Archive for March, 2016
See Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie in Folk Uke at the Continental Club in Austin on Wednesdays in AprilThursday, March 31st, 2016
SumTur Amphitheater will welcome its biggest name yet this summer.
Willie Nelson will play at the venue June 26 with Kris Kristofferson opening.
“We’re really, really happy about that,” said Doug Huggins, amphitheater manager.
Huggins said they anticipate Nelson to be the most popular mainstream show the amphitheater has gotten to date. The show, Huggins said, will be a good fit for the amphitheater.
“For SumTur, it’s a big deal,” he added. “Listening to Willie Nelson singing outdoors on a beautiful day, I don’t think there could be a better place for it.”
The announcement of Nelson’s show is another in a string of ticketed events to be hosted at the facility. Over the last few years, the amphitheater has seen an increased number of ticketed events offered in conjunction with its free programming.
Last year, the facility hosted eight large ticketed events. This year, Huggins said he’s hoping to offer 10 to 12.
The amphitheater has partnered with two promoters, 1% Productions and Mammoth Productions, to bring ticketed events to the facility.
“We’ve had a relationship with both of those for several years and they’re bringing some very exciting acts,” Huggins said.
Other ticketed acts include Leon Bridges, Brandi Carlile, Matt Nathanson and Phillip Phillips with Eric Hutchinson, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday, Flogging Molly, and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers.
“It’s nice being a contender and in a way, a leader in the whole Omaha metro area, in ticketed events,” Huggins said. “The City of Papillion has worked hard to make SumTur a viable entertainment production venue and we’re very happy that we’re considered in the same name as Stir and the Orpheum and the Holland as far as quality entertainment in the heartland.”
I challenged the standard ballad “Crazy” composed by Willie Nelson.This room is the factoy of my company.
Hososhima , Hyuga city , Miyazaki Pref. JAPAN — Yutaka Kawano
It isn’t a secret that I love Willie Nelson and when I got invited to a dinner he was hosting on his iconic Luck, TX ranch outside of Austin it was the perfect excuse to escape after three crazy days of SXSW. It was an intimate gathering and truly a hidden gem tucked away from the downtown hustle and bustle, apparently Adrian Grenier thought so too — he was sitting across the table from me. It was also the kick-off for Willie’s one-day music festival, Luck Reunion, held the next day. Sadly I didn’t get to take part in the festival because I was in Mexico City.
And enjoy the travel culture blog:
“Well I had three of my favorite people out there— it was some of the best times of my life.” — Willie Nelson
by: Jake Harris
They’ll always be around, and around, and around…
Though only half of its founding members are still alive, The Highwaymen are making a bit of a comeback.
The country supergroup made up of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson will be the subject of a new “American Masters” documentary on PBS in May, and a box set of rare live shows is set to be released a week before the documentary, Rolling Stone Country reports.
“The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End” airs on PBS May 27, and will feature new interviews from Kristofferson and Nelson as well as archived interviews from Cash and Jennings, who died in 2003 and 2002, respectively.
“Well I had three of my favorite people out there— it was some of the best times of my life,” Nelson says in the trailer, which can be viewed here. Other country artists are interviewed, too, such as Jessi Colter and Marty Stuart.
The documentary showcases a rare 1990 concert in New York where the band played for nearly three hours, with each member playing their own solo hits.
“The Highwaymen Live – American Outlaws” is a box set that will be released May 20. The four-disc CD/DVD package includes a DVD of the full New York show featured in “Friends Till the End” and CDs of two Farm Aid concerts from 1992 and 1993.
Nelson fans can expect to see some of his biggest hits in the box set, including “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “Always On My Mind” and “On the Road Again.” The third disc closes with a new version of “One Too Many Mornings,” which Cash and Jennings previously recorded. Kristofferson and Nelson provide the vocals for the new version.
And if you can’t get enough of Willie, you can always drive by East Seventh Street and Neches Street
photo: Suzanne Cordiero
by: Patrick Doyle
About seven years ago, Lukas Nelson went to see his hero, Neil Young play in Los Angeles. At the show, he happened to meet a drummer named Anthony LoGerfo. They took the party to a friend’s house, where they surfed and played music late into the night. Soon, they’d formed a band, Promise of the Real, their name taken from a lyric Young’s 1974 epic “Walk On:” (“Some get stoned/ some get strange/ but sooner or later, it all gets real.”)
Now, for the last two years, the “cowboy hippie surf rock” band has been Young’s band on the road and in the studio, backing him on last year’s The Monsanto Years. “You couldn’t write it in a book,” Nelson says. “The vibe is perfect, and it’s real. We’ve learned from each other, and we’ve gotten so tight. I don’t want to stop, and I don’t think Neil does either. There’s transcendental experiences on stage with Neil. Like, you’re looking down at yourself and you’ll be like, ‘Oh my God. I’m down there, and I’m up here. What’s going on?'”
For Nelson, this chapter is the culmination of years of hard work and hard touring for his band, which includes LoGerfo, bassist Corey McCormick, percussionist Tato Meglar, plus Lukas’ brother Micah on guitar and other instruments – when he’s not touring with his own project, Insects vs Robots. Lukas grew up on the island of Maui, Hawaii, a student of the island’s jam band scene and his guitar teacher, gypsy-jazz virtuoso Tom Conway. There was also his dad, Willie Nelson. By 14, Lukas was playing guitar with his father on summer school breaks, occasionally sitting in with his dad’s touring partner, Bob Dylan. Willie’s Number One rule at home while Lukas was growing up: “Don’t be an asshole.”
“My dad and I are alike in a lot of ways,” he says. “I’ve always looked up to him, and I’ve always wanted to be like him, in terms of being a human being, and also in terms of being a musician. I’m lucky to have such a great example.”
To record their new album, Something Real, Nelson and his band moved to San Francisco, living and working in a 19th-century Victorian mansion. “The vibe was so deep and heavy,” Nelson says. “It used to be a Russian embassy. It was one of the first places ever to have a radio signal come out of. It could have been the first radio signal ever to come out of a tower there, in the mansion. And I mean, it’s got old gramophones in it.” They built a studio and utilized the house’s equipment, like a century-old pump organ, which can be heard on their menacing album closer, a cover of Scott McKenzie’s 1967 classic “San Francisco,” with vocals from Young himself.
Nelson pulled from his experiences in San Francisco while writing the LP. The song “Forget About Georgia” is about a woman named Georgia he met during his time in the city. “She kind of broke my heart,” he says. “And I felt like, ‘Wow. This girl twisted me around.’ And I was in love with her.” Nelson’s heartbreak worsened when he hit the road with his father, and he had to play “Georgia on my Mind” on stage every night. “We’d play that song, and I’d be thinking about her. And I’d be like, ‘Fuck, I can’t forget about this girl. I just wanna let it go.'”
Another defining moment came one day when Nelson was walking in the Tenderloin neighborhood, and he overheard a homeless man say, “Today was an ugly color.” It inspired him to write the seven-minute ballad, “Ugly Color,” about the cruelty in the world from the perspective of the man, which peaks with a searingly melodic solo. “There was a period during that guitar solo that something else took over, and just came through the band,” Nelson says. “It was like we were channeling some deep-seated sorrow and longing, from the city of San Francisco itself.”
In June, Promise of the Real play a handful of dates with Young (including New Orleans’ Jazz Fest) before a longer run in Europe. Earlier this month, Young said he was nearly finished with his second album with the group, calling his connection with them “effortless.”
“I feel really good and amped and energized,” Young says. “And I feel like I’m doing something I’ve never done before. It’s not just music. It’s a soundscape. It’s kind of like flying around and listening to things with your eyes closed.”
Nelson says he’s certainly learned quite a bit from Young. “Neil is one of the sharpest tools you’ll ever meet. He’s detail-oriented. It’s cool to watch him be so involved, to tell the crew that they’ve gotta dress up and put a hazmat suit on and all that. I love watching it. I love being a part of it.”
“We’ll warm up vocally 30 minutes before every show,” says Nelson. “Doesn’t matter what show it is, doing it causes you to really lock in with your band, too. You just lock right in, and you go right out to stage. Neil, without fail, will do that every show, and I think it’s brilliant. I think it really brings people together.”
But before that, the Promise of the Real will head out in May on their biggest headlining U.S. tour yet. Nelson is looking forward to building the connection he’s forged with his audience. “I went and saw this psychic one time, and she told me that I was good at bringing people into this holographic bubble of energy,” he says. “I don’t know that a psychic is something that I would base my life decisions on, but I do think it was cool, the way she described it. It’s like you’re creating your own virtual reality area for the three hours that the music is playing, and you’re bringing all these people into this little holographic world where everybody kind of feels similar. You just get lost.”
See more photos, read more here.
photo: Kevin Winters
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Merle Haggard canceled his performances in April with Willie Nelson & Family. He received doctor’s orders to complete his recovery from double pneumonia by continuing to rest.
“I want to thank my fans for their prayers and well wishes. I hope to be back on the road in May, but I’m taking it one day at a time,” Haggard said.
The Willie Nelson & Family tour will continue with special guests Jamey Johnson and Ryan Bingham.
The change in the lineup is bittersweet, as concert promoters were looking forward to seeing the two classic country stars share the stage, but the addition of not one, but two award-winning artists make this evening something unexpectedly special.
This concert in Springfield is sold out. Ticketholders desiring refunds as a result of the change can call 1-800-514-3849. Any ticket inventory that is refunded will then be made available for purchase at 10:00 a.m., Friday, April 1. To purchase those tickets, visit www.drurytickets.com, call (417) 873-6389, or visit the box office at the O’Reilly Center.
Thanks, Phil Weisman, for finding this gem.
MERLE HAGGARD CANCELS UPCOMING APRIL PERFORMANCES
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Merle Haggard is canceling his April performances with Willie Nelson & Family. He has received doctor’s orders to complete his recovery from double pneumonia by continuing to rest.
Merle says “I want to thank my fans for their prayers and well wishes. I hope to be back on the road in May, but I’m taking it one day at a time.”
The Willie Nelson & Family tour will continue with a variety of special guests – Jamey Johnson, Ryan Bingham and Shakey Graves – joining on select dates.
For more information, please visit
“It is with deepest regret we inform our Customers that Merle Haggard will no longer be performing at Whitewater Amphitheater with Willie Nelson due to ongoing health concerns. Fortunately, our show will go on and we are happy to welcome Ryan Bingham, Oscar-winning American Country Singer/Songwriter to perform with Willie Nelson on April 15th and 16th and Jamey Johnson, another American Country Singer/Songwriter along w/ Shakey Graves on April 17th. Merle and his family are in our prayers and we wish him a full recovery.
We will offer refunds to our customers who no longer wish to attend this concert. To receive a refund, you must submit a request through Ticketfly via support.ticketfly.com no later than 4/5/16.”
by: Lorie Lieberg
Lukas Nelson and Lily Meola teamed up for an acoustic rendition of “The Sound of Your Memory” during Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion earlier this month.
Earlier this month, the Nelson family invited dozens of musicians and fans to Luck Ranch, their private property in the middle of Texas’ beautiful hill country. Just hours before rain and lightning came down upon the festival, the pair came together for a stripped-down performance of “The Sound of Your Memory”, a track featured on Willie’s 2012 album Heroes.
The duo stood in front of Nelson’s vintage tour bus, which greeted visitors as they drove up the winding dirt road to the festival gates. Maui native Meola brings a smooth and jazzy tone to the reminiscent track, which usually has a slightly grittier feel. While it’s difficult for anyone to elevate a Willie Nelson song – much less a 20-year-old newcomer – Meola’s impressive vocal abilities manage to bring the song to a brand new level.
Both Nelson and Meola ended up joining in for a few songs during Willie’s star-studded finale set during this year’s Luck Reunion. The rain-shortened event also featured appearances from dozens of country artists, including Sam Outlaw, Andrew Combs and Billy Joe Shaver. You can read our full report from the festival here.