Archive for 2012

2012 Was a Great Year to be a Willie Nelson Fan

Monday, December 31st, 2012

photo: Andrew Shapter

2012 really was a great year to be a Willie Nelson fan, because Willie gave us more of what we love –more Willie Nelson! Willie made it so much fun, with new albums, new songs, new book, book signings, interesting collaborations, and constant touring so we can go and see his shows all over the country.

He continues to inspire with his fearless, tireless work for family farmers and many other important causes he generously gives his time and attention to. He signed at every show were the fans could get close enough to him, and made so many people happy with autographs, hugs, kisses, photos.

This is just a sampling of how he spent 2012; there’s so much he does that we don’t hear about, that doesn’t get any press.

Thank you, Willie Nelson for a great year of music and inspiration and good times, and keeping your fans so close.

And thanks so much to the Willie Nelson Family, band, crew and fans who so generously share their photos and stories, news clippings, anecdotes, hugs, hotels, gossip and friendship with me; your generosity is overwhelming, really. Most of you I have never met, but we share that love and appreciation for Willie Nelson & Family. Willie Nelson fans are the nicest people.

Happy New Year to everyone. I look forward to seeing you at a Willie Nelson & Family show in 2013!

Peace and love,

nye Willie Nelson and Family began 2012 in Austin, Texas, at his New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Austin City Live Moody Theather, and that’s where the band closed out 2012. The band toured extensively throughout the U.S., 41 states and Washington DC.. They played familiar and favorite Texas venues, like the Back Yard, Floores Country Store, Billy Bob’s Texas, Gruenes, and amphitheaters, opera houses, casinos, summer festivals, vinyards, under tents and in private living rooms.
Willie Nelson released his “Heroes” album in May, the first album released under his historic new record deal with Legacy Recordings/ Sony Music Entertainment. The album features contributions from family and friends, including Merle Haggard, Snoop Dogg, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Price and Nelson’s musician sons Lukas and Micah. The 14-track project includes songs ranging from classic country tunes from the 1930s and ’40s through covers of rock songs made famous by Pearl Jam (“Just Breathe”) and Coldplay (“The Scientist”). The video made from the song, “Just Breathe’, was voted one of CMT’s 50 top videos of 2012. and continues to be a fan favorite. heroes
book Willie Nelson released a new memoir, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me (When I Die)”, another chapter in his life story, with stories from the road and contributions from family and friends and crew. The book was a New York Times book seller and charted high on The book gave us fans more insite into Willie’ long and eventful life, and included the artwork of son Micah. Willie and Micah attended book signings in Austin and New York City, another chance for fans to meet and greet Willie, and get their book signed.
Willie Nelson was honored by the Country Music Association, at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards show, with their first annual Willie Nelson Humanitarian Award, and was recipient of first annual award. The award show was broadcast on CMT. cma2
chipotle Chipotle Mexican Grill’s animated short film, “The Scientist”, featured Willie Nelson singing the Coldplay song, “The Scientist”, was named among the five best ads of 2012 by The Wall Street Journal on Monday. over 7 mil views The video has gotten over seven million views, and continues to raise money for Chipotle’s sustainaable living causes. It has been lauded by many as the best TV campaign in the world. The two-minute ad, Back to the Start, which has won the grand prix award in the blue riband category at the Cannes international festival of creativity, provoked a storm of debate and received acclaim when it was first aired on TV in the US during the Grammys in February. The video first aired during the Grammys Award show in February, and received more buzz the next day than many of the performances and songs featured on the show. named the best TV campaign in the world.
Willie Nelson and fellow Farm Aid Board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews celebrated the 27th Farm Aid concert in Hershey, Pennsylvania, helping to raise awareness and funds for America’s family farmers and ensuring we have healthy food to eat here in America. The sold out show, included performances by Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Jamey Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter, Bill Anderson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. farmaid
texas Willie Nelson appeared on the cover of magazines, two times on “Texas Monthly” (April, December), and on the November issue of Austin Fit magazine.
Willie Nelson was honored by City of Austin with a statue erected in his honor on Willie Nelson Boulevard in Austin. Kris Kristofferson spoke at the statue’s unveiling in April, which was also attended by Cleve Shields, the sculpture’s artist, Austin dignataries, Willie Nelson’s family and friends, and several hundred lucky fans who packed the streets. statue4
johnnycash2 Willie paid tribute to his friend and fellow Highwayman Johnny Cash at two separate events in 2012. In April, he joined other artists in Austin Texas, at Moody Theater at Austin, for “Walk the Line: Johnny Cash Tribute”. Then, late in the summer, he joined Rosanne Cash, Derks Bentley, the Civil Wars and other artists at the the second annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and helped raise over $200,000.00 for the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Restoration Project.
Willie Nelson invited family and friends to celebrate the fourth of July with him in the Stockyards of Fort Worth, at Billy Bob’s Texas. Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Paula Nelson Band and dozens of others performed on three stages for the day long festival. picnic
piers2 We got to see lots of Willie Nelson on television, when he appeared on talk shows to talk about his new book, ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” He appeared on the Piers Morgan Show, the Today Show, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, the View, and on Dan Rather show. Willie did radio interview on National Public Radio, and gave extensive print interviews.
Willie collaborated on many albums by other artists. This year he was featured on new albums by Randy Travis, Lionel Riche, Tony Bennett lionelrichie
dumbfriends Willie Nelson helped the Dumb Friends League of Colorado raise $700,000.00, at a fundraiser/silent auction — even though he had to cancel owing to altitude sickness, and was able to attend the event.
  In June, Willie Nelson & Family joined Lee Ann Womack, Eric Church, and the Dixie Chicks at a benefit in Greenwich, Conn., for the China Care Foundation, to benefit Chinese orphans.
Willie was presented with a Planet Defender Award, from Rock the Earth, a national not-for-profit environmental organization that partners with the music industry. The award, given in celebration of Earth Day, pays tribute to those individuals work to protect the planet. rocktheearth
president Willie Nelson was once again urged to run for president, with tee shirts, lawn signs posters appearing all over the place, but he didn’t actively support any presidential candadite, other than an honorable mention he made for Gary Johnson, early in the campaign.
Willie Nelson joined musician Jamey Johnson and other artists in “Living for a Song”, a tribute to singer/songwriter Hank Cochran. In October, Willie accepted Jamey Johnson’s invitation to celebrate the album’s release at a concert in Nashville, along with Johnson, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Ronnie Dunn. cochran
annie Willie and Annie Nelson moved by Occupy Wall Street movement, shared a video of theur reading a poem they wrote in support of the 99%. Their video is available for viewing on youtube. . Willie alson contributed song to “Occupy This Album”, joined by Yoko Ono, Crosby & Nash, Debbie Harry, Devo, Tom Morello, Thievery Corporation, MOGWAI, Third Eye Blind, Jackson Browne, Ladytron, Our Lady Peace, Warren Haynes, Rain Phoenix, Yo La Tengo, Lucinda Williams, Matt Pless, The Guthrie Family, Loudon Wainwright III, Joseph Arthur, DJ Logic and more
Willie Nelson and Family attended Texas Coach Darrell Royall’s Picking Party in Texas in 2012, and later joined the country to mourn the popular coach’s his friend’s passing this year.h coach royall
hemp WN continued to provide his visionary guidance with his support of decriminalizing marijuana, with videos and promos in support of Washington’s campaign. On book tour at end of year, people honestly answered questions about his own drug use, and his opinion regarding legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp.
Willie Nelson was busy on satellite radio, too. He took part in Town Hall question and answer session in NYC, hosted by Johnny Knoxville in Sirius/XM NY Studio, with son Micah, and took questions from local fans who won a contest to attend the show. Willie and son Lukas performed live from the Sirius/XM NY studio, singing the Pearl Jam hit, “Just Breathe”, the duet from Willie Nelson’s “Heroes” album. During the broadcast, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder called into the show to talk with Willie about his recording of the song. Willie also Willie’s Roadhouse during the “Heroes” album release special. Willie also called in to talk with Dallas Wayne on the Sirius/XM radio station that bears his name, Willie’s Roadhouse, and Willie was guest on ”The Big Ass Happy Family Jubilee” with Johnny Knoxville. Also, Susie co-host an hour of Willie & Family Gospel recordings from his 1976 #1 album The Troublemaker, direct from the Luck World Headquarters in Luck, TX. knoxville
lawless Movie Producer Harvey Weinstein asked Willie Nelson to sing on the soundtrack for his alcohol prohibitioin era movie, “Lawless” about gangsters and bootleggers. Weinstein is pushing for an Oscar Nomination for Willie Nelson’s, ‘Midnight Run’. Willie Nelson attended the Austin premiere of the movie.
Willie signed offered his autograph to help raise funs for good causes, including the acoustig Martin Guitar, which was signed by Pat Simmons and Michael McDonald, and auctioned off to support a sick friend in Hawaii. He autographed many other guitars, too, many for fans, and of course many are now on e-bay, as people continue to make a buck of Willie. ebay
pedernales golf tournament Willie performed at the first annual Celebrity Golf Tournament Concert in June, at his Pedernales Country Club in Spicewood, Texas.
Willie Nelson offered his support to Operation Firing For Effect, Inc., a coalition of veteran’s organizations gathered to address issues of importance to our veterans and their families. nbc
  contributes to sound track Original song “Hell And Back” Music and lyrics by J. Ralph, performed by Willie Nelson with J. Ralph on Guitar and Mickey Raphael on harmonica for the documentary “Hell And Back Again” directed by Danfung Dennis, 2011 Rumor Mill Records
Maui-based Pacific Biodiesel began selling “BioWillie Biodiesel” fuel at its retail pump in Kahului, Hawaii. biodiesel
book sign Willie Nelson attended book signings in Austin and NYC, with son Micah Nelson, on his book tour for “Roll Me UP and Smoke Me When I Die.”
Willie Nelson took part in question-and-answer session at the Billboard Country Music Summit in Nashville in June. billboardsummit
tatoo Fans continued to get new Willie Nelson tatoos, and create his likeness in many other media, and post them on the internet to share with the world.
Willie Nelson recorded “The Moon Song”, with granddaughter Raelynn Nelson, available for download on itunes. raelynn
christmas Willie Nelson released a new classic Christmas album in 2012.
Willie was featured in “Wild Horses & Renegades”, along with Sheryl Crow and Daryl Hannah, in support of efforts to save the wild horses in America. In addition, Willie brought home rescued horses Whisper and Traveler, to his Austin ranch .horserescue

Willie Nelson, Austin, Texas (Dec. 30, 2012)

Monday, December 31st, 2012


This is why you want Janis Tillerson in the front row at a Willie Nelson concert, with a camera in her hand! She gets the best photos, and Willie always gives her this look, and you can just feel the love sitting there. And why you’d like to be sitting next to her, ’cause if you close one eye and tilt your head, it’s like he’s looking at you!

Willie Nelson and Paul English

Monday, December 31st, 2012


Thanks to Janis Tillerson from Texas, for this photo from last night’s show.

Willie Nelson and Family, Austin, Texas (Dec. 30, 2012)

Monday, December 31st, 2012


Thanks so much to Janis from Texas, for sharing photos from last night’s Willie Nelson & Family show in Austin.

Bobbie Nelson

Paul English

Billy English

Kevin Smith

Billy English and Jesse!

Monday, December 31st, 2012


Billy English was joined by John Stymos (Jesse, from Full House!) at the Moody Theater last night in Austin.

Thanks to Janis from Texas, for the photos!


Willie Nelson and Family in Concert tonight! And tomorrow night!

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Willie Nelson & Family will perform tonight and tomorrow night at the Moody Theater, Austin City Live, in Austin. 

For ticket information:



Sunday, December 30th, 2012



Scooter Franks and his family and crew brings his travelling store to every Willie Nelson & Family concert, with the best selection


Willie Nelson and Epiphone

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Kevin Smith, Albert Besteiro

The best thing to happen to country music since Hank Williams was — and is — no doubt Willie Nelson.  And now Epiphone is along for the ride, too.  

Check out the cool photo of Nelson bassist Kevin Smith and pal Albert Besteiro from Del Castillo with their Epiphone Jack Casady basses!  The best bass ever?  That’s what the pro’s say. From Hot Tuna to Paul McCartney to the Stone Roses, the Epiphone Jack Casady is the axe for the serious bassist.

But if you’re not sure if the rock and roll life is for you, read Willie’s new memoir, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, for sage advice on jams, jokes, and (music) joints.

Willie Nelson and Family, New Years’ Eve 2011

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

To get you in the mood for your New Year’s Eve celebrating, here’s a story about Willie Nelson’s concert last year on New Years’ Eve, in Austin.

photos: Rick Kern
by Merideth Rainey

Talent runs through Nelson veins. From music to art, Willie Nelson and his family come armed with a full entertainment arsenal. Nelson shared the stage at his New Year’s Eve show at the Moody Theater with a few of his talented family members, sons Lukas and Micah, daughter Amy, and as always, his sister Bobbie and the rest of the Family Band.

The evening started off with a smooth set from Nelson’s long-time friend and collaborator Ray Price. Amy Nelson and her group Folk Uke sang a few songs and then it was time for a little rock and roll from Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. While Lukas performed, brother Micah painted at the side of the stage, bopping his head and brush to the beat.

my returned to the stage to sing a few songs with Lukas. After a short intermission, Dad Willie walked out dressed in black. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as a large Texas flag dropped behind the stage and Nelson broke into “Whiskey River.” The full house stood for much of Nelson’s set that included “Good Hearted Woman,” “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “On the Road Again.” The Willie Nelson Family Band included a few bonuses, with Lukas on electric guitar, Micah on snare drum and Amy on background vocals. The crowd at Moody Theater ate every bit of Nelson’s set up, loudly singing along with his slew of hit songs.

photos: Rick Kern

As midnight approached, the crowd cheered when a few surprise guests showed up: Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Nashville’s Jamey Johnson joined Nelson and family on stage and father time descended from the ceiling to the stage. Balloons dropped and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” soon turned to “Happy Birthday to You” for Bobbie Nelson, whose birthday is January 1.

photo: Rick Kern

Willie Nelson wrapped up his set with an interesting combination of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “I Saw the Light.”

The one glaring absence Saturday night was Nelson’s long-time bassist and friend, Dan “Bee” Spears, who died of exposure in early December after falling outside his Nashville area home. Earlier in the day Saturday, Spears was remembered at a memorial. Between sets at Saturday’s show, the words “In Memory of Bee Spears 1949-2011” appeared on the wall behind the stage. Spears was part of the Willie Nelson Family Band for more than 40 years and will be dearly missed.


New Years Eve on Sirius/XM Radio: Willie Nelson, Panic, Gregg Allman, Avett Brothers and more

Sunday, December 30th, 2012


We’ve got your front row seat to live concerts across the country featuring Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Southside Johnny and Little Feat as well as live DJ sets from Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Avicii, Dada Life and Eric Prydz.

Willie Nelson from Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater
in Austin, TX (Willie’s Roadhouse — Ch 56)

Gregg Allman at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA
(Classic Vinyl — Ch 26)

Widespread Panic at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC
(Jam On — Ch 29)

The Avett Brothers at Greensboro Coliseum Complex in
Greensboro, NC (The Spectrum — Ch 28)

The Lumineers at Ogden Theater in Denver, CO
(The Spectrum — Ch 28)

Southside Johnny at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ
(E Street Radio — Ch 20)

Little Feat at The Hamilton in Washington, DC
(Radio Margaritaville — Ch 24)

Furthur (featuring Phil Lesh & Bob Weir) from the Bill Graham
Civic Auditorium in San Francisco (Grateful Dead Channel — Ch 23)

Folk Uke on Tour Down Under!

Sunday, December 30th, 2012


Happy New Year to Australia!  Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie have taken their show on the road again, and are doing series of shows in Australia.  Visit their website for more information:

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

This was a mural on the wall at the Willie Nelson and Family fundraising concert last year, to benefit Launchability, in Dallas Texas. Thanks to Janis for sharing the photo.

Support Farm Aid

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Support Farm Aid

There’s just a few days left to give a year-end gift to support Farm Aid.

Farm Aid relies on the support of people like you to do the year-round work to keep family farmers on the land. We truly appreciate that you’re a partner in this work with us.

Click here to give a gift to Farm Aid now. Your tax-deductible donation will enable us to build on Farm Aid’s solid accomplishments for family farmers in 2012.

This year, with your help, Farm Aid:

  • Assisted farmers affected by the worst drought in more than 50 years.
  • Answered nearly 800 hotline calls from farmers, ranging from farmers in crisis to new and beginning farmers just getting started on the land.
  • Gave $532,300 in grants, supporting 67 farm and rural service organizations around the country that help farmers thrive, increase availability of family farm food, and take action to change the dominant industrial food system.
  • Raised thousands of voices demanding support for new farmers, for conservation programs that protect our soil and water, for fair markets for farmers and ranchers, and for transparency in our food system.
  • Brought together farm advocates in Pennsylvania, from across the country, to strengthen and grow a network of first responders who provide resources to farmers in need.
  • Led the nation in standing up for family farms with inspiring music and cultural change in our food system.

All of this extraordinary work makes a real difference in the lives of farm families, and all of us who eat. But we can’t do this work without you. Please, don’t miss your last chance in 2012 to keep family farmers on the land.


Carolyn Mugar

Carolyn Mugar
Executive Director
Farm Aid

Willie Nelson and Family, Glastonbury Festival (2010)

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

What a treat! Thanks to Juul, from the Netherlands, for sharing this video he found of Willie Nelson’s show at the Glastonbury Festival in Great Britain in 2010. It’s over an hour long, it must be most of his set at the show, and the footage is great.

It’s freezing here in Colorado this morning, and watching WN&F at a summer festival is perfect anticdote. Enjoy. Thanks, Juul!

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Photo: Photo by Jim Bennett
See more of his photos here.