Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Let’s Get Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Song on the Radio “It’s All Going to Pot”

Sunday, April 26th, 2015



“Django and Jimmie” album available June 2nd!


Willie Nelson and Jimmy Sturr record new album, “Forget Me Never.”

Saturday, April 25th, 2015
  • Willie Nelson, right and Jimmy Sturr
    photo:  Tim Larsen.

FLORIDA — Willie Nelson and Jimmy Sturr and his orchestra have just released a brand new CD called “Forget Me Never” on The Starr Record Label.

The CD features 15 “Sturr-style” songs. Nelson sings several tunes, including his smash hit, “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” polka-style. He Also sings a Bob Wills tune called “Stay All Night.”

This is the fifth CD Nelson has recorded with Sturr and his band, who will be performing at Farm Aid, the concert organized by Nelson, Neil Young and other musicians to benefit farmers.

Sturr grew up in the Village of Florida, where he still lives.


Get your copy at:

Track Listing:

1. Let the Bells Keep Ringing Polka
2. Forget Me Never Polka
3. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain Polka
4. Crystal Inn Polka
5. Onions Polka
6. Polish Traditions Waltz
7. I Don’t Love You Anymore Polka
8. Soldiers Oberek
9. Polish Fiddler Polka
10. In My Garden Polka
11. Hasta La Vista Polka
12. Stay All Night Polka
13. When I Stop Dreaming Waltz
14. Suliko Polka
15. Tzena Tzena Polka

Willie Nelson: It’s a Long Story My Life

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015


Teatro on Vinyl! And Liner Notes! — A Conversation with Willie Nelson and Daniel Lanois

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Willie_VinylWillie Nelson’s Teatro

Happy Record Store today!  I stood in line today at Bart’s Records in Boulder, and got lucky — I scored a copy of Willie Nelson’s Teatro album released on vinyl for Record Store Day 2015.   This is my favorite Willie Nelson album, even though you know I like them all.  Teatro  was originally released on cd-only in 1998 by Island Records, and that’s why it’s such a big deal that it is being made available on vinyl, gold vinyl!  I hope everyone gets to listen to this album.  Or buy it on cd.

 Here’s a track from the album:



On February 6, 2014, we were lucky enough to share a few minutes with Willie Nelson and Daniel Lanois, reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Teatro. Below is what unfolded. A big thank you to both Willie and Daniel, along with Seth Loeser, Meredith Louie, Henry Owings, Mark Rothbaum and Elaine Schock for making this possible.

— Matt Sullivan and Patrick McCarthy

WILLIE: Hey, Daniel. How you ‘doin?

DANIEL: Oh, Willie, I’m good. Nice to hear your voice. Are you on the road?

W: Yeah, we’re uh… somewhere out here. I think we’re in Oklahoma.

D: Right, right, right. Well, that’s good. Looks like we’re gonna put a little bit of life back into Teatro. That’s great, isn’t it?

W: Well, yeah. Heck yeah.

LIGHT IN THE ATTIC: To start, how’d the record come about?

W: Daniel, what do you remember about how it came about?

D: I’m sure Mr. Rothbaum was at the helm, but all business aside, when we decided to make the record, I wanted to make sure that Willie felt comfortable in the studio and that it did not feel like a usual recording session. I met Willie in Las Vegas, and we rode on his bus to California, where at the time I had the Teatro Recording Studios, an old cinema in Oxnard. We rode from Vegas, and Emmylou Harris joined us on the bus, and we went over some of the material on the bus.

I kept in touch with my crew back in California to make sure that the studio had a nice dance hall feeling because I talked with Willie on the bus, I said, “What was it like when you were getting started man?” He said, “Well, we were kind of a dance band, and people just were providing music for people on the weekends to dance to and have a nice time.”

And I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to provide this tone for Willie? Have a kind of dance hall feeling in the place. So I set up three little stages — one for WIllie, one for Emmy, one for me. And then two drummers. It was a very beautiful, almost like a Cuban nightclub setting. And I think that really helped to set the tone of this album. Whatya think, Willie?

W: Yeah, that’s exactly it. And of course Emmylou was fantastic. We did a video, too. What song was the video, do you remember?

D: Well, we filmed the whole things with Wim Wenders.

W: Yeah, that’s right. Wenders.

D: It’s a beautiful film that goes with the whole thing. It never got aired a lot, but maybe we should try and knock on somebody’s door and say this is a good time to play the film. [laughs].

W:  You’re absolutely right.  Yeah, I think it deserves to have a chance out there.

D:  Yeah.  It was really a lovely, harmonious process.  I was happy to be on Willie’s bus.  We were just chillin’ and workin’ out the songs.  When I got to the destination, I made a decision to ask Willie to… the theatre had a nice parking lot, so there was plenty of room outside.  We sorta camped out outside, and Willie had his trailer there.  I just wanted to make sure that we didn’t burn out Willie, so I said to him, “Don’t even be in in the studio.  You stay out on the truck, and I’ll come out and get you, so that when you come in everything’s gonna be fresh.”  So I was rehearsing the band on the inside, and when I felt like the moment would strike, I’d go out and get Willie, and we’d get it in one or two takes.  [laughs]  We did that whole record in four days!

W:  Well, you know, when you’re having fun it don’t take long.

LITA:  Well said!  Willie, what are some of your memories of the album and the recording session?

W:  Well, I remember that we had some great rhythms there — I think two drummers and maybe a couple of bass players.  I’m not sure.  Who all played bass?  Did we have two or just one?

D:  No, no, no, Willie.  I played the bass.  I overdubbed the bass after!  So we had the two drummers, and then we had two keyboard players.  We had Aaron Embry, and then from Toronto a guy named Brian Griffiths on the guitar, the great slide player.  I think bass players must make too many mistakes, so I knew the arrangements, so I overdubbed the bass myself.

W:  Well, it turned out great.  I liked it.  I think it should have had a bigger run back there.  It was kinda quick — it came and went pretty quick, but maybe it’ll get another shot.

D:  Yeah, maybe it’ll get another shot.  And Willie, you’re absolutely right.  There was a very rhythmic foundation that we laid out which was petty sweet.  Those two great drummers, Victor Indrizzo and Tony Mangurian.  There was some kind of genius in inviting these two guys because one is a left-handed drummer and the other ne is a right-handed drummer, so they could sit at one big drum kit together and not get in anybody’s way!

[both laugh]

The one guy’s high hat is on the left, the other guy’s on the right.  it was pretty fucking funny.  But because they were literally sitting together, their rhythms were locked, so we had some very nice grooves going.  It’s hard to describe the full sensation of it.

W:  The theatre where we shot it, too, was perfect.  There was a great feel.  It was like a big nightclub or dance hall.

D:   Exactly.

LITA:  One of our favorite songs on the record is one that you wrote, Danel — the song, “The Maker.”  It’s a song that really captures the cinematic expansiveness of the album.

W:  I love, “The Maker.”

LITA:  It’s so cinematic and big.

D:  The good thing about “The Maker” is… I thought it was a good song for Willie because it gave him an opportunity to play with the phrasing.  The lyric lines are quite brief:  [sings] “Oh, deep water, black and cold like the night,” so it’s not a soaring melody.  It’s more of a standing melody, and I think that really suits Willie’s way of looking at vocal phrasing.  Willie, thanks for doing the song, man.

W:  Well, it was a lot of fun to sing.

LITA:  It’s been sixteen years now — what do you guys think of the record?  Do you feel it stands up?

W:  Definitely.  I’m just glad to see some folks payin’ attention to it again and thinkin’ about puttin’ it out there again.  It certainly deserves another shot.

D:  Is it sixteen years already?

LITA:  Yeah, 1998!

D:  Oh boy.  Well listen man, we have no shortage of passion and power and devotion to the music, s if an opportunity comes upt for us to go another rund sometime, Willie can count on me, how ’bout that?

W:  Well, you can count on me, too.  I’d love to do it.  Sounds like a good plan.

LITA:  That was our next question, so thank you!

D:  Well, we’re very driven by quality and magic.  I mean, we hope t get it… It helps when people are talented  [laughs], so we had a little bit f an advantage.  I think we had Mr. Nelsn in there on the vocals, so we had a pretty good chance.

LITA:  Any thoughts, Willie, on maybe performing the album live one of these days?

W:  Oh, that would be great.  I would be glad to do that sometime.  When it comes out, if we can promote it someway and showcase it, I think that would be a good idea.

LITA:  Maybe back at the theatre!  I think it’s for rent again. I eventually moved outta there.  It’s been a church since we had it, Willie, but I saw a “For Rent” sign on it, so…

LITA:  Well, the sound you guys got there was just magical.  We’re so thankful for your time and for your music.  You’ve brought a lot of happiness to us over the years, so thank you.

W:  Thank you very much.  It was good to hear from you, my friend.

D:  Willie, nice to hear your voice, and I’m looking forward to putting a little bit of juice back into Teatro, so if you get any additional ideas, gimme a call, ok?

W:  All right, same to you.

LITA:  Thanks so much.

D:  Thank you so much for your time, guys.


Willie Nelson and Paul Simon

Friday, April 17th, 2015


Track list to new Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard Album, “Django and Jimmie”

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

by: Craig Hlavaty

More details were released on Wednesday regarding the upcoming duets album from country legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

“Django and Jimmie” will hit physical and digital shelves on June 2, according to a press release from Nelson’s camp Wednesday morning.

The title of the album refers to Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, two of the major musical heroes for Nelson and Haggard.

This will be Nelson’s sixth studio album in the past two years since signing with record label Legacy Recordings in early 2012.

His first album with Haggard, “Pancho & Lefty,” was released more than 32 years ago in January 1983.

Haggard told Rolling Stone that the album took less than a week to record.

Haggard was last in the Houston area on April 1, playing a set at the Redneck Country Club in Stafford. Nelson played a sold-out date at the Houston House of Blues in November 2014. There is always the possibility they could return to the Bayou City and play the same stage if we wish hard enough.


The “Django and Jimmie” track listing is as follows:

  1. “Django and Jimmie” – written by Jimmy Melton and Jeff Prince
  2. “It’s All Going to Pot” – written by Buddy Cannon, Jamey Johnson and Larry Shell
  3. “Unfair Weather Friend” – written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Ward Davis
  4. “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash” – written by Merle Haggard
  5. “Live This Long” – written by Shawn Camp and Marv Green
  6. “Alice in Hulaland” – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
  7. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” – written by Bob Dylan
  8. “Family Bible” – written by Walter M. Breeland, Paul F. Buskirk, and Claude Gray
  9. “It’s Only Money” – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
  10. “Swinging Doors” – written by Merle Haggard
  11.  “Where Dreams Come To Die” – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
  12. “Somewhere Between” – written by Merle Haggard
  13. “Driving The Herd” – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
  14. “The Only Man Wilder Than Me” – written by Merle Haggard

Willie Nelson’s, “Teatro” to be released in vinyl for Record Store Day 2015 (FIRST TIME EVER)

Thursday, April 16th, 2015


Willie Nelson

* First time ever issued on vinyl for Record Store Day 2015
* Features duets with and backing vocals by Emmylou Harris
* Produced by Daniel Lanois (U2 Joshua Tree; Bob Dylan Time Out Of Mind; Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball)
* Record Store Day exclusive featuring deluxe gatefold “tip-on” uncoated jacket and gold vinyl
* Limited to 5,000 copies

Location is everything. When Willie Nelson and album producer Daniel Lanois set out to create a cinematic-sounding album, Teatro, they took over a disused movie theatre in Oxnard, California, and pictured its dusty glory on the LP sleeve. Recorded as-live in situ amid the red velvet seats, Teatro sees Nelson working extensively with his frequent collaborator Emmylou Harris, who joins him for duets and on backing vocals on 11 of the 14 tracks. The other major player is U2 and Paul McCartney collaborator Daniel Lanois (producer of Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind, Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball), who produces the album, plays guitar and bass, took the cover photo and wrote one of the album’s songs, “The Maker”, a stunning performance with glacier-thick vibe.


Reinvention is key on Teatro, with Nelson revisiting a number of songs he first wrote in the 1960s, including 1968’s “I Just Can’t Let You Say Goodbye” and 1962’s “I’ve Just Destroyed the World” and “Three Days”. Though the songs are familiar, the sounds aren’t: Teatro found Nelson experimenting with rhythms and flavors as never before, from the Spanish-influenced “Darkness On The Face Of The Earth” to the double-drum-kit percussive groove of “My Own Peculiar Way”.

Accompanied by a nine-piece band that included Nelson’s sister, Bobbie Nelson, on piano, the group conjure up an atmosphere informed by the howling harmonicas and distant mariachi bands of spaghetti western soundtracks, the end result being a Willie Nelson album quite unlike any other in his career, and one that reveals it widescreen vision through arresting sonic imagery.

Originally released by Island Record in 1998, Teatro is issued here as a special Record Store Day release. LA and Seattle-based Light In The Attic present the album as it’s never been seen before – on vinyl. Pressed on gold vinyl with a deluxe, gatefold, ‘tip-on’ uncoated jacket, this is a chance to own this unique album in its most beautifully presented form


1. Ou Es-Tu, Mon Amour
2. I never cared for you
3. Everywhere I Go
4. Darkness on the Face of the Earth
5. My Own Peculiar Way
6. These Lonely Nights
7. Home Motel
8. The Maker
9. I Just Can’t Let You Say Goodbye
10. I’ve Just Destroyed the World
11. Somebody Pick Up My Pieces
12. Three Days
13. I’ve Loved You All Over the World
14. Annie

Willie Nelson, EmmyLou Harris, Daniel Lanois, ‘The Maker’

by Matt

Throughout his 40-plus year career, Willie Nelson has always pushed the envelope of country music. He’s done straight country and honky tonk, explored his interests in pop standards and blues, and taken side trips into jazz and string-heavy big band. As a matter of fact, a reggae album is supposedly in the works. With that in mind, Willie’s newest release, Teatro , makes perfect sense, as the Red Headed Stranger matches his fantastic songs with some heavy almost mariachi rhythms.

Anyone familiar with Willie’s music knows he draws heavily on sounds from south of the Texas border, especially in his distinctive, Mexican-flavored guitar playing. It is thanks to those roots in Tex-Mex that Teatro , for the most part, works. Reprising her role as World’s Greatest Backup Singer, the fabulous Emmylou Harris appears on a number of tracks to add her distinctive backing vocals to Willie’s ragged voice, shining particularly on “These Lonely Nights.” Hooking up with producer Daniel Lanois, who’s worked with U2 and most recently Bob Dylan, Willie digs out some hoary old chestnuts of songs, adding a little Mexican spice.Except for three new tracks, all the songs on the album are at least 30 years old. Like his big-band jazz effort “Healing Hands of Time,” Willie reworks some classics.

The most engaging track is producer Lanois’s excellent “The Maker.” Nelson’s time-ravaged voice is still in excellent shape and is perfect for the sin-and-redemption theme of the tune. The mariachi-like rhythms work perfectly with the sprightly “Darkness on the Face of the Earth,” giving the old honky-tonk rocker an almost Bo Diddley feel. “Three Days” and “I’ve Just Destroyed the World” are by themselves fantastic tunes and the new reworkings breathe new life in the forgotten classics. Willie also reprises one of his most beautiful songs, “Home Motel,” one of the few tracks without rhythmic update.The only tune Lanois’s production falls flat on is “I Never Cared For You.” The heavy drums and in-your-face rhythms distract from the overall beauty of this wonderful tune. Beyond that, however, Teatro is a nifty little album with an interesting bent on Willie’s music. Teatro proves above all else the man can still surprise, so who knows what he has up his sleeve next.


Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard album, “Django and Jimmie” to be released June 2nd! (But you can pre-order it now)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015


Merle Haggard’s and Willie Nelson’s new collaboration album ‘Django & Jimmie’ features 14 new studio tracks and it comes out on June 2nd. Pre-order it on Amazon Music.

Helmed by Nelson’s longtime producer, collaborator and friend Buddy Cannon, Django and Jimmie premieres 14 brand-new studio recordings including: “Django and Jimmie,” a dual tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, country music’s mythic “Singing Brakeman”; the reflective and meditative “Live This Long”; “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” an homage to country music’s original Man in Black featuring guest vocals from Bobby Bare; a sublime interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”; and the future outlaw country classic “Unfair Weather Friend,” written by rising songsmiths Marla Cannon-Goodman (Buddy Cannon’s daughter) and Ward Davis.

A legendary country music producer and songwriter in his own right, Buddy helped pen five of the album’s tracks, including “It’s All Going To Pot” (a rollicking anthem for the emerging 21st century cannabis culture) and four cowrites with Willie: “Alice In Hulaland,” “It’s Only Money,” “Where Dreams Come To Die,” and “Driving The Herd.”

Among the 14 essential recordings on Django and Jimmie, Nelson and Haggard each pay musical tribute to the other through heartfelt solo performances: Willie singing Merle’s “Somewhere Between” and Merle covering Willie’s “Family Bible.”

You can pre-order your copy here:

Willie Nelson album, “Peace in the Valley” re-released

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Promised Land Music Peace in the Valley


“Peace in the Valley”, with the art of Robert MacDonald

Promised Land Music is re-releasing Willie Nelson Peace in the Value album, originally released in 1994.  Visit their website for great photos and more stories about Willie Nelson, and his music.

Track List:
Dreaming of a Little Cabin
Family Bible
You Can’t Have Your Hate and Jesus Too
My Body’s Just a Suitcase For My Soul
I saw the Light
In God’s Eyes
A Beautiful LIfe
Kneel at the Feet of Jesus
Peace in the Valley.


Willie’s Deep Gospel Roots

Willie’s roots in gospel music go back to his childhood. In fact, his first public performance was delivering a short poem at a Methodist gospel picnic at age four in his home town of Abbott, Texas.

“I don’t ever remember not playing and singing gospel music,” Willie recalls. “My grandparents were music teachers and they were gospel singers. The first music that I heard was gospel music, so it’s not that unusual that I would be so much into it.”

Born in Abbott, Texas, in 1933, Willie was raised in a rich musical setting. Besides learning gospel music from his grandparents, he learned blues from local black farm workers, and pop, country, and jazz on the radio.



The PEACE IN THE VALLEY album got its start in 1987, as a Billy Nelson project. Billy loved gospel music and wanted to be a gospel singer. He wasn’t aspiring to be a superstar. He just wanted to do his music.

At a gospel music concert that year in Dayton, Ohio, Billy joined his dad on stage for a couple of songs, including Family Bible.
From there, the gospel album evolved slowly. Billy recorded two songs, Family Bible and In God’s Eyes, and Willie became more involved with the project, eventually recording enough songs for three albums.

“I was doing an album with Billy, my son, in Nashville. We didn’t know how it was going to turn out and really what we were going to do with it when we got through, but the guys sounded so great,” he says, of the musicians and singers whose voices are an integral part of the album’s full gospel sound – especially on the a Capella tracks like “Dreaming of A Little Cabin,” “A Beautiful Life,” and the Hank Williams classic “I Saw The Light.”

“I hadn’t heard a group of singers that close to traditional gospel harmony in so many years that I was very impressed and still am very impressed with those guys,” Willie says. “It just turned out so well.”

“Any good song to me is a gospel. ‘Stardust is a gospel tune as far as I’m concerned, and so is Amazing Grace,” he says, “The melody and the words are there and they reach across all the boundaries.”

It was during this time that Mae Axton encountered another Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson, Jr. (Billy).  Billy had heard a song she wrote entitled My Body’s Just a Suitcase for My Soul, and fell in love with it. Axton wrote the song after an emotional visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. “I just picked up a pad and started writing. It was almost as quick as Heartbreak Hotel. I just wrote my thoughts.” The song is written from the perspective of a surviving Vietnam veteran. “I didn’t want him to be dead. I wanted someone to live and to cope, and to say something about this.”

Although her initial desire was for Willie to sing the song , Axton was thrilled to hear Billy’s voice bring her words to life.  She was in the studio when Billy recorded it, and got emotional when talking about the first video of the song, “Seeing Billy and how beautiful he did it, half talking and half singing, and the scenes that were put with it. It was the vision I had when I wrote it.”

The original music video for My Body’s Just a Suitcase for My Soul is being reedited and updated for a May 2015 release. It features concert footage of Willie and Billy performing together, as well as video shot in the studio of Billy recording the song. The performance and recording video footage is edited with Vietnam War archival footage and other scenes filmed to meaningfully express the song’s deep message.

By 1991, the Family Bible Project (as it was then being called) had grown into a mix of gospel standards and newer songs written by Willie and others – enough songs for nearly three albums.  Tragically, Billy died on Christmas Eve 1991.

Seeing the Light

PEACE IN THE VALLEY might have seen the light of day earlier, had the Internal Revenue Service not confiscated most of Willie’s earthly possessions back in 1991 during Willie’s well-known tax troubles.

By the fall of 1992, however, Willie was making amends with the IRS, and they began returning his possessions, among them the Family Bible Project tapes.


Robert MacDonald, Jr., Willie Nelson, Grant Boatwright

In 1993, at Willie’s request, producers Robert MacDonald, Jr. and Grant Boatwright met with Willie in Texas to discuss the potential future of the project. After several more meetings and kicking around various ideas, Promised Land Music was established in Nashville as the label for the album. MacDonald and Boatwright selected 10 songs and began mixing and then mastering the album.

The album was release in 1994 receiving much praise and positive reviews. It also was awarded Gospel Album of The Year by the ICMGA.

Promised Land Music Willie Nelson 

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie, “December Day” (with liner notes by Mickey Raphael)

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie
“December Day”

Liner Notes by Mickey Raphael:

Peering through the control room glass into the studio, a cloud of smoke rises from Sister Bobbie Nelson’s Bosendorfer grand piano. After four hours of non-stop recording with baby brother Willie, perhaps she has ignited the keys during this marathon session???

Listening back to “I Never Cared for You,” the interplay between Bobbie and Will on the instrumental intro “Ou-es tu, mon amour” sets the mood perfectly for the darkness the song portrays.

“Nuages,” a song written by French Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, showcases Willie’s dexterity and guitar genius.  Whenever we are just sitting around the bus, Willie will pick up a guitar and start playing.  Like the horse heading to the barn, he always gets around to “Nuages.”  It’s good mendicine for him.  And on this take, Bobbie’s piano provides the support that makes their performances seem effortless.

In the beautiful hill country near Austin, Texas you’ll find Willie’s Pedernales studio.  Willie and Bobbie are set up in the main room which is L-shaped and doesn’t allow direct eye contact during recording.  Without much discussion of an arrangement, Bobbie started playing and Willie began singing “Mona Lisa.”  That was the beginning of another magical session.

Recording engineer Steve Chadie and Willie’s friend and producer, Buddy Cannon were at the controls as it all happened. It’s kind of like photographing a ghost; you don’t really see it till the picture is fully developed.  Throughout these sessions Bobbie and Willie played continuously and seemed to never run out of song ideas — which is a producer’s dream (or nightmare).  Eventually songs had to be picked for the final selections.  With so many outstanding performances to choose from.  I’m glad I wasn’t a part of that process.

As long as I can remember.  Willie and Bobbie, who ride together on Willie’s bus, spend some of their traveling time jamming on their favorite songs.  Bobbie has a travels size keyboard on the bus and Willie’s guitar, Trigger, is always by his side.  This is where the idea for DECEMBER DAY was born.  “Why not record our favorite songs like we play them for ourselves?”  Bobbie asked.

In 2010 after ending a tour in Austin, Texas, the band, made up of Paul and Billy English, Bee Spears and myself, went in the studio to record with Bobbie and Willie.  The song “What’ll I do” is especially bittersweet because of the passing of Bee Speers.  Bee was Willie’s bass player for more than four decades and this was the last recording session he played with us.  He is missed by us all.

In 2012 while recording songs for the record LET’S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE, we would stray from the song list every once in a while.  Willie might call out a song title or Bobbie might have a suggestion and this was the fun part of recording with these guys.  You didn’t know where the music was going next.  “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” was born from such a diversion.  We are all fans of the Irving Berlin songbook and of the Ray Charles version, so this was a perfect tribute to both.

In 2004, another impromptu visit to the studio resulted in three songs penned by Willie.  “Walkin'” is truly a classic.  Originally heard in the concept album PHASES AND STAGES, this version goes right to the heart.  Willie’s guitar solo hits you like a gunshot at the O.K. Corral.  If through is the question, then Bobbie is the answer as nothing rings more true than her piano.

“Laws of Nature” is an “a-ha” moment.  Willie writes like he’s talking to you face-to-face.  Bobbie provides the soundtrack for that conversation.  It’s easy to make records with these guys.  You just have to listen… and then  react from the heart.  It’s pretty primal.

The song “Amnesia” rounded out those sessions but honestly, I can’t remember anything about it.

Raised by their grandparents in Abbott, a small farming community north of Waco, Texas, Willie and Bobbie began a musical odyssey that has continued for over 70 years.  Daddy Nelson taught Willie how to play guitar when he was seven, and momma Nelson taught sister Bobbie the piano when she was nine.  Sundays were spent playing at the Abbott Methodist church and gave Bobbie and Willie the spiritual foundation that still can be found in their music.

When it comes to a brother-sister collaboration with the longevity of Willie and Bobbie, there is beauty in keeping things simple, “Less is more” is the underlying theme.  We’ve heard these songs before but not like this.  The spontaneity born out of familiarity is what this record, DECEMBER DAY is all about.

It’s not rocket science.  It’s alchemy.

Mickey Raphael
Nashville, TN


Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie
December Day
(Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1)

1. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Irving Berlin)
2. Permanently Lonely (Willie Nelson)
3. What’ll I Do (Irving Berlin)
4. Summer of Roses / December Day (Willie Nelson)
5. Nuages (Django Reinhardt)
6. Mona Lisa (Ray Evans & Jay Livingston)
7. I Don’t Know Where I Am Today (Willie Nelson)
8. Amnesia (Willie Nelson)
9. Who’ll Buy My Memories (Willie Nelson)
10. The Anniversary Song (Al Jolson & Saul Chaplin)
11. Laws of Nature (Willie Nelson)
12. Walkin’ (Willie Nelson)
13. Always (Irving Berlin)
14. I Let My Mind Wander (Willie Nelson)
15. Is the Better Part Over (Willie Nelson)
16. My Own Peculiar Way (Willie Nelson)
17. Sad Songs and Waltzes (Willie Nelson)

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Whitewater Amphitheater, New Braunsfel, TX (Mar. 26, 27, 28)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

whitewater 3.28.15 133

What a treat, three nights of Willie Nelson and Family, Paula Nelson, and Merle Haggard. Three nights of any one of them would be great, but to get three nights of all that great music was an experience I won’t forget.

There was so much love in the air. The shows were sold out every night, the venue packed with fans who jumped on tickets last November to see these legends. WN&F and Merle Haggard and the Strangers played complete shows each night, and Merle came out and played guitar and sang during Willie’s set. Then, on Saturday night, Willie came out and played with the Strangers, and he and Merle performed songs from the album that they are working on together. Can’t wait for the album!

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New Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Album

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie
by:  Carrie Horton

Two of country music’s biggest icons are teaming up (again) for a brand new album. Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson are set to release a brand new collaborative effort, Django and Jimmie, which will be their fourth studio record together.

Nelson visited Jimmy Kimmel Live as part of a series of events with South by Southwest (SXSW) last Friday (March 21), and it was there that — in between jokes about one of his favorite pastimes (Hint: it involves smoke and some illegal activity) — the Red Headed Stranger announced his latest album with Haggard.

While there’s no news of the album’s release date, Nelson did tell host Jimmy Kimmel that the first single will be released on April 20. It’s a date that matches up with that favorite pastime of Nelson’s, not to mention key lyrics from new track.

“It’s all going to pot, whether we like it or not,” Nelson sings in the interview clip. “As far as I can tell the world’s gone to hell, and we’re sure gonna miss it a lot. All of the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tenn. just couldn’t hit the spot. I’ve got $100 bill you can keep them pills friend ’cause it’s all going to pot.”

Well, we know what at least one of the new songs is about, and while details related to the theme of the rest of the album haven’t yet been revealed, fans of Haggard and Nelson will know what the title means. French guitar player Django Reinhardt is a longtime muse of Nelson, with the country singer citing Reinhardt as an inspiration for the tone of his famous guitar, Trigger, and covering his song “Nuages” many times during his decades-long career. As for the “Jimmie” part ofDjango and Jimmie, it likely refers to Haggard’s love of country pioneer Jimmie Rodgers, whom he paid homage to with a 1969 tribute album, Same Train, A Different Time.

Haggard has also expressed excitement about the album recently, noting that it follows he and Nelson’s 1983 release Pancho & Lefty, their 1987 collaboration, Seashores of Old Mexico and their 2007 album, Last of the Breed, which was also in partnership with Ray Price.

“It’s really good; I think it’s the best one we’ve done,” says Haggard of the new record. “We didn’t really do any swing, per se, we just did straight-ahead songs that we felt good about.”


This day in Willie Nelson history: “Half Nelson” awarded Gold Album status

Monday, April 6th, 2015


On April 6, 1987, Willie Nelson received a gold album for his duets compilation, “Half Nelson”.

Track List:

1. “Pancho and Lefty”, with Merle Haggard
2. “Slow Movin’ Outlaw”, withLacy J. Dalton
3. “Are There Any More Real Cowboys?”, with Neil Young
4. “I Told a Lie to My Heart”, with Hank Williams
5. “Texas on a Saturday Night”, with Mel Tillis
6. “Seven Spanish Angels” Ray Charles
7. “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, with Julio Iglesias
8. “They All Went To Mexico, with Carlos Santana
10. “Half a Man”, with George Jones

This is one of the songs from the album.  You can listen to all the great duets here:

Another Willie Nelson fan, Juul de Graaf (Amsterdam)

Saturday, April 4th, 2015



“Zojuist gekocht bij cd/dvd-speciaalzaak Evelyn Novacek de dubbel LP van Willie Nelson” — Juul de Graaf, The Netherlands.

Thanks, Dutch Willie Nelson fan Juul de Graaf, for sharing photo of your latest find!   He purchased this specially boxed, limited edition, coloured vinyl double LP of Honeysuckle Rose.

Nice collection, Juul!


Here is a picture of Willie Nelson and Juul taken in Amsterdam, at the Paradiso, in 1998.

“Me and Willie in Paradiso – Amsterdam 1998 

Raelyn Nelson Band releases new music video for “Brother”, and launches Single-Of-the-Month

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

You won’t believe this creative video from the Raelyn Nelson Band, for their new single, “Brother “.

You can purchase the single, “Brother”, here: :…


Read what Raelyn had to say about the single, and the video collaboration of her and bandmate Jonathan Bright.:

“The song came about when I was watching a tv show and got inspired by the story line of a girl getting her three older brothers to track down her unfaithful boyfriend. JB and I got together and wrote it and we were trying to come up with a video concept that we could do on our own. It was DIY in every sense, and we shot it all with one gopro camera. The “band side” was done with a tripod, some cheap workshop lights and a clear shower curtain as a light “diffuser”. The other side was just JB running around with the gopro strapped to his head. Then with some tips from friends,YouTube tutorials, and editing software we managed to pull it off. And we came in right on budget! Which was zero….

As far as part of a larger project, I think we’ve decided this year to skip the traditional “cd release” and just release a single every month or so, with a video and new tshirt to go along with it. We have the songs, but it makes more sense to us to release them as singles and have something new to offer each month, instead of beating a record to death for a year. Hopefully, with help from people like you, we can pull THAT off too!”

Raelyn Nelson

Purchase their new single here for only $.99:…


Follow them on Facebook

You can also purchase the band’s recent album, ”   ” here: