Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie” (Rolling Stone Interview June 2015)

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

by:  Patrick Doyle

“Hello, I know you!” Merle Haggard says as he emerges from the bedroom of his tour bus. He’s talking to Willie Nelson, who’s sitting in the bus’s cramped front quarters. Standing nearby, Nelson’s wife, Annie, asks the pair if they’ll sign a couple of acoustic guitars for a charity run by Matthew McConaughey, a friend of the family. “Absolutely not,” Haggard says with a smile. Later, when Annie takes a photo of the two signing the guitars, Nelson grins and gives the camera the finger.

It’s a perfect Saturday night in South Texas, where Haggard, 78, and Nelson, 82, are playing the last of three sold-out shows together at New Braunfels’ Whitewater Amphitheater. Haggard is about to play a set, during which Nelson will join him on “Okie From Muskogee,” “Pancho and Lefty” and a handful of other songs. Backstage, Nelson family members catch up; his rail-thin 90-year-old roadie Ben Dorcy (who was once John Wayne’s assistant) ambles around, smoking a pipe. Directly behind the stage, locals ride down the Guadalupe River in inner tubes, stopping on the bank to listen to the show. “We’ll get somebody out there to sell them tickets,” Nelson jokes.

Sitting side by side on the bus, Nelson and Haggard look like they could be a grizzled Mount Rushmore of country music. “It’s a mutual-admiration society with us,” says Nelson. “Merle’s one of the best. There’s not anyone out there that can beat him. Maybe Kris Kristofferson. But then you start running out of names.”

Haggard and Nelson are about to release a new LP, Django and Jimmie. (The title is a tribute to Nelson’s and Haggard’s respective heroes, Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers.)

One of the best songs is “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” an ode to their late friend and a meditation on mortality. “There’s a thousand good stories about John,” says Nelson. Haggard tells one, about the time Cash thought it would be hilarious to dynamite a broken-down car he encountered on the side of the road. “He hooks it all up, hits the plunger and blows it up. And he said, ‘Now, when that guy goes to tell his old lady his car blew up, he won’t be lying!’?” Nelson cackles, adding, “John used to say, ‘I always get my best thinking done when June is talking.’?”

“I didn’t know anything about marijuana,” Haggard says. “It’s fantastic.”

Nelson and Haggard met at a poker game at Nelson’s Nashville house in 1964, when both were struggling songwriters. (Neither would have major success until they left Nashville behind; Nelson for Austin, Haggard for Bakersfield, California.) They didn’t become close until the late Seventies, when they were playing casinos in Reno. “We’d play a couple of long shows a day, then spend all night long jamming,” says Haggard.

In 1982, they recorded Pancho & Lefty together at Nelson’s ranch near Austin, where they’d stay awake for days — “We were living pretty hard in that time period,” Nelson has said — playing golf and then recording all night (Haggard barely remembers singing his famous verse on “Pancho and Lefty”). At the time, they were fasting on a master-cleanse regimen of cayenne pepper and lemon juice. “I think Willie went 10 days,” says Haggard. “I went seven.”

“I still ain’t got over it,” says Nelson. “Still hungry.” Adds Haggard, “You’re still high!”

These days, they share a love of conspiracy theories (both are devoted fans of paranormal-obsessed radio host Art Bell) and making music with their children (Haggard’s son Ben plays guitar in his band; Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah frequently join their father onstage). “It’s as good as it gets, to have your kids up there playing,” says Nelson. “And they’re good!”

On the new album, the two cover Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright).” The track was recorded before Dylan criticized Haggard and other artists in a widely publicized MusicCares speech in February: “Merle Haggard didn’t think much of my songs, but Buck Owens did,” Dylan said. “Buck Owens and Merle Haggard? If you have to have somebody’s blessing — you figure it out.” Dylan later apologized.

Haggard (who toured with Dylan in 2005) thinks Dylan was talking about the Merle Haggard of the Sixties — the guy who took shots at hippies, weed and premarital sex in 1969’s “Okie From Muskogee.”

“I didn’t misunderstand Bob,” says Haggard. “I know what he meant. He figured I was lumping him in with hippies [in the Sixties]. The lack of respect for the American military hurt my feelings at the time. But I never lumped Bob Dylan in with the hippies. What made him great was the fact that every body liked him. And I’ll tell you one thing, the goddamn hippies have got no exclusive on Bob Dylan!” He pauses. “Bob likes to box — I’d like to get in the ring with his ass, and give him somebody to hit.”

In fact, these days Merle Haggard is far more liberal than the man in his classic songs. For one thing, he loves pot. “I didn’t know anything about marijuana back then,” he says. “It’s one of the most fantastic things in the world.” Did he and Nelson smoke in the studio? “Are you kidding me?” Haggard says with a laugh.

Soon, the conversation devolves to jokes. “You know what you call a guitar player without a girlfriend?” Nelson asks. “Homeless.”

Next, they talk current events, Nelson explaining the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit to Haggard. (“They stole more than they were supposed to,” he says. Haggard nods.) Asked if either has any thoughts about communicating with fans through social media, they shake their heads. “Just so long as somebody else can do it,” says Nelson. “That’s why I didn’t learn to play steel guitar.”

“What was that little girl that played steel in Asleep at the Wheel?” says Haggard. “Cindy Cashdollar. Everybody was trying to look up her dress.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t do that,” deadpans Nelson. “I think I had the wrong angle.”

By now, Haggard is supposed to be onstage; his son has been extending his three-song warm-up set for several minutes, telling the crowd his father will be out soon. These co-headline dates sold so well that Nelson says there will be more: “In fact, I was talking to some folks today — I was gonna see what they thought of making us do a tour of it when it comes out.”

He turns to Haggard. “We ought to do whatever we can get — as many days as we need to,” Nelson says with a smile. “Because I know it’s a good record. I think it might sell a couple.”

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This day in Willie Nelson history: “Waylon & Willie” certified gold (Feb. 3, 1978)

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


On February 3, 1978, the album by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson was certified to have sold 500,000 albums.   (Today a gold album is for sales of 500,000 albums, but it used to be for one million in sales, at $1.00 wholesale cost for each .)

Track List:

  1. Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys
  2. The Year 2003 Minus 25
  3. Pick up the Tempo
  4. If You Can Touch Her at All
  5. Lookin’ for a Feeling
  6. It’s Not Supposed to be That Way
  7. I Can Get Off on You
  8. Don’t Cuss the Fiddler
  9. Gold Dust Woman
  10. A Couple More Years
  11. The Worlitzer Prize

New Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real album, “Something Real” (in stores March 11 2016)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016


Highly anticipated new album by Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real scheduled to be released on March 11th.  You can pre-order the album, and keep up with the band at their website and on Facebook.


Willie Nelson sings with Cyndi Lauper on her new album, “Detour” (out May 6, 2016)

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Willie Nelson is one of many artists invited by Cyndi Lauper to sing with her on her new album, “Detour.” Willie Nelson and Cyndi Lauper previewed their duet at the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Award concert last November.


1. “Funnel Of Love”
2. “Detour” (Featuring Emmylou Harris)
3. “Misty Blue”
4. “Walkin’ After Midnight”
5. “Heartaches By The Number”
6. “The End Of The World”
7. “Night Life” – Featuring Willie Nelson
8. “Begging To You”
9. “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” (Featuring Vince Gill)
10. “I Fall To Pieces”
11. “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Featuring Jewel)
12. “Hard Candy Christmas” (Featuring Alison Krauss)

Willie Nelson, “Summertime”

Monday, January 25th, 2016


Order your copy here:


“Summertime:  Willie Nelson sings Gershwin”, featuring Willie Nelson singing the classics written by the Gershwin Brothers, will be on record shelves on February 26, 2016.

Track List

1. “But Not for Me” by Willie Nelson
2. “Somebody Loves Me” by Willie Nelson
3. “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Willie Nelson
4. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Willie Nelson feat. Cyndi Lauper
5. “It Ain’t Necessarily So” by Willie Nelson
6. “I Got Rhythm” by Willie Nelson
7. “Love is Here to Stay” by Willie Nelson
8. “They All Laughed” by Willie Nelson
9. “Embraceable You” by Willie Nelson feat. Sheryl Crow
10. “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” by Willie Nelson
11. “Summertime” by Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley, “This Train”

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael contributed to Ziggy Marley’s latest album, “Family Time.”   They play on the song, “This Train.”  The album is out now, and you can pre-order the album at, and will be shipped on May 1, 2009.

Mickey Raphael, Don Was, Ziggy Marley, Willie Nelson

Track Listings

1. Family Time with Judah Marley
2. I Love You Too with Rita Marley & Cedella Marley
3. Cry, Cry, Cry with Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga
4. Take Me To Jamaica with Toots Hibbert
5. Ziggy Says
6. This Train with Willie Nelson
7. Wings Of An Eagle with Elizabeth Mitchell
8. ABC
9. Hold him Joe
10. Walk Tall with Paul Simon
11. Future Man, Future Lady with Laurie Berkner
12. My Helping Hands written by Ziggy Marley & narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis
13. Is There Really A Human Race written by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell & narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis

Willie Nelson and Paula Nelson, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016


To All the Girls (Legacy)

1.Dolly Parton – From Here To The Moon And Back
2.Miranda Lambert – She Was No Good For Me
3.Secret Sisters – It Won’t Be Very Long
4.Rosanne Cash – Please Don’t Tell Me
5.Sheryl Crow – Far Away Places
6.Wynonna Judd – Bloody Mary Morning
7.Carrie Underwood – Always On My Mind
8.Loretta Lynn – Somewhere Between
9.Alison Krauss – No Mas Amor
10.Melonie Cannon – Back To Earth
11.Mavis Staples – Grandma’s Hands
12.Norah Jones – Walkin’
13.Shelby Lynne – Til The End Of The World
14.Lily Meola – Will You Remember Mine
15.Emmylou Harris – Dry Lightning
16.Brandi Carlile – Making Believe
17.Paula Nelson – Have You Ever Seen The Rain
18.Tina Rose – After The Fire Is Gone

Willie Nelson: The Great Divide

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

by:  Pat Blashill

Sunny and uplifting are not words generally associated with Willie Nelson, but that’s not the only reason some will be surprised by his new album. Organized loosely around duets with younger stars and a Cyndi Lauper cover, The Great Divide is glossy, tuneful and turned up to ten — which would constitute a triumph for another artist. But Nelson is a performer who uses plain, powerful lyrics and a handsome but unvarnished voice to great effect. Much of that gets lost in the adult-contemporary production goop and heavenly choirs of “Be There for You” (Sheryl Crow is in there somewhere as well, but you wouldn’t know it).

The superbly hummable “Mendocino County Line,” written by that old ranch hand Bernie Taupin, is better, pairing Nelson’s crooked and rusty voice with Lee Ann Womack’s honey-covered chirp. Ironically for an album that may be a nod to Carlos Santana’s collaborative smash Supernatural, the best moments here are the ones in which Nelson just does his thing all by his bad self. On the menacing, swaggering mean-man shuffle of “Just Dropped In,” he croons like a philosopher-poet who has been poisoning the well at Leonard Cohen’s ashram. And the troubled Spanish acoustica of the title song makes it clear Nelson never needed the young blood that appears elsewhere on the record: Nelson’s sound is so deep, so sad yet unapologetic, that he can make a lyric about the summer sun seem as dark and cold as a meditation on the Arctic.

“Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” (on shelves Feb. 26, 2016)

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Order your copy here:


“Summertime:  Willie Nelson sings Gershwin”, featuring Willie Nelson singing the classics written by the Gershwin Brothers, will be on record shelves on February 26, 2016.

Track List

1. “But Not for Me” by Willie Nelson
2. “Somebody Loves Me” by Willie Nelson
3. “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Willie Nelson
4. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Willie Nelson feat. Cyndi Lauper
5. “It Ain’t Necessarily So” by Willie Nelson
6. “I Got Rhythm” by Willie Nelson
7. “Love is Here to Stay” by Willie Nelson
8. “They All Laughed” by Willie Nelson
9. “Embraceable You” by Willie Nelson feat. Sheryl Crow
10. “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” by Willie Nelson
11. “Summertime” by Willie Nelson

Lily Meola! New Album with Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Kris Kristofferson

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016


Lily Meola has such a beautiful voice.

“They Say”
Track List:

1. Bad Weather (written by Lily Meola)
2. Sinking Soon (written by Norah Jones)
3. They Say
4. Dream A Little Dream Of Me
5. Don’t Change (written by Lily Meola)
6. Bobby McGee (written by Kris Kristofferson, duet with Kris Kristofferson)
7. Easy Love
8. L.A. (written by Lukas Nelson, featuring Willie Nelson on guitar)
9. Bad Boy
10. Movie In My Mind (written by Lukas Nelson, duet with Lukas Nelson and featuring Willie Nelson on guitar)
11. Sound of Your Memory (written by Lukas Nelson, duet with Lukas Nelson)
12. Will You Remember Mine (written by Willie Nelson, duet with Willie Nelson)

Produced by Eric Helmkamp

Enjoy this live session recording of Lily Meola and Tom Conway performing, “Bad Weather”.  She wrote this song!


This day in Willie Nelson history: “Willie and Family Live” #1 (January 18, 1979)

Monday, January 18th, 2016

On January 18, 1979, “Willie and Family Live” was at #1 on the country music album chart. The double album was recorded live at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada in April 1978. EmmyLou Harris and Johnny Paycheck are featured on the album.

Side one
“Whiskey River” – 3:40
“Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)” – 3:24
“Funny How Time Slips Away” – 2:45
“Crazy” – 1:47
“Night Life” – 3:55
“If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time)” – 1:44
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” – 3:33
“I Can Get Off on You” – 2:06

Side two
“If You Could Touch Her at All” – 3:00
“Good Hearted Woman” – 2:57
“Red Headed Stranger Medley” 14:25
“Time of the Preacher” – 2:13
“I Couldn’t Believe It Was True” – 1:03
“Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger” – 2:40
“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” – 2:29
“Red Headed Stranger” – 4:31
4. “Under the Double Eagle” – 2:43

Side three
“Till I Gain Control Again” – 5:59
“Bloody Mary Morning” – 3:33
“I’m a Memory” – 1:52
“Mr. Record Man” – 2:01
“Hello Walls” – 1:29
“One Day at a Time” – 2:05
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – 2:18
“Amazing Grace” – 5:12

Side four
“Take This Job and Shove It” – 2:52
“Uncloudy Day” – 3:40
“The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” – 1:29
“A Song for You” – 2:43
“Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms” – 1:56
“Georgia on My Mind” – 4:09
“I Gotta Get Drunk” – 1:22
“Whiskey River” – 2:42
“The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” – 2:12

Another Willie Nelson Cover: Thomas Marriott “Crazy”

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Thomas Marriott’s Willie Nelson Project: Crazy, the Music of Willie Nelson

The award winning trumpeter Thomas Marriott presents reworkings of classic songs by the great american singer-songwriter Willie Nelson.

Marriott has transformed much of the country-western material to fit his modern five-piece electric jazz group which includes drummer Matt Jorgensen, bassist Geoff Harper, saxophonist Mark Taylor and keyboardist Ryan Burns.

Taking material from many of Nelson’s hit songs and some lesser known tunes as well, Marriott has reinvented the material to create new and unique forms for improvisation and interplay.

Track List


THOMAS MARRIOTT – trumpet & flugelhorn
MARK TAYLOR – saxophone
RYAN BURNS – moog, fender rhodes

WAYNE HORVITZ – keyboards (3)
RICK MANDYCK – guitar (10,11); vocal (11)
CECIL YOUNG – gong (11)

All compositions by Willie Nelson
All arrangements by Thomas Marriott
Produced by Thomas Marriott

Willie Nelson Album Art

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

This day in Willie Nelson History, “The Great Divide” (January 15, 2002)

Friday, January 15th, 2016


Jan 15, 2002

Lost Highway releases Willie Nelson’s album “The Great Divide”

Track List:

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)
This Face
Don’t Fade Away
Time After Time
Recollection Phoenix
You Remain

Willie Nelson and Mel Tillis, “Texas on a Saturday Night”

Thursday, January 14th, 2016