Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie”

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard's new album, Django And Jimmie, comes out June 2

Merle Haggard: “They might not give us a grammy.”

Willie Nelson: “They’ll give us a crumby. They’ll throw us a crumb.”

Get this great cd, if you haven’t yet:



Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard on NPR’s best songs of 2015 (so far) list

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015


…2015…so far

NPR Music is launching an online radio station today with the best songs of 2015 (so far), and Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard’s “He’s the Only Man Wilder Than Me” is on the list.

Give the station a listen here:

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, “Alice in Hululand”

Monday, June 29th, 2015
by: Chris Parton

Country legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard team up for some pickin’ & grinnin’ in paradise in their new video for “Alice in Hulaland.” Filmed in Hawaii, Nelson’s home-away-from-the-road, the clip is filled with sunshine, sand and smiles from the pair of longtime buddies.

The track comes from their recent Number One album, Django and Jimmie — named after Nelson and Haggard’s respective musical heroes, jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and country pioneer Jimmie Rodgers — and features a sound heavy on beachy steel guitar and carefree harmonica.

In the video, 82-year-old Nelson and 78-year-old Haggard relax with their acoustic guitars, looking totally at ease. Haggard even sports a pot-leaf-adorned hat, while Nelson — whose frame of mind needs no identifying symbols — kicks back in shades and a straw cowboy hat.

The lyrics to “Alice in Hulaland” are all about a sweet girl whom some might describe as a groupie. Naturally, the clip includes some pretty ladies, but it’s made to look more like an innocent home movie, not the pseudo peepshows that have become so common in modern country videos. Adding to the home-movie feel are scenes of beachfront shops and colorful locals, giving the impression that viewers might actually be getting a glimpse into what Nelson’s life on the green islands is really like.

After a pair of dates with Alison Krauss & Union Station this weekend, Nelson will adjourn to his home in Austin to prepare for his annual Fourth of July Picnic. Haggard is also on the bill, along with Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. Many of those same artists, led by Nelson, will participate in a July 6th tribute to Waylon Jennings, also in Austin.

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Neil Young and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real: The Monsanto Years (June 29)

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

“The Mission” directed by Don Hannah an excerpt of The Monsanto Years documentary

“I want a cup of coffee, but I don’t want a GMO.

“I’d like to start my day off — without helping Monsanto.”

      — Neil Young




More on Promise of the Real and our sessions making The Monsanto Years. I can’t wait to hit the road again with The Rebel Content Tour, playing songs from throughout the years, from solo acoustic to full on electric.
See you soon


Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie”

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

by:  Clint Rhodes

In 1983, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard combined talents and delivered an entertaining ride with “Pancho & Lefty.”

Over 30 years later, the country music legends partner to pay tribute to the musical influence of Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers. The title track serves as a savory salute to the inspiration Reinhardt and Rodgers provided the two country outlaws as they sing, “Might not have been a Merle or a Willie, if not for a Django and Jimmie.”

The 82-year-old Nelson and 78-year-old Haggard furnish their weathered and time-tested voices to an honest, reflective and witty cluster of heartfelt arrangements.

As a teenager, I was unexpectedly introduced to Nelson’s material after coming across my older brother’s copy of “Willie and Family Live.” The double album from 1978 featured spirited versions of memorable songs such as “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Good Hearted Woman,” “Whiskey River” and one of my personal favorite Nelson-penned tunes, “Hello Walls.”

I discovered Haggard’s gritty, honest style from listening to the country music my grandmother would continuously play during my regular weekend visits. Songs like “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” “Okie from Muskogee” and “Mama Tried” would spark my attraction to traditional country sounds.

Standout cuts include the touching “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” the humorous “It’s All Going to Pot” and a compelling cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

The two artists swap songs as Haggard performs Nelson’s “Family Bible” and Nelson lends his signature style to Haggard’s “Somewhere Between.”

The moving ballads “Unfair Weather Friend” and “Where Dreams Come to Die” are as elegant as they are sentimental and charming.

The album comes to a suitable close with “The Only Man Wilder Than Me.” This captivating number about friendship, admiration and respect aptly describes the relationship between Nelson and Haggard.

The latest offering from these two country music icons is a comfortable collaboration that should motivate them to reunite on a more regular basis.

Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at

What we’re listening to: WIllie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie”

Sunday, June 21st, 2015




I love this album.  That’s my review.

Neil Young & Promise of the Real, “The Monsanto Years”

Sunday, June 21st, 2015


Pre-Order Now and Get“A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop,”“A New Day For Love”and “Big Box” Instantly

Django and Jimmie: Track List (Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard)

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

If you haven’t got one yet, treat yourself.

This is a gem.





Django and Jimmie outakes

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Fun behind-the-scene snippets from the studio, with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard and Buddy Cannon.

Thanks to Diana Chang, Team Coco Digital, for finding this. | |

The album is out! It’s fantastic.

Folk Uke Dates

Thursday, June 18th, 2015



June 19th  

Hole in the Wall  Austin, TX
The Hole in The Wall is having their 41st Anniversary Party with lots of great music including:  Pocket Fishrmen, The Stabbies, Christy Hays and Caliche, and The Hard Pans.

July 4th   

Willie’s 4th of July Picnic at Austin360 Amphitheater   Austin, TX
Willie’s Picnic is back in Austin. Willie to headline line-up which includes Eric Church, Merle Haggard, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Asleep at the Wheel, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Leon Russell and more.

July 11th  

The Saxon Pub  Austin, TX
Folk Uke will be playing The Saxon

Can’t make it to Texas?  Enjoy them in the comfort of your own home

Available on iTunes

“Thank God for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard”

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
by:  Liz Austin


First off, I’d just like to say: THANK GOD FOR WILLIE NELSON and MERLE HAGGARD! There, now that we have that out of the way, let’s continue. It was announced earlier this year that Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard were teaming up for another collaborative album, and the cheers were deafening. When you see Willie Nelson or Merle Haggard on a project, it’s guaranteed to be great, but when you see that they’re teaming up together for a project, you know it’s going to be legendary. Two of the founding fathers of Outlaw Country Music, Haggard and Nelson, cumulatively, have more than a century’s worth of musical experience. Django and Jimmie is the 6th collaboration for Willie and Merle, and comes 32 years after their critically acclaimed record, Pancho and Lefty. It reignites the musical chemistry the two legends share.
Both legends have had long, successful solo careers. Mr. Haggard first entered the country music scene in the early 1960s. Some of his best known songs are “Mama Tried”, “The Fightin’ Side of Me”, “The Bottle Let Me Down,” and “Okie From Muskogee.” Along with Buck Owens, Haggard is credited with creating the Bakersfield sound. Among his many accomplishments (besides being a beloved legend) are 19 ACM awards, 6 CMA awards, 3 Grammy awards, and inductions on both the Country Music and the Nashville Songwriters Halls of Fame.

Mr. Nelson has had an equally polarizing and successful career. He started out as a songwriter writing hits that include Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”, but soon found fame as a singer himself. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust, made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. His relaxed, behind-the-beat singing style with his nasal voice has played a key role in making him an icon and one of the most easily recognized voices in music. Among his many achievements are 11 Grammy awards, 7 AMAs, 9 CMA awards, 5 ACM awards, and inductions into the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the National Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Django and Jimmie is named for Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, and was recorded in just 3 days, which is a testament to Willie and Merle’s professionalism, experience, and talent. Helmed by Nelson’s long time producer, collaborator and friend Buddy Cannon, the album premieres 14 new studio recordings. Nelson and Haggard sound the same as they’ve always sounded, maybe even better, more seasoned. They’re both at the top of their game.

The album opens with the dual tribute to Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and country music’s mythic Singing Brakeman, Jimmie Rodgers. The song reflects on both men’s musical legacies and lasting influence, set to the tune of a cowboy waltz. Willie and Merle explain, “There might not have been a Merle or a Willie, If not for Django and Jimmie.” The Mexican horn flavored “It’s All Going To Pot”, is a tongue-in-cheek number saluting the booming marijuana culture. The duo sings, “Well it’s all going to Pot/ Whether we like it or not/ Best I can tell/ The World’s gone to Hell/ And we’re all gonna miss it a lot,” on this Willie-worthy track. Written by rising songwriters Marla Cannon-Goodman (Buddy Cannon’s daughter) and Ward Davis, “Unfair Weather Friend” is a ready-made classic. The Pancho & Lefty-esque number is truly a beautiful song.

The Haggard penned “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash” is a fun tribute to the legendary Man in Black himself, which features Bobby Bare’s vocals. The talk and sing style makes you feel like you’re in the room with the three men, while they’re sharing stories. The song has a chicka boom classic sound to it that really makes it flow. They each sing a few verses on the Man in Black and swap choruses. Merle starts it off with his part of the tribute, “Well Johnny Cash was a friend of mine/ Knew him well for a mighty long time/ Shared the stage for many a show/ Broke my heart to see him go/ Cash had the fire of a thousand men/ Lovin’ life was his greatest sin/ Treated his fans like the next of kin/ Rappin’ a bit, talkin’ trash/ Missin’ Ol’ Johnny Cash.” Willie goes on to sing, “He wrote his songs from deep within/ And he hit the stage with a crooked grin/ He and I were both Highwaymen/ And that record became a smash/ Well I’m missing ol’ Johnny Cash.” Towards the end of the song, the men share some hilarious stories about the stunts Cash pulled. At one point when asked if he knew anything about Cash, Willie replies, “Well Yeah, I know a lot of things about Cash/ I’m not sure if I should talk about it/ But I checked with John to see if it was ok and he said he didn’t give a sh!t,” and proceeds to tell a funny story involving a casket. It’s a really enjoyable song.

The reflective “Live This Long”, finds the two legends looking back over the years and all the ups and downs. Willie reflects on living the night life, wild women, and being paid for having too much fun. Merle concludes, “But we’re in pretty good shape Will, for the shape we’re in.” They agree that they would “have taken much better care of ourselves if we’d have known we was gonna live this long.” Meanwhile, the duo’s reinterpretation of the Bob Dylan classic “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” is absolutely superb. They really made the song their own, proving that Willie and Merle can take on any material, while the beautifully melancholy “Where Dreams Come to Die”, is a stunning track guaranteed to be a classic.

Haggard pays homage to his partner in crime, with the Willie Nelson classic “Family Bible”. The piano and organ give the track a churchy sound, with the harmonica adding a touch of flavor. Merle sings this song like it’s his own. This is what country music is folks! Absolutely beautiful! It’s Willie’s turn to pay homage to best friend Merle, in the Haggard classic “Somewhere Between”. Nelson carries the song off so well, that you almost forget that it’s Merle’s original song and not Nelson’s. The track features beautiful guitar work and an excellent vocal performance by Nelson, as usual.

The harmonica-driven “Driving the Herd” is a modern day cowboy song, because no Willie/Merle record is complete without one! The album finally concludes with “The Only Man Wilder Than Me”. It’s a tribute song that hints around to the listener that each artist might be singing about the other. The chorus, “He’s the only man wilder than me/ Some call me a sinner/ I’d call him a winner”, finds one legend singing the “sinner” part and the other answering back with the “winner” part. The legends swap lines and the lead throughout the song. It’s the perfect way to end a perfect album!

There is no doubt in my mind that this album will do exceedingly well in sales. Will it get airplay on mainstream country radio? Definitely not, as they don’t play real country anymore. It’s a crying shame that legends such as Haggard and Nelson, the very same legends that paved the way for Country music today, can’t get radio airplay. When you examine the kind of material that mainstream artists like Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line are putting out and hold it up to the material Nelson and Haggard are putting out, there’s a whole chasm of difference! Bryan and Florida Georgia Line have only been in this business for a few short years, yet they seem to have run out of good material already (okay well FGL didn’t have good material to start with).

Meanwhile, Haggard and Nelson have been in this business, cumulatively, for over a century, yet they haven’t run out of excellent material yet. That just goes to show you what it takes to have long lasting success: real talent and artistry. But at least we still get to enjoy albums from these wonderful legends! And here’s hoping for at least a few more!

To sum it up: Just go get yourself a copy of this record, you’ll thank me later!

Songs for Tsunami

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015


December 26, 2004:  A massive undersea earthquake occurs off Indonesia leading to a deadly tsunami that hits the shores of Sumatra, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Mayaysia, Myanmar, the Maldives and East Africa.

We have a certain tradition in the Austin music scene:  when something terrible happens, we have a benefit.  These benefits are a lot of fun, but they almost never make any money.  In many respects they’re just a way for like-minded folks to get together and commiserate.  The day after the earthquake and Tsunami hit.  I watched the same horrible images over and over:  children being swept away in rushing water.  I wanted to do more than just write a check, and I was pretty sure others felt the same way.

The solution was obvious.  But this benefit would have to actually make money.  One of the perks of my job as  a writer at Texas Monthly is that sometimes I get the private cell numbers of famous rock stars.  So I called up Willie Nelson.  “Let’s do it”, he said.  With Willie driving the bus, others hopped on.  Joe Ely, then Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, then Patty Griffin.  The show had to reflect all of Austin, not just men with beards and women with acoustic guitars, so I called Indie pop star Spoon.  They said yes, so did Alejandro Escoveda, along with Jon Dee Graham. The show sold out in seven hours.

Ever day Willie got more and more excited about the event, and so did everyone else in town. Austinites rushed forward to offer ther help, before the show then during it.   The groups we were earmarking funds for CARE, UNICEF, and the Red Cross — sent volunteers to man booths, and so did the American Friends Service Committee, the Miracle Foundation (a group helping Sri Lankan orphans).  Everyone got involved because the wanted to help in ways behond just writing a check.  They wanted to be part of something.

The show was absolutely magic, so was the atmosphere.  In between acts, people visited the booths, talked with the volunteers and gave more money.  They bought t-shirts and posters.  They drank a lot of beer and liquor.  At the end of the night the bartenders donated their tips and the Music Hall donated the expenses.  By the time the final tallies were made, we had made more than $130,000.

Tsunami Relief was Willies’ show, but it had come together in a way that made you proud to live in Austin.  Form the red-headed stranger to the volunteers selling t-shirts and posters, it was like we were all on a mission.  A couple of journalists asked me the same thing that someone asked Margaret Shaw at the t-shirt table that night:  “What organization are you with?”  She said the same thing that I did:  “There is no organization; it’s just a bunch of citizens.”

— Michael Hall

Songs for Tsunami Relief – Austin to South Asia

  • Love Be Heard (Patty Griffin)
  • Mary (Patty Griffin with Natalie Maines)
  • All Just To Get to You (Joe ELy)
  • Boxcars (Joe Ely)
  • Everybody Loves Me (Alejandro Escovedo)
  • Break This Time (Alejandro Escovedo)
  • Mathematical Mind (Spoon)
  • Everything Hits at Once (Spoon)
  • What I deserve (Kelly Willis)
  • Traveling Soldier (Natalie Maines with B. Robinson and K. Willis)
  • What Would Willie Do (Bruce Robison)
  • Living in the Promiseland (Willie Nelson)
  • Whiskey River (Willie Nelson)
  • Still is Still Moving to Me (Willie Nelson)
  • Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (Willie Nelson)
  • The Great Divide (Willie Nelson)
  • Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (Willie Nelson)
  • Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground (Willlie Nelson)

“Time flies by in the blink of an eye / When you get paid for having too much fun” — Willie Nelson

Monday, June 15th, 2015


Willie Nelson, “Naked Willie”

Sunday, June 14th, 2015


Naked Willie is yet another of these compilations, but this one has a unique twist. In much the same manner that the “naked” version of the Beatles Let It Be deconstructed Phil Spector’s over-production of that album, Naked Willie strips away the more overdone aspects of some of the best songs from Nelson’s years in the sixties and early seventies on the RCA label.

The result is an album where Nelson’s often overlooked work during those years is able to be viewed in a new, far more refreshing light. Whereas the results of the Beatles Let It Be…Naked experiment are somewhat debatable — a judgment no doubt influenced by decades of growing up with those songs as we already knew and loved them — there is no such room for debate with Naked Willie. Nelson and longtime harmonica player Mickey Raphael have simply done one hell of a job “de-producing” these songs.

And by “de-producing,” we mean stripping away all of the strings, horns, and generally overproduced nonsense that constituted what was then known as the “Nashville Sound.”

1. Bring Me Sunshine
2. Following Me Around
3. Ghost, The
4. Happiness Lives Next Door
5. I Just Dropped By
6. Jimmy’s Road
7. I Let My Mind Wander
8. If You Could See What’s Going Through My Mind
9. Johnny One Time
10. Local Memory, The
11. Party’s Over, The
12. Where Do You Stand?
13. When We Live Again?
14. What Can You Do To Me Now?
15. I’m A Memory
16. Sunday Morning Coming Down
17. Laying My Burdens Down

“Django and Jimmie” #1 on Billboard Top Country Albums

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
photo:  Danny Clinch

Two country legends arrive in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart (dated June 20)as Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard debut at No. 7 with their new collaborative album Django and Jimmie. It moved 31,000 units in the week ending June 7, according to Nielsen Music. While both artists have been charting for decades, this is first top 10 set for Haggard and the fourth for Nelson. The latter logged his first top 10 in 1982 with the No. 2-peaking Always on My Mind and more recently claimed his second and third top 10s with To All the Girls (No. 9, 2013) and Band of Brothers (No. 5, 2014).

The new album — named after late genre-spanning guitarist Django Reinhardt and country icon Jimmie Rodgers — was released through Legacy Recordings on June 2, and is the fifth collaborative set from Nelson and Haggard. They first teamed up on 1983’s Pancho & Lefty, and followed that with Walking the Line (with George Jones, 1987), Seashores of Old Mexico (1987) and Last of the Breed (with Ray Price, 2007).

On Top Country Albums, Django and Jimmie starts at No. 1, extending both artists’ illustrious legacies. With 30,000 sold in pure album sales, Haggard claims his 16th No. 1 — the second-most leaders in the chart’s history (behind only George Strait’s 25). Nelson now has 14 No. 1s.

Nelson also notches his second Top Country Albums No. 1 in less than a year, having debuted atop the list with Band of Brothers on July 5, 2014. He last reigned in 1986. Haggard crowns the chart for the first time since Sept. 22, 1984 (with It’s All in the Game). Haggard’s 30-year, nine-month break between No. 1s is second only to Johnny Cash’s nearly 35-year gap between leading sets (1971 to 2006) and passes Nelson’s 28-year, one-month interval that ended with Brothers.

The new album was led by the single “It’s All Going to Pot.” The track’s music video bowed the same day, via social networks run by TBS’ Conan show. (It has so far earned 1.1 million views on Vevo, and another 6.7 million in its Facebook player.) “It’s All Going to Pot” debuted and peaked at No. 48 on Hot Country Songs (dated May 9), marking Nelson’s first visit to the list since 2010, and Haggard’s first since 2006. Each legend has now made the ranking in six consecutive decades, dating to the ’60s.

To promote the album, Legacy filmed extensive behind-the-scenes footage of Nelson and Haggard recording the set, which was then later distributed to a number of different outlets, like Rolling Stone, Yahoo! Music, Country Weekly. Nelson did a bevy of TV appearances (including The Daily Show and CBS This Morning) to tout the album as well as his new memoir, It’s a Long Story: My Life. On the radio side of things, Legacy focused on Triple A formats (adult alternative) and public radio stations. Those efforts included a full stream of the album on National Public Radio’s (NPR) Web site, a week before its commercial release, as part of NPR’s First Listen program.

‘Country’ Song: In a final country note… On Hot Country Songs (dated June 20),Mo Pitney’s “Country” debuts at the chart’s No. 50 anchor position and makes history of sorts. Dating to the list’s 1958 launch as a multimetric ranking, it’s the first entry whose title simply doubles as the genre’s name.