Cyndi Lauper was one of the many artists who gathered in Washington DC last week to honor Willie Nelson, when he was presented with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize.
With a tip of the hat to George and Ira Gershwin, who the Prize is named after, Willie an Cyndi sang, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” When Willie introduced Cyndi and called her out to the stage, Willie announced that they had recorded the song for a new album coming out early next year to honor the Gershwin brothers, “Summertime.”
Janis Tillerson took all these great photos for us all to enjoy.
AC: Willie Nelson sings on the album and I understand there’s an interesting story on how that happened.
CC: It was funny. Don and me had cut all the basic tracks and after we had done “Troubled Waters,” I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get Willie to sing on this thing.” I could just hear him singing it. Don said he thought he could make it happen. So we got with Willie and he said he’d love to. He loved the song. So I flew to Austin and at the time my daughter lived there, so I was hanging around with her waiting for Willie to say he wanted to get together and record.
All of sudden, I get a call and someone’s saying I had to get the track to Nashville because he’s in Nashville and ready to record. I was like, “But I’m in Texas” [laughs]. Lo and behold, we got it to him and he laid down his guitar and vocals. We had it done by the end of the day.
After opening John Mellencamp’s most recent tour, Carlene Carter brings her one-woman show to the Cactus Cafe on Sunday. She’s promoting last year’s Carter Girl, which celebrates country music’s first family. Mother Maybelle Carter (1909-1978) was her grandmother and June Carter Cash (1929-2003) her mother.
Austin Chronicle: The show you’re doing now is just you singing Carter Family songs and telling stories. Is that right?
Carlene Carter: Yeah, I play guitar, autoharp, and piano. I’m lucky because my husband Joe Breen comes up and sings some of the duets from Carter Girl with me. The show’s about the songs and my relationship to the songs.
AC: I was wondering why you don’t have a band with you.
CC: I just wanted to be able to tell my stories and not have the weight of a band – not that a band can always be a weight. The nicest thing about this music is it really comes across as just the song and my relationship to the song. By doing this, I made myself a better musician. I challenged myself to carry on the style of guitar that my grandmother did, the Carter scratch. In doing that, I discovered I could do this show. It’s a lot of fun.
I just got off the road opening for John Mellencamp and I was pretty chuffed that I could open for a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer as an acoustic act by myself. Working with Mellencamp, I made new fans, people that may have never heard of me. They may have heard I was related to the Carter Family or Johnny Cash somehow, but what they got was pure Carlene. Very much in the spirit of the Carter Family, I’d just go out and do what makes people happy. I really enjoyed the process of playing by myself and I’m going to continue to do it for a while. It really does prove my theory that it’s all about the songs.
[Producer] Don Was really brought that out in the making of the record. It was the first time I ever made a record where the band played with me, instead of me playing with the band. You know what I mean? There were times when I tried to follow myself and I thought surely Greg Liesz or Blake Mills could play this guitar part and they’d go, “No, we’re playing with you.” I was like oh my god. It was a bit of pressure.
AC: I saw that Mellencamp is going to Australia in January. Are you going too?
CC: We’re actually making a duet record together starting in December, so I’m writing for that. It’s different, because I’ve never really sat down and tried to write duets. That’s going to be a fun challenge. And yes, it’ll be my first trip to Australia, so I’m really excited about that.
AC: Something that caught my eye while reading what others have written about Carter Girl was many viewed it as some sort of burden – something that you had to do. How would you describe the making of the album?
CC: It wasn’t a burden. It was an honor to make this album. I was told when I was growing up, “When we’re gone, it’s going to be up to you to carry this music on.” That started the first time I picked up an instrument.
For many years, I never thought about doing this record because they were very much alive and out there carrying on the music. After my mother passed, in 2003, I needed some time to process the grieving part of it. I wanted it to be a celebration, not part of the grieving process. I wanted it to be joyful in the singing of the songs. I wanted to honor them and do a good job. And keep it to something I knew they would be proud of. I had that constantly in my head, but it wasn’t a heavy burden.
The other thing about making the record was there are songs on there that people have never heard. I didn’t want it to be just a bunch of Carter Family songs. I wanted it to mean something to me. If it means something to me, then it’ll mean something to someone else.
Kris [Kristofferson] was in the studio with me and he was so creative. The harmonies he came up with were different than what I would have come up with, so it made it really interesting. I just adore him. I think I was 12 when I first met him. We got to hang out for a day and that was like being with family for me.
Loretta Lynn’s new album will be released in March 2016, her first in 11 years. Willie Nelson records with her on, “Lay Me Down.”
“Full Circle” track listing:
Whispering Sea (Introduction)
Who’s Gonna Miss Me?
Black Jack David
Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven
Always On My Mind
Wine Into Water
In The Pines
Band Of Gold
I Never Will Marry
Everything It Takes (featuring Elvis Costello)
Lay Me Down (featuring Willie Nelson)
Tom Jones will issue his latest studio album, Long Lost Suitcase, in the U.S. on December 4. The 13-track collection features an eclectic list of cover tunes, as well as a couple of original songs, and serves as a companion piece to the 75-year-old singer’s recently published memoir, Over the Top and Back.
Long Lost Suitcase includes renditions of The Rolling Stones‘ “Factory Girl,” Hank Williams‘ “Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do?,” Willie Dixon‘s “Bring It on Home” and Willie Nelson‘s “Opportunity to Cry,” as well as songs by Los Lobos, Dave Van Ronk, Little Willie John and Gillian Welch. The album was produced by Ethan Johns, whose credits include Jones’ previous two albums — 2012’s Spirit in the Room and 2010’s Praise & Blame — and Paul McCartney‘s 2013 record, NEW.
Among the musicians contributing to the record are journeyman guitarist Andy Fairweather Low — who has worked with Eric Clapton and Roger Waters — and drummer Jeremy Stacey of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Jones says that he decided to make the album a companion to his memoir because he realized that as he was recording it that each song reflected some of his own experiences throughout his life.
You can preview three songs from Long Lost Suitcase — Tom’s renditions of “Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do?,” Welch’s “Elvis Presley Blues” and The Milk Carton Kids‘ “Honey, Honey” — at Jones’ official YouTube channel.
Here’s the album’s complete list of songs:
“Opportunity to Cry” (Willie Nelson)
“Honey, Honey” (The Milk Carton Kids)
“Take My Love (I Want to Give It All to You)” (Little Willie John)
“Bring It on Home” (Willie Dixon)
“Everybody Loves a Train” (Los Lobos)
“Elvis Presley Blues” (Gillian Welch)
“He Was a Friend of Mine” (Dave Van Ronk)
“Factory Girl” (The Rolling Stones)
“I Wish You Would” (Billy Boy Arnold)
“‘Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone” (William Bell)
“Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do?” (Hank Williams)
“Tomorrow Night” (original song)
“Raise a Ruckus” (original song)
Willie Nelson never stops surprising us. From poppy chart-breaking duets to honkytonk to movie soundtracks to straight, classic country, Nelson’s not afraid to tackle anything musically.
But despite all of his surprises, ‘The Great Divide’ still manages to shock. It’s an album that shatters musical barriers and his own stereotype while proving he’s one of the most innovative performers to ever walk the earth.
Taking a cue from Santana, ‘The Great Divide’ is an all-star event, but unlike ‘Supernatural,’ where guest vocalists help provide the basis for Santana’s fret work, Nelson is definitely out front here, only assisted by the fellow superstars he enlists.
The result is overwhelming, with all 12 tracks offering diverse experiences but all containing Nelson’s unique sound and fine ability to tell a story.
While only one song is written by Nelson — the moody, stellar title track with guitarist Jackie King — the album is trademark Nelson.
The opening track ‘Maria: Shut Up and Kiss Me’ with matchbox twenty Rob Thomas contains a simple melody and catchy chorus that has enough energy to become a new anthem for Nelson. Lee Ann Womack show sup for a great duet on ‘Mendocino County Line’; Sheryl Crow helps make ‘Be There For You’ the most grandiose tune here; and Bonnie Raitt, as always, comes through on the unforgettable ‘You Remain.’
While Brian McKnight can also be found on ‘Don’t Fade Away,’ the surprise of the year comes on the album’s best track, ‘Last Stand in Open Country,’ with — prepare yourself — Kid Rock, who adds some backup singing (not rapping) for an electrifying tune that stands as the best rock song Nelson may have ever recorded.
Too bad ‘The Great Divide’ was released in January. By the time the Grammys arrive next year and the critics roll out their top 10 lists, ‘The Great Divide’ may not be remembered. That’s unfortunate because this latest offering from this musical pioneer is about as good as it gets.
— Scott Cronick
Maria (Shut Up And Kiss Me)
Last Stand In Open Country
Won’t Catch Me Cryin’
Be There For You
The Great Divide
Just Dropped In (To see what condition my condition was in)
Don’t Fade Away
Time After Time
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will release new album, “Something Real” next February. You can pre-order their special vinyl bundle now, and be the first to get it on February 26th when it is released along with a Tee Shirt, Sticker and signed poster.
by: Daniel Kreps
Fresh off supporting Neil Young on one of his best tours in decades, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real will release Something Real, their third LP, this February. The group also premiered the album’s bluesy title track through Conan O’ Brien’s Team Coco site. The video, like the recording sessions themselves, was filmed at San Francisco’s William Westerfeld Mansion, a one-time residence of Janis Joplin.
Something Real was actually recorded in late 2014, prior to Promise of the Real laying down The Monsanto Years with Young and subsequently embarking on a tour with the rocker; their joint trek concluded October 24th and 25th at the Bridge School Benefit concert. However, the band waited to release their new LP until after their Rebel Content tour, allowing them to recruit Young to provide guest vocals on the Something Real cut “San Francisco.” “I love all the bands I have played with,” Young said in a statement. “But this band (and the multi-generational thing) is epic!”
Something Real finds the band, which features Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah, perfecting a genre they dub “cowboy hippie surf rock.” The album will arrive February 26th. However, although the Rebel Content tour has winded down, Promise of the Real will be right back out on the road in November with another stretch of dates that wraps up with three nights at Willie Nelson and Family’s New Year’s performances in Austin, Texas.
November 10 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head On Stage
November 11 – Pawling, NY @ Daryl’s House
November 12 – Wilmington, DE @ World Café Live
November 13 – Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theatre
November 14 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Putnam Den
November 15 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
December 3 – San Jose, CA @ Rockbar Theater
December 4 & 5 – Bolinas, CA @ Smiley’s Schooner Saloon
December 10 – Hermosa Beach, CA @ Saint Rocke
December 11 – Malibu, CA @ The Malibu Inn
December 12 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
December 13 – Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
December 29, 30 & 31 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits (Willie Nelson & Family New Years)
On October 31, 2006, the Ashley Judd soundtrack to the movie “Come Early Morning” was released. The soundtrack features Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Eddy Raven, Don Gibson, Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan, Jim Chesnut, Emmylou Harris and Billy Joe Shaver. The movie came out in November 2006.
Nov 10, 2006
Killing the Blues – The Malcolm Holcombe Group
End of the Wine – Misty Morgan/Jack Blanchard
Going to See Cal
The Way I Am – Merle Haggard
Don’t Knock – Taylor Grocery Band
An Invitation and a Kiss
Silver Wings – Merle Haggard
Frog Leg Champ
I Got Mexico – Eddy Raven
Oh Lonesome Me – Don Gibson
Movin’ Out, Movin’ Up and Movin’ On – Troy Cook Jr./The Long Haul Band
Argument in the Parking Lot
I’m Going Nowhere – Troy Cook Jr./The Long Haul Band
What’s Done Is Done – Jeannie Max Lane
Owen Is Leaving
Jesus on the Main Line – Taylor Grocery Band
Get Back to Loving Me – Jim Chestnut
Daddy and Daughter
Leavin’ Ain’t the Only Way to Go – Eric James Jochmans
Somebody Pick Up My Pieces – Willie Nelson/Emmylou Harris