Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, “Hesitation Blues”

Friday, January 30th, 2015

This day in Willie Nelson History: Moment of Forever (Janury 29, 2008)

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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On January 29, 2008, Willie Nelson’s album, “Moment of Forever” was released by  Lost Highway Records,  produced by Kenny Chesney.




Kris, Willie, Dolly & Brenda (liner notes by Johnny Cash)

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Dolly, Brenda, Kris & Willie
… The Winning Hand

Produced by Fred Foster
Monument Records

Johnny Cash wrote the liner notes for this album, Dolly, Brenda, Kris and Willie.  He wrote something about each artist, and here is what he wrote about Willie:

Willie Nelson

Like a thief in the night
Like the witch on her broom
The red-headed stranger
Came right through her bedroom

No, actually I’m kidding.  He was a little reluctant to walk through the bedroom at eleven o’clock at night with Waylon Jennings and myself.  They had come over to see me and I said, “Let’s go into my little back room and sit and talk and pick awhile.”  We passed John Carter’s bedroom where he was asleep.

“Come on and follow me,” I said.  leading the way through the master bedroom to my little get-away-from-it-all-writing-reading-picking-listening refuge.

“I’m afraid we’ll wake June,” said Willie, tiptoeing past the bed where she slept.

“C0me one,” I said, and the three of us walked Indian style through the dim lit room and into my private place.

“I’ve always been a dreamer.  I mean, I have vivid technicolor, wide-screen stereo dreams.  Oftimes I dream of things that are happening, sometimes I dream of things that will happen, sometimes I’m dreaming of things even before I’m sound asleep.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of a dream not knowing what the end was to be.  I go back to sleep, commanding my mind to finish the dream.

Twenty years ago I had a dream about Willie Nelson.  I hadn’t spoken with, nor seen him, in about three years.

In my dream, Willie and I were sitting in a dresing room, swapping songs.  I sang him a song I had leanred from a demo which Gene Ferguson had given me called The Ballad of Ira Hayes.

Willie said, “You should do an album of Indian songs.”

“I will,” I said.  “I never thought of doing a whole album of Indian stuff”

“You will,” I said.  “I never thought of doing a whole album of Indian stuff.”

“You will,” said Willie in my dream.  (It’s called Bitter Tears.)

Willie said, “Let me sing you one, John.  I thought of you when I wrote it.” “They’re all the same.

The dream was over at the end of they’re all the same.

Next morning I called my secretary.  “Try to find me a number where I can call Willie Nelson,” I said.  “Willie Nelson, the songwriter.  I think he’s living in Nashville.”

An hour later I was talking to him.  I congratulated him on the success of some of his big songs he had written recorded by other artists.  He kindly returned the compliments.  “Willie,” I said.  “You might think I’m a little weird, but I dreamed about you last niht.”  There was silence on his end, so I went on.  “I dreamed you sang a song to me, one you had written clled they’re all the same.”

More silence.

:Do you have a song called They’re All the Same?”  I asked.

“Yes, I do,” he said, barely above a whisper.

“Would you send it to me” I asked.  “Maybe I can record it.”

A long pause, then willie said.  “Sure, give me your address.”

Willie sent the song and I played it a hundred times, but I never recorded it.  I was beginning to get heavily into something else and somewhere along the way, I must have lost the demo of ‘Thy’re All the Same.’

Now, back to 1979.   Willie, Waylon and I were sitting in my room just off the bedroom where June was asleep, just off the bedroom where John Carter was asleep.

I hadn’t seen Willie in ten years.  The hair was long and plaited.  The beard was full and red, and the eyes were clear and intelligent.  Waylon kept his hat on and sweated like I do.

I was a little shy myself because I was in the presence of two of country music’s all time greats.  I was also a little awed by Willie Nelson for his amazing rise to super stardom.

We sang a few songs quietly.  Willie was still concerned with waking June.

“Willie;,” I said, “do you remember ‘They’re all the same’?”

“Man,” he said.  “That’s been a long tme ago.  Didn’t I send you that?”

“Yes, but I lost it.”

“I’ll send you another tape of it,” he said.  “Let me sing you this one.”  And he sang a song which became a number one record for him.  But he still hasn’t sent me a tap on ‘They’re All the Same.’ Maybe he forgot it, too.

Not more than an hour had passed when Waylon said, “We’d better go, John.  I know you and June had already gone to bed.”

“Don’t go,” I said, and to Willie, “I haven’t seen you in so long and I want to spend some more time with you.”

They insised that it was too late to keep me up and again expressed their concern of waking June on the way out.

I led the way and June was still asleep.  I stopped and went over and shook June awake.  Only the night light was on and as I started to turn on the bedside light, Wilie said, “No, John, don’t do that.”

In the dim light, I said, “June, here’s some old buddies, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.”  Waylon went over and hugged her, and Willie knelt down beside the bed and kissed her on the cheek.

“HOw have you been, Miss June?”  he said.

June started talking up a storm.  “It’s so good to see you both.  Why didn’t you wake me, John?  Waylon, how’s Jessi?  Willie, it’s so good to see you.  John and I are so proud for you.”

“Didn’t mean to wake you pu, Miss June,” said Willie, “But it’s good to see you.”

:Oh, that’s alright, stay, John, turn on the light.”

“No, Miss June, we’re going.  Hope we didn’t make too much  noise.”

“Come back anytime, Willie.  Come back, Waylon, and bring Jessie,” said June.

Waylon tipped his hat and followed Willie past John Carter’s bedroom and on out the door.

I waived goodbye to them as they got in the car and closed the door.  I started past John Carter’s open bedroom door, back into our bedroom, but he was awake and standing there.  “Who’s that, Daddy?” he asked.

“Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.”

He started back to his bed and stopped, “I smell something funny,” he said.

“Like what, John Carter?” I asked.

“I don’t know, he said, crawling under his covers.

Crawling in bed by June, I thought of the miles and the troubles my visitors must have known in their lives.  They had been everywhere and done everything, but then so have I, I thought.  Maybe I smell funny.

Willie’s a mon on The Willing Hand

Nelson is his name

Some fly high and some fly low
But theyrenot all the same
For a winning man with a winning hand
You never see brought down
One year he might disappear
And no more be seen in town
He’s got lots of things I’ve not
An he’ll master the movie game
He’ll be back along to sing his song
nd they’re not all the same
This record made in this decade
Is this decade’s number one
There is no doubt in my mind without
Willie Nelson it could not have been done
Now my take is said
And I thaik yo, Fred
You are one might man
To work it out
And bring about
The platinum The Winning Hand

— Johnny Cash

“All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson” — new album by Astral Swans

Monday, January 26th, 2015


Astral Swan’s All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson is a collection of stark psychedelic folk from the unfiltered neuroses of Calgary’s Matthew Swann.

Release date:  Feb 24, 2015

The Calgary, Alberta-based singer/songwriter Matthew Swann, who goes by the artistic moniker Astral Swans, declares on the title of his new LP that All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson. Though that influence does crop up throughout the record, it’s also hard to imagine that legendary country singer warbling out lines such as, “Who told the kids in the yard that they¹re mostly dust? / Now they just stay drunk / Keep getting more fucked up”. Such cynicism about the world is an undercurrent throughout All My Favorite Singers, particularly on the song from which the aforementioned lyrics come from, “Beginning of the End”. The track, built on a basic blues structure, incorporates scratchy bits of distortion amidst Swann’s bleak musings, which derive from an act of violence within nature.

Willie Nelson, “Rainbow Connection”

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

On June 12, 2001, Willie Nelson released, “Rainbow Connection”  on Island Records

01. Rainbow Connection -(Williams, Ascher)
02. I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover -(Dixon, Woods)
03. Ol’ Blue
04. Wise Old Me
05. Won’t You Ride In My Little Red Wagon -(Rex Griffin)
06. Playmate
07. I’m My Own Grandpaw -(Latham, Jaffe)
08. Rock Me To Sleep
09. Playin’ Dominoes And Shootin’ Dice -(Wood, Dobbs)
10. Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
11. Outskirts Of Town
12. Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
13. The Thirty-Third Of August

Paula Nelson

Saturday, January 24th, 2015



1. Lonesome On’ry and Mean
2. Just to Satisfy You
3. Just Dropped In
4. I Never Cared for You
5. Out in the Woods
6. Water of Love
7. River in the Rain
8. Tell Me Baby
9. Jackson


1. Coca Cola Crown
2 Thinking About You
3 Find Your Way
4 Blue Blue Blues
5 Be That As It May
6 Long Way Down
7 Lonely Joe
8 Here I Am Again
9 Being Without
10 Fireflies
11 Overboard
12 Blue River
13 At Last
14 Lilly
15 Standing Tall
16 Rain

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, “Last of the Breed”

Friday, January 23rd, 2015


In 2007 that Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price recorded their Last of the Breed album, of western swing, country classics and some of the best country music ever written — most of it by them.     The artists took their show on the road and toured in support of the album in March of that year.

There were no 14-year-olds on that tour, but those guys toured like they were teenagers promoting their first album, blazing a trail across the country performing 15-shows in 17 days.  I got to see their show a couple times here in Colorado, and I was blown away.  These talented musicans were at the top of their game  and were having so much fun performing together. And the music!  They were joined by friend and fellow musical genius Freddy Powers, and sang their award-winning hits to sold-out halls everwhere.   We all left those shows knowing we’d just experienced something very special.

The Last of the Breed album was released before the tour, a double-album,  and a DVD quickly followed.  Now, on March 3, 2009, Image Entertainment will  release a live cd, recorded from their concerts.  This is good news, because it is going to get wider distribution, and will also be available, for the first time, through i-tunes for download.

They are the Last of the Breed — the elder statesmen of classic country music who have inspired artists for decades. No one else sings country music with the passion and purity of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price. In March 2007, these living legends and Country Music Hall of Famers united on stage for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event that was captured for television and recorded to give fans the ultimate concert experience. Backed by the GRAMMY Award-winning Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel and Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys, LIVE FROM THE LAST OF THE BREED TOUR presents Willie’s, Merle’s and Ray’s greatest hits that they performed on this magical evening.


  1. Miles and Miles of Texas (w/Asleep at the Wheel
  2. Make the World Go Away (Ray Price)
  3. For the Good Times (Ray Price)
  4. Take Me Back to Tulsa (Merle Haggard)
  5. Silver Wings (Merle Haggard)
  6. That’s the Way Love Goes (Merle Haggard)
  7. Okie From Miskogee (Merle Haggard)
  8. Pancho and Lefty (Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard)
  9. Always on My Mind (Willie Nelson)
  10. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)
  11. Ramblin’ Fever (Merle Haggard)
  12. I Gotta Have My Baby Back (Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Merle Haggard)
  13. Night Life (Ray Price)
  14. Sing Me Back Home (Merle Haggard)
  15. Crazy (Willie Nelson, Ray Price
  16. On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)

Willie Nelson, “Help Me Make it Through the Night”

Monday, January 19th, 2015


Willie Nelson: American Classic

Sunday, January 18th, 2015


The Nearness of You
Fly Me to the Moon
Come Rain or Come Shine
If I Had You (with Diana Krall)
Ain’t Misbehaving
I Miss You So
Because of You
Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Norah Jones)
Angel Eyes
On the Street Where You Live
Since I Fell For You
You Were Always on My Mind

Willie Nelson, ‘What’ll I do”

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Willie and Bobbie Nelson: Willie’s Stash Vol. 1: December Day (bring on volume 2)

Saturday, January 10th, 2015
by: Polly Coufos

Willie’s Stash Volume 1: December Day

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie


4 stars

WITH Willie’s Stash Volume 1 country music legend Willie Nelson, 81, kicks off a series of archive releases with an album featuring his older sister and long standing piano player in his road band, Bobbie, 83. Together, with support from Willie’s 40-year-plus musical foil, harmonica player Mickey Raphael, and a little colour from other members of his band, the octogenarian siblings have fashioned an unrefined gem that matches songs from their youth with a slew of Willie’s lesser known classics and a couple of new originals.

Recorded at Nelson’s home studio, Pedernales Country Club, in Luck, Texas, the goal was to emulate the nightly jamming between the pair on Willie’s tour bus, The Honeysuckle Rose, as they travel the highways of America. Bobbie is in typical supportive role, taking brief solos, but for the most part keeping out of the spotlight. Willie is his unassuming self, never appearing to demand attention but somehow taking it all the same.

The results very much carry the gentle touch of his breakthrough album, 1975’s Red Headed Stranger. The red may have long since disappeared from his locks but with his second album of 2014, Nelson continues to make music that only enhances his legacy.

The opener Alexander’s Ragtime Band begins with Bobbie punching out Irving Berlin’s timeless melody. Raphael is then heard honking in the background, soon to be joined by the unmistakable sound of Nelson’s guitar, Trigger, as they set the swinging scene for the arrival of Willie’s vocal. He slides into the song he has been singing since childhood with an inferred energy that belies his age. He muffs a word in the second verse, but the mistake does nothing but highlight the casual air that hangs over all 18 tracks. In a world where recordings are too often polished within an inch of their life, Willie and Bobbie sound like they are making music simply for the joy of it.

There is no sense that the pair are claiming to present definitive versions of Alexander’s Ragtime Band or Al Jolson’s The Anniversary Song but, as ever, once covered they instantly become Willie songs. As a master songwriter himself, Nelson shows the utmost respect to the source material but always bends any material to sound like it was tailored for him.

The Great American Songbook has not had a better friend and as well as the two songs just mentioned the Nelsons tackle Mona Lisa, Always and What’ll I Do.

Nelson has always been able to convince a listener he has lived the songs he’s sung and he retains that power. He revisits some of his choice ballads such as I Let My Mind Wander, December Day and Permanently Lonely and nestles them in next to the more popular songs without missing a beat.

Bring on Volume 2.

Polly Coufos

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Stardust” album certified quadruple-platinum (1/9/90)

Friday, January 9th, 2015

On January 9, 1990, Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” album was certified quadruple-platinum. I don’t know what that means, it sounds like a top-of-the line heart surgery or something. I do know it means a lot of those albums sold, and a lot of people fell in love with Willie Nelson because of that album.

1. Stardust
2. Georgia on My Mind
3. Blue Skies
4. All of Me
5. Unchained Melody
6. September Song
7. On the Sunny Side of the Street
8. Moonlight in Vermont
9. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
10. Someone to Watch over Me
11. Scarlett Ribbons
12. I Can See Clearly Now

Willie Nelson’s album, ‘Stardust’ in 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

1. Stardust
2. Georgia on My Mind
3. Blue Skies
4. All of Me
5. Unchained Melody
6. September Song
7. On the Sunny Side of the Street
8. Moonlight in Vermont
9. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
10. Someone to Watch over Me
11. Scarlett Ribbons
12. I Can See Clearly Now

by:  Carrie Horton

Recordings by Willie Nelson and Hank Williams will be joining the illustrious Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.

Nelson’s 1978 standards album ‘Stardust’ will enter the Hall of Fame, along with Williams’ 1947 hit, ‘Honky Tonkin.’ Bob Wills’ ‘San Antonio Rose’ is another country recording recognized this year.

Honoring songs and albums from any genre that are at least 25 years old and showcase cultural and historical significance, the Grammy Hall of Fame aims to highlight the diversity and quality of excellent music. The contributions from Nelson and Williams will join 25 other inductees this year, making the current list – on display at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, Calif. – almost 1,000 titles strong.

“With recordings dating as early as 1909 through the late ’80s, this year’s Grammy Hall Of Fame entries not only represent a diverse collection of influential and historically significant recordings but also reflect the changing climate of music through the decades,” says Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy. “These memorable, inspiring and iconic recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog — knowing that they have become a part of our musical, social, and cultural history.”

Along with ‘Stardust’ and ‘Honky Tonkin,’ other notable additions in 2015 include Bonnie Raitt‘s 1989 album ‘Nick of Time,’ Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’ album from 1975, and Neil Young’s 1972 record, ‘Harvest.’

For more information about the Grammy Hall of Fame, including a full list of inductees, visit

Guitar Pick of the Day: Willie Nelson and Sister Bobby, ‘December Day’

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


Willie Nelson gets it right again

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
by:  James Bealy

Willie’s Nelson’s new album “December Day” is as smooth as lightly-falling snow and warm as a glowing fireplace on a winter’s afternoon.

Nelson already scored a number one hit earlier this year with “Band of Brothers,” an album filled with backing by ace session musicians and featuring slick production.

The new “December Day” album is subtitled “Willie’s Stash Vol. 1” by “Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie.” It’s vastly different than “Band of Brothers.” With a few exceptions, the only musicians on most tracks are Willie on guitar and vocals, his sister, Bobbie Nelson, on piano and band member Mickey Raphael on harmonica.

This album doesn’t feature the rollicking outlaw who is in the forefront on “Band of Brothers.” Instead, envision Willie and Bobbie Nelson sitting around playing songs they love, without worrying about commercial consideration. Some songs are so laid-back, they make Nat King Cole sound like punk rock — but in this case, that’s a good thing.

The album has only two upbeat numbers and they bookend the 18 tracks on “December Day.” Still, the number of ballads doesn’t bog down the album, but instead sets a mood.

This is not country music per se, but more of a throwback to Willie’s great 1978 album “Stardust.” The new album is a mix of lesser-known gems from Willie’s back catalogue and standouts from the Great American Songbook, with a few of his newer songs spicing the mix.

One of the best things about the album is it’s filled with Willie’s signature guitar playing on his classical Martin guitar, Trigger. He’s been heavily influenced by jazz great Django Reinhardt and it shows.

Willie fills “December Day” with a number of memorable guitar solos, which makes me wonder why he’s not included more often on lists of the all-time best guitarists.

On “December Day” his vocals are mixed way up-front, along with his guitar. Raphael’s harmonica adds atmospheric shadings throughout the album.