up and around you at the mountain peaks that surround the town. It is as close to fairy tale as you may find still active on the planet. It is also just about as impossible to reach as Narnia or Neverland. The local airport is small, and services mostly small or private flights. Commercial service is rare and costly. The other nearby airports are only a little bigger and slightly more trafficked. The closest national hub is in Denver, a nearly seven-hour drive over mountain passes and through unpredictable weather. For a majority of Coloradans, a trip to Telluride is a rare treat, though each winter the town is a high-end ski destination, and in the summer nearly every weekend holds some attraction of culture. This year’s festival, though plagued with less than desirable weather, was easily worth the trip.  

Read reviews of Friday and Saturday and entire article HERE. 

Willie Nelson and Family

Sunday September 18

The final day of the festival, as with any festival, was a bittersweet one. Ahead of us, we still had some fantastic music to look forward to, but we knew these were our last moments. For me, it wouldn’t be a summer mountain vacation without some time in the wilderness, and since this was the last day I did just that. After climbing to the top of Bridal Veil falls, I made my way to the festival grounds just in time to catch Marcia Ball, who brought to Colorado from Austin, Texas a classic style of Zydeco and New Orleans blues. Among her songs—which she admitted nearly always speak of love, food, or Louisiana—were practiced and prideful numbers that, though we may not have heard them before, were somehow familiar.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit brought another taste of the South, but a different one. As Isbell commented upon taking the stage, they were Sunday’s staple rock ‘n’ roll band. The quintet tore through a set of guitar-driven rockers, and ended on a high note with a passionate cover of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane”.

With the show now really winding down to a close, the festival goers quickly packed tightly to the front to catch the legend Robert Cray. Cray and his band were among the most impressive performers of the weekend. Though his set was one of the calmer ones, it was also one that captured more attention than any of the others. For the majority of the festival felt open and expansive, but was more crowded for Cray than at any other time up to that point—and Cray responded warmly. His current quartet played each note like it was their last, relishing each one with perfect placement.

The crowd packed even tighter for Willie Nelson: parades of families zigzagged through the grounds, and others just pushed through to the front.  Nelson took the stage at 6:00pm sharp, just enough time to play his entire set in daylight on his old beaten guitar.  His set was littered with just about every song you could have asked him to play—from the opener “Whiskey River” to “On the Road Again”, and of course the classic “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”.

At 78 years old, Nelson wastes no time between songs, and runs through each one without even having to think—or at least so it seems.  His voice has lost nothing in its years, and still maintains the iconic tone that has filled our ears for so many decades.  As a guitar player, he is still able to fire through riffs and toss in jazzy chords—he leads his equally talented band like a grandfather would lead his grandson, confident and without hesitation, but careful not to step on any toes.

 With the festival over, and the final sunset on the Telluride festival season falling behind the mountains, it was no time to reminisce on the weekend that had just passed—it was time to look forward to the next one.

Kids Parade by Barry Brecheisen

Happy Shoeshine Friday!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

everyone looks good in a Willie Nelson shirt

Thursday, September 29th, 2011


I met this friendly fan in Cheyenne.

Willie Nelson & Family, ‘Desperados Waiting for a Train’

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

“Desperados Waiting For A Train” – Willie Nelson from Luck Films on Vimeo.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Elected to Country Music Hall of Fame (9/29/1993)

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

On September 29, 1993, Willie Nelson was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Willie’s Sneakers Come Home

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum received a pair of  tennis shoes and a well-worn headband from Willie Nelson.  The museum encourages artists to donate items that the public will recognize.  These are no exceptions.


by Robert K. Oermann
THe Tennesseen

Nashville gets its first look at the new Willie Nelson Museum exhibit this morning and yesterday “The Red-Headed Stranger,” himself, toured his tribute for the first time.

After the tourists left yesterday afternoon, Nelson entered the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with Country Music Foundation director Bil Ivey, CMF president Frances Preston and CBS Records Nashville chief Rick Blackburn to view the display that chronicles his fabulous career.  The Country Music Foundation operates the Hall of Fame and Museum.

The easy-going country-pop superstar was pleased with what he saw.

As he wandered through the display with wife Connie and the executives, Nelson began reminising about his life.

The new exhibit begins with Nelson’s boyhood in Abbott, Texas.  “My grandparents raised sister Bobbie and me,” he said, gazing at a photo of his relatives.

Connie smiled at a childhood photo of her husband and observed that the children have his freckles.

Nelson turned to his companions and said, “See my football picture from highschool?  You should have seen our football field.  Rocks all over it.”

When he moved into the section that described his early professional career, he reminisced about some of the early nightclubs he worked in as a teenager.

The Nashville segment of the display features early records and sheet music.  “I talked to (Pamper Music publishing founder) Hal Smith today.  He’s still there in the same building.”

“Hank Cochran and I were in the studio co-writing with a couple of guitars one day, back there (behind Pamper) with no windows.  I got the idea for Hello Walls there.  But Hank got up to get a phone call.  By the time he got back I was finished.  I said, ‘Sorry, Hank.’”

The song became Nelson’s first big Music City hit as a tunesmith.Â

Later during the tour, Nelson joked about golfing when he got to the display of his personalized bag and clubs.

Ivey and Preston described the idea behind the new exhibit to Nelson and told him that Wrangler is financing the new display.

The Willie Nelson exhibit replaces the one devoted to Dolly Parton.  Unlike the show devoted to the buxum blonde, this one is heavily dependent on photos rather than memorabilia.

It will remain on display duing the next two years at the museum, which is right behind Opryland. The Grand Ole Opry is Nashville’s most visited tourist attraction.

Willie Nelson, Red Rocks

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

photo: Janis Tillerson

Willie Doll and Friends in Telluride, CO

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


Had so much fun with these Willie fans and friends in Telluride.



Willie Nelson & Nora Jones, Farm Aid 25, “Lone Star”

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

From DirecTV’s broadcast of Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America, Norah Jones performs “Lonestar” with Willie Nelson at Miller Park in Milwaukee on October 2, 2010. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers.

For more information about Farm Aid, visit:

Farm Aid’s performances are donated by the artists in order to raise funds and raise awareness for family farmers. They’ve raised their voices to help — what can you do?

“Here We Go Again” — Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Nora Jones

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Hallelujah I Love Her So
Come Rain or Come Shine
Unchain My Heart
Cryin’ Time
Losing Hand
Hit The Road Jack
I’m Moving On
Here We Go Again
Makin’ Whoopie
SwingI Love You So Much (It Hurts)
What’d I Say
By Mike Greenblatt

I can’t stop playing Here We Go Again: Celebrating The Genius Of Ray Charles (Blue Note) by Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis featuring Norah Jones. Non-stop. Night and day. My wife is threatening to start blasting her Donny & Marie records if I don’t stop. I don’t care. Nothing can keep me away from the soft frisky purring voice of Jones when she makes her dramatic debut on track #2, “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” Brother Ray swooned it like no one else when he tackled it in 1959. Jones adds sex appeal and a Marsalis trumpet solo.

Ol’ Willie has proved himself to be a master practitioner of all genres (I even like his reggae album). He opens with “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” which Ray wrote in 1955. Willie’s oh-so-familiar vocal style of laid-back stretch that adds so much is on full display here (which is why the obvious omission of “Georgia On My Mind,” which he nailed so beautifully for his 1978 Stardust album, is a mystery).

Ray Charles always had an affinity for country. In fact, I dare say the man is one of the all-time great country music singers. His version of “Cryin’ Time” (Buck Owens) and “I’m Moving On” (Hank Snow) are leagues above each song’s author. Willie and Norah duet so sweetly on the former and there’s Wynton again, blowing solid and soulful on the latter.
Whether it’s Charles Calhoun’s “Losing Hand,” Percy Mayfield’s “Hit The Road, Jack,” Floyd Tillman’s “I You So Much It Hurts Me” or Harlan Howard’s “Busted” (country songs all), Ray Charles done stole ‘em and owns ‘em. Here, they’re jammed out jazz-style in front of a live audience with a bluesy chunk of irony depending upon which voice sings ‘em.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real in Milwaukee (11/1/2011)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

_DSC8838lucas nelson
photos:  Mary Francis Andrews

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real bring their twangy, California-by-way-of-Texas rock sound to Turner Hall Ballroom, 1032 N. 4th St., for an 8 p.m. show Nov. 1.

Nelson, son of country music icon Willie Nelson, played on the same stage with him during Farm Aid 2010 at Miller Park.

Tickets for the show are $10, and go on sale at noon Friday at the Pabst and Riverside theater box offices, and (414) 286-3663.

Willie Nelson and Bobbie Nelson, Grand Junction, Colorado (9/19/2011)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011