by: Neal Portnoy Studio
Archive for March, 2012
Thanks so much to Cherie for sharing this great slide show she made of pictures she took at the Paula Nelson Band show.
This haunting tune, transcribed from Across the Borderline, showcases some of Willie Nelson’s dynamic lead work on his nylon-string guitar. He opens the song with a somewhat Spanish sounding melody, harmonicized in thirds, followed by some bluesy blending. The solo break restates the original solo but with a few variations, the most notable of which is his Django-esque use of tremolo picking.
Paste Magazine Cover (April 2010)
“Til the End”
“Back to Earth”
by: Randall G. Mielke
Tim Rater, the executive director of the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, knows that when it comes to booking country music legends like Willie Nelson, many factors come into consideration.
“It’s all about timing,” Rater said. “Whether or not he is touring, the price to perform, where else he is playing, where he is traveling. We know the audience has been asking for him. We did not know if it would work out. He had multiple offers from other venues, but I think he wanted to come back here.”
Willie Nelson and Family will perform April 11 and 12 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.
Nelson has appeared at the Paramount on two other occasions, once in October 1993 and again in November 2003, according to Rater.
“So that’s almost a decade since he has been here,” Rater said. “He’s probably the biggest legend we will have on our stage this year. The Paramount has wanted to get him ever since he was here the last time.”
The 78-year-old Nelson has had a six-decade career. As a songwriter in the 1960s, Nelson brought pop and country music together by writing unforgettable songs like “Crazy” (Patsy Cline), “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Billy Walker) and “Night Life” (Ray Price), among others.
In the 1970s, Nelson would redefine country music. “The Red Headed Stranger,” Nelson’s first album for Columbia Records in 1975, launched the artist’s popularity. Along with Waylon Jennings, Nelson was labeled the outlaw of the genre. But he was able to attract rock fans to look at country music. He teamed up for recordings with Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, and even sang with Julio Iglesias on the popular “To All the Girls I Loved Before” in 1984.
A seven-time Grammy Award winner, Nelson has recorded more than 200 albums and has received numerous accolades including American Music awards, Academy of Country Music awards, Country Music Association awards, and others. Nelson has acted in numerous movies and television shows and he is a co-founder of Farm Aid, an annual series of fund-raising events which began as an all-star benefit concert in 1985 to raise money for American farmers.
For the Paramount concert, Nelson will perform with family members.
“His son, Lukas Nelson, may be here,” Rater said. “He mixes people in. They do not commit to anyone specific.”
Ticket sales for the Willie Nelson shows have been brisk.
“The response has been great,” Rater said. “We sold out the first show almost immediately; about 24 hours after it was announced. It was the fastest-selling show that I have seen. So, we wanted to add a second show, but that took a week to secure.
“He’s superstitious,” said Rater about Nelson‘s hesitancy to book another show. “He does not like to play a second show in the same location. We had the Thursday show; we added the Wednesday show. A North Dakota venue was competing with us for the date.”
Rater believes that Nelson’s appeal is due to his congenial nature.
“He is everyman,” Rater said. “Guys like him, girls like him. ‘Everybody knows Willie.’ No one sounds like Willie Nelson. He may not be the vocalist of the century, but he has his own style.”
On March 30, 1976, the collaborative album “Wanted: The Outlaws”–featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessie Colter– is certified gold.
As Willie Nelson’s career gathered momentum and he began getting a national audience, Waylon Jennings and his producer/cohort Tompall Glaser noticed. Waylon was well on the way to success but so far he had experienced nothing approaching the magnitude of Willie’s accomplishments.
Nashville recording executives were quick to realize that Willie had indeed tapped into something big with this new, younger audience he had discovered. RCA vice-president Jerry Bradley was the first to hit upon a concept for an LP that might allow Waylon to penetrate this new market. Why not put together an album that would combine the talents of these “outlaws” — as they had come to be known for thier casual lifestyles and their insistence on working outside the traditional political system of the country music industry.
“Waylon was booking out as the Outlaws, he and Tompall and Jessi and Willie occasionally,” Bradley recalled to Martha Hume, “and Willie had just had a hit [“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”], and Jessi had just had a hit [“I’m not Lisa”], and Waylon had been having all kinds of hits, and none really as big as Willie or Jessi. So I told Waylon I thought we ought to do this Outlaws package and make his picture a little bigger and boost his image a little bit. He said, “Well, I wish you’d use Tompall’, I said, ‘Fine, if we can work things out with MGM [Tompall Glaser’s record label at the time], I’ll be glad to use Tompall.’”
Eight of the eleven tracks on the 1976 Wanted: The Outlaws LP were previously released material. Included on the album were two songs by Waylon, two by Willie, two by Jessi, one duet with Waylon and Jessi (a moving version of “Suspicous Minds”), and two duets with Willie and Waylon.
Most outstanding with the Outlaws LP is the ingenious packaging. The front cover is designed like an old wild west, “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster, and painted in sepia. When “Good Hearted Woman” was released as the LP’s first single, it shot to the number one spot, and stayed there for weeks. It sold phenomenally well; within a few months it had passed the million sales mark, became the first platinum country album and the biggest selling album in Nashville’s history.
On the strenth of the Outlaws LP, Waylon and Willie swept the 1976 Country Music Association Awards, winning Best Single (“Good Hearted Woman”), Best Album, and best Vocal Duo (“Good Hearted Woman”). Waylon did not appear to pick up the awards but Willie showed up at the normally stodgy, tuxedoed affair, all smiles, and bounded on to the stage to accept their trophies in his customary sneakers, head band, and flannel shirt.
After the Outlaws LP, things were never quite the same for Waylon and Willie. They became — as one writer put it – the Redford and Newman of country music. Everyone wanted to know what they ate for breakfast, who they slept with, and their opinions on national politics. Their triumphant success with the Outlaws marked their final triumph over the Nashville star-system that had ignored them for so long. “Those guys [the record executives] didnt’ know that audience was there,” [Rolling Stone]. “That’s what happens when you sit behind a desk a lot. You don’t get out there and see what people are paying money to see. I been playing beer joints all my life. I know what those people like to hear.”
“I think people in Nashville know less about what country is than anybody,” Jennings told John Rockwell of the New York Times. “They limit themselves… If we fought for anything, it was the right to be ourselves and not to be typecast.”
The full story in words and pictures of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
by Bob Allen
Willie Nelson created this video himself, with his computer, on his bus.
by JoBeth Davis
Enterprise, AL – Just when you think it can’t get any better, organizers announce the addition of Willie Nelson, Uncle Kracker and NEEDTOBREATHE to the impressive list of performers set to take the stage at BamaJam 2012 on Thursday, June 14 through Saturday, June 16 in Enterprise, Alabama. These performers join previously announced stars Kid Rock, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson in what promises to be the premier entertainment and lifestyles event of the south. Stay tuned for even more artist announcements and a full festival schedule!
Specially priced 3-day tickets are available for an early-purchase price of $119* online at www.bamajam2012.com, as well as through Ticketfly.com, or charge by phone at (877) 4FLYTIX or (877-435-9849). Be one of a very limited number of people to have special access to stand on stage throughout the festival for only $999. This ticket of a lifetime will allow you to watch all the main stage entertainment from an up-close-and-personal vantage point. Once these tickets are gone, they are gone, so don’t delay! *All ticket purchases should be made now to ensure the best ticket prices available.
Willie Nelson is the creative genius behind historic recordings like “Crazy,” “Hello Walls,” “Red Headed Stranger” and “Stardust.” In a career spanning an amazing six decades, Nelson’s catalog boasts more than 200 albums. He’s earned every conceivable award and honor to be bestowed a person in his profession. He has also amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist.
In many ways, however, the weighty distinction “living legend” does Nelson a disservice, for it discounts the extent to which he is a thriving, relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. As ever, Nelson tours tirelessly, climbing aboard Honeysuckle Rose III (he rode his first two buses into the ground), taking his music and fans on a seemingly endless journey to places that were well worth the ride.
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real: New album release on April 3rd! Release party at Antones April 6th! Live on Letterman April 3rd!Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Yeah, lot going on with this band! But no one who has seen them in concert is surprised at how they are taking off. Their increadible individual and collective talent is being recognized by an ever growing number of fans across the country. The are working hard — visit their website to see their coast to coast tour; they are coming to a state year you soon, with over 40 shows on their schedule — see them when you can!
The band’s highly anticipated new album set to be released next week on Tuesday, April 3rd. But if you can’t wait, you can pre-order it right now, in vinyl or on cd, at the band’s website: www.PromiseoftheReal.com. The vinyl comes with a photo book, with more art by J. Micah Nelson. They have shirts, stickers, posters and different bundling options at their site, too.
The band is celebrating their new album with a release party concert at Antone’s, in Austin, Texas, on Friday, April 6th. Here’s Get your own fresh copy of the cd, signed by the whole band. That will be one great party.
But there’s more. The band will also appear on David Letterman as part of their new cd release tour. The date is tentatively April 3rd, but check your local CBS listings to confirm the day. Hope they play wasted!
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real rehearse, ‘Wasted’, at Bob Weir TRI studios in California.
Also, check out this link to great review of the album: http://spunoutcentral.com/wasted.html