Archive for August, 2013

Saturday, August 31st, 2013


photo: Ben Noey, Jr.

Bid on a chance to meet Willie Nelson on his Tour Bus at Farm Aid (Current Bid: $10,000.00)

Saturday, August 31st, 2013


Meet with Willie Nelson on His Tour Bus at Farm Aid 2013 in Saratoga Springs, New York with a Private Backstage Tour, 2 VIP Tickets from Willie’s Personal Allotment and More!

Current Bid: $10,000
Number of Bids: 14
Minimum Next Bid: $10,500
Estimated Value: $5,000
Lot Number: 36482081
Lot Closes: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 3:00:00 PM EDT

Bid now

Good times at the Blue Skies Cafe, Carl’s Corner, TX (4/10/10)

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Steve Gilcrease says I never put his picture on the blog. So to prove him wrong (I should have bet on it), here’s a picture I posted a couple years ago of Janis from Texas and Steve sharing stories and late night laughs at the Blue Skies Cafe after a Paula Nelson’s Show at Carl’s Corner. We were all blushing. I think Steve had told us an inappropriate dirty joke.

Oh, those were good times, everybody in a great mood, after hearing some great music by Paula Nelson and her band, and not so surprised guest Willie Nelson, following sets by Waylon Payne, Jarrett Schaub and the Vagabonds and Clay Canfield. I still miss that place; I would get to see people I only see there, and I miss those fans, too. As well as it being the best place to see Willie Nelson & Family.

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

Saturday, August 31st, 2013


Kris Kristofferson congratulates Willie Nelson for his BMI award.


Willie Nelson featured in BMI campaign “Write On”

Saturday, August 31st, 2013


The second phase of Broadcast Music, Inc.’s (BMI) branding campaign has been revealed. The new ad is located in the Nashville airport and features Willie Nelson with the slogan,  “Write On.”

BMI began rebranding in Austin, Texas in March, with the slogan “Powered By.”   Willie Nelson has been a BMI songwriter since 1959. More songwriters and slogans will be announced as the branding campaign evolves.

Willie Nelson to record with Engelbert Humperdinck

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Englebert Humperdinck - Sweetheart
(not the actual cover )

The legendary Engelbert Humperdinck spent the day in the studio with Kiss founder Gene Simmons laying down a track for his Duets albums.

Engelbert is nearing completion of the album which features songs with Willie Nelson, Elton John and Smokey Robinson and now Simmons.

Engelbert exclusively announced the Simmons duet in his interview with Noise11. ‘There’s Elton, there’s Smokey Robinson, there’s Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Neil Sedaka and it goes on and on and on. It is very exciting names on this particular album. I’m so thrilled that everyone has responded and wanted to work on the album with me and I think it has been a very exciting project,’ he said.

Last week he also announced 60s British pop star Lulu would also join him on the album.

Today Engelbert told fans via Facebook, ‘What an absolute pleasure to meet and record with this giant of a Rock God! A fantastic day with Gene Simmons and his gorgeous wife Shannon.’

Watch footage of Gene and Engelbert meeting up in the studio in LA:


Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Rules to eat by #Road2FarmAid

Willie Nelson on KERA (Channel 13, Dallas) (1974)

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

by:  Stephen Becker

When you picture Willie Nelson in your mind’s eye, what do you see? A white beard, certainly. Braids, likely. Maybe a red, white and blue guitar strap?

Those visuals have become Willie trademarks, but it wasn’t always that way. How do I know? I’ll tell ya how – I just got finished watching a concert that he performed here at KERA that aired on Channel 13 in 1974. That Willie is mostly clean-shaven – just a hint of 5 o’clock shadow. And his dark hair is just over the collar.

And yet …

So many of the things we’ve come to associate with Willie were already firmly entrenched nearly 40 years ago. Trigger, his trusty guitar, already has that second hole in it. (Trigger is a classical guitar, which don’t typically come with pick guards since classical players don’t use picks. Willie does, hence, the hole.) And that voice is the same as it ever was. I challenge anyone to listen to him sing “Whiskey River” today and listen to the opener to the 1974 show and correctly pick out which is which without guessing. You’ll probably hear him sing it on Monday at his 4th of July picnic.

The reason for this look back is KERA Classics, a series the station has put together to celebrate its 50th birthday. Kicking off the series is a rebroadcast of a show that used to air on the station called Opry House, an Austin City Limits-type show that actually predates ACL. Country music performers would come by, we’d invite a studio audience and broadcast the whole thing. (When I say “we,” I mean those people who worked here before I was born.) Future episodes that will be rebroadcast in July and August include Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, David Allan Coe and Michael Murphey. KERA was definitely country before country was cool.

Willie’s performance is first up, airing this Sunday at 6 p.m. In addition to “Whiskey River,” he runs through “Bloody Mary Morning,” “Hello Walls” and a power-packed medley of “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy” and “Night Life.” That last one will make you wonder why he’s not more widely regarded as a first-rate guitar player.

He also takes requests, which is actually pretty surprising to see during a live television show. Audience members shout out “Sad Songs and Waltzes!” and “Pick Up the Tempo!” and Willie and the band hardly blink before launching right into them.

About half way through the show, Sammi Smith joins the band on stage for a quick duet. Willie tells her to not go too far – she’ll be coming back to to sing her hit “Help Me Make it Through the Night.” But unfortunately, that footage has been lost to history.

How can that be, you ask? I wondered the same thing. So I tracked down Bill Young, who’s in charge of television programming around here. He tells me that the Willie Nelson episode of Opry House was a 90-minute show. Back in those days, you would sometimes film on a 65-minute tape and then a 30 minute tape and marry the two together where the overlap occurs. In preparing to put the series together for KERA’s 50th, Bill says he and his staff turned the building over searching for that second tape to no avail.

So Smith’s performance, plus a special appearance by Jerry Jeff Walker to sing “Up Against the Wall Red Neck Mother,” are lost to history.

Gone to that great television in the sky. Luckily we hung on to the first hour of this program. Tune in Sunday night, and you’ll be glad we did. Check out a related story about this program on

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Willie Nelson at the Fox Theatre, Tucson

photo:  Mary Francis Andrews

Kris Kristofferson sings, “On the Road Again”, at Kennedy Center Honors for Willie Nelson (1998)

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Win a Trigger USB from

Friday, August 30th, 2013


No purchase necessary. To enter, go to Willie Nelson’s Facebook account HERE.

Willie Nelson is giving away five Trigger USB key chains.  The 2GB Trigger USB is made into a handy keychain you can take along anywhere and always have ready to use. Aside from its convenience, it makes for a great conversation piece!

To enter, simply fill out the form HERE. 
Contest ends Thursday September 5th at 5PM CST. 

If you don’t win one, or you don’t like to gamble, you can purchase your own at the site for $35.00, but you don’t have to buy one to enter the contest.

Happy Happy Shoeshine Friday

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Listen to Farm Aid 2013 Concert on Sirius/XM radio

Thursday, August 29th, 2013


If you can’t make it to Farm Aid 2013, remember, Sirius/XM Radio will once again be broadcasting the concert.  For information on how you can hear it:

Willie Nelson & Family, Radio City Music Hall (with Levon Helm) (7/28/10)

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

photo credit:
by Nate Chinen

Genial, intractable, unvarnished, in control:  these were all equally true of Willie Nelson and Levon Helm on Wednesday night at Radio City Music Hall.  Each led his working band, engaging a cross-section of old-time American music, from folk and country to gospel, blues, early jazz, rock ’n’ roll. Both men were radiant with authority and its trickier cousin, authenticity.  A few months back he released “Country Music” (Rounder), a handsomely austere, staunchly tradition-minded album produced by T Bone Burnett.  It’s easily the most focused entry in the recent Willie Nelson discography, and he barely touched it here.  (“Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” the song that closes the album, turned up shortly after the midpoint of the set.)

Taken as a concept rather than a checklist, though, “Country Music” was well served by this show, which featured a lot of shuffle rhythm and favored wisdom over revelation. Easing into gear with the Family, his sparse and attentive cohort, Mr. Nelson gave the proper airing to songs by Hank Williams, Fred Rose and Lefty Frizzell, along with a few of his own. His guitar playing was clean and coltish — often he raced ahead of the beat, waited for the others to catch up and then sprinted forward again — and his singing was typically spry, a nasal twang just lightly abraded with age.

That’s one more distinction between Mr. Nelson and Mr. Helm, whose bout with throat cancer a dozen years ago made singing of any sort seem a precious gift. Mr. Helm, 70, sang sparingly here, entrusting most of the task to members of the band: his daughter Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, the guitarist Larry Campbell and the keyboardist Brian Mitchell. (Also on keyboards was Donald Fagen of Steely Dan; he sang a bit too.) When Mr. Helm did vocalize, it took the form of a soulful rasp, weathered with cracks.

His drumming, on the other hand, was as lean as ever, a righteous marvel of concision and grit. He had plenty to work with in the set, with rhythms ranging from country two-step to New Orleans second-line. He played just a bit of mandolin, on “Deep Ellum Blues,” and took the opportunity to throw in some hip-thrusting dance moves.  Everything about his presence suggested jubilant exertion.

Closing with “The Weight,” one of his biggest hits with the Band, he brought Mr. Nelson onstage as a guest.  This was promising, but Mr. Nelson eschewed the microphone, choosing only to play a meandering guitar solo.