Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard to release new album, “Django and Jimmie”

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are pairing up once again. This was the one nugget of important information squeezed between jokes when Willie Nelson made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday evening (3-21) as part of South by Southwest (SXSW) festivities in Austin, TX. It won’t be the first time the two country music legends have released an album together, and it may not be the last.

Willie and Merle most famously paired up when they released the album Pancho & Lefty in 1983. The title track written by Townes Van Zandt became a #1 hit, and so did the album. The duo released another album together in 1987 called Seashores of Old Mexico, and were joined by Ray Price for the 2007 album Last of the Breed.

Though there’s no word yet on what direction the new album might take, the title Django & Jimmie likely refers to Willie Nelson’s Belgium-born and French-residing guitar playing muse Django Reinhardt, and Merle Haggard’s hero of Jimmie Rodgers. Willie says the tone of his famous guitar Trigger was inspired by Django, and Willie has recorded Django’s “Nuages” many times throughout his career, including on his last album December Day. Haggard famously released a Jimmie Rodgers tribute Same Train, A Different Time in 1969.

Merle also talked about the album recently, saying, “The most interesting thing, probably, is that me and Willie just finished our third album together. Not counting the thing we did with Ray Price. It’s really good; I think it’s the best one we’ve done. I think the title of the album is probably going to be Django & Jimmie, about Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers. We didn’t really do any swing, per se, we just did straight-ahead songs that we felt good about.”

Since 2011 and before, an album has been rumored to be in the works involving Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson in a project called The Musketeers. Merle first made reference to it in early 2011, and then all three of the men acknowledged the project before the Grammy Awards in 2014 where they performed together with Blake Shelton. It was also revealed around the time that Kris Kristofferson was beginning to experience memory issues.

Willie & Merle are also getting set to play a series of three sold out shows at the Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, TX on March 26th, 27th, and 28th.

No release date has been announced yet for Django & Jimmie.

Read entire article here:

Happy Birthday, Ray Benson

Monday, March 16th, 2015


On this day in 1951, Ray Benson, of Asleep at the Wheel, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of those western swing artists who wasn’t born in Texas, but got there as soon as he went to California and ran in to Willie Nelson who told him he should go to Texas.

Willie Nelson, “Always on My Mind”

Friday, March 6th, 2015


Willie Nelson (Texas’ most wanted man)

Friday, March 6th, 2015


Willie and Bobbie Nelson, “December Day”

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Bobbie Nelson  music video from their new album, “December Day”.

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’s ‘American Classic’ (August 25, 2009)

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


Photograph by Ian Gittler / Used With Permission


  1. The Nearness of You
  2. Fly Me to the Moon
  3. Come Rain or Come Shine
  4. If I Had You (with Diana Krall)
  5. Ain’t Misbehaving
  6. I Miss You So
  7. Because of You
  8. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Norah Jones)
  9. Angel Eyes
  10. On the Street Where You Live
  11. Since I Fell For You
  12. You Were Always on My Mind

Willie Nelson tells his story in new book out in May

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

photo: Larry Busacca

by: Carrie Horton

Willie Nelson has undoubtedly lived through some crazy experiences throughout his life, and now he’s sharing them with the world. The iconic country singer will release a new memoir titled It’s a Long Story: My Life.
In his brand new book, Nelson delves into everything from his childhood to his legendary music career, which spans almost 60 years and includes over 100 albums, countless awards, his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998.

In It’s a Long Story, the 81-year-old singer also shares details about his personal life, including stories from his childhood in Abbott, Tex. during the Great Depression, details about his own marriages and family and even some never-before-told tales from the Farm Aid concert series, which he co-created in 1985. The Red Headed Stranger even opens up about his history with alcohol and tobacco and talks about why he’s such a strong advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana.

With a songwriting and singing career that’s produced some of the world’s most well-known and well-loved country songs, Nelson spends a considerable amount of time writing about music in the new book as well. It’s a Long Story explores what makes him so passionate about writing music and shares stories behind some of his biggest hits like “Always on My Mind” and “On the Road Again.” Shotgun Willie also uses the book to relive fond memories of his decades-long friendships and collaborations with renowned artists like Ray Charles, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.

It’s a Long Story: My Life looks to be Nelson’s most personal book, but it’s not the first time he’s had writing credits. He has authored or co-authored various other books since 1998, including another about his life called, Willie: An Autobiography. It’s a Long Story is co-written by David Ritz and will be released on May 5 through Little, Brown and Company. Fans can preorder the book on Amazon.


Randy Travis, Willie Nelson, “Birth of the Blues”

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015


Randy Travis
Heroes and Friends

1.  Heroes and Friends
2   Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
3   Birth of the Blues
4   All Night Long
5   The Human Race
6   Shopping for Dresses
7   Waiting on the Light to Change
8   A Few Ole Country Boys
9   Walk Our Own Road
10  We’re Strangers Again
11   Smokin’ the Hive
12   Come See About Me
13   Happy Trails
14   Heroes and Friends (reprise)

“All My Favorite Singers are Willie Nelson” — new Astral Swans Album

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


Not only is Dan Mangan our current cover star, but his Arts & Crafts imprintMadic Records is about to release its very first full-length. Astral Swans‘ album All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson will be out on February 24, and it’s available to stream right now on

These 12 tracks are extremely minimal, with barebones strumming and hushed singing supporting by a few pattering rhythms, avant-garde synths and psychedelic production touches. There’s a hint of buoyant brightness to the acoustic groove of “Beginning of the End,” but the morbid lyrics set a dark mood that’s typical of songwriter Matthew Swann.

Elsewhere, each line in “September” is punctuated with a disorienting blast of echo, while “Attention” trades out the usual synth abstractions for strings to create an ominous orchestral soundscape. Swann used to perform as Extra Happy Ghost!!!, and this album acts as a natural successor to 2011’s Modern Horses.

Hear it all below. Astral Swans will be touring with Mangan in the coming weeks.

Grateful Dead Dave’s Pick’s Vol. 13 (with Micah Nelson Art!)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Dave’s Picks Volume 13

We’re heeding the call for more of the majestic early 70s! No doubt, this was a time of great exploration and innovation for the Grateful Dead, one of their peaks… And so it is with great pleasure, that we are proud to present the official release of Winterland, February 24, 1974.

On the fertile grounds of their home turf and on the edge of what would become the Wall of Sound era, the Dead embarked upon a tremendous three-night run at Winterland. On this particular night, the last in the run, they warmed up the crowd with stellar new tracks “U.S. Blues” (previously known as “Wave That Flag”), “Ship of Fools,” and “It Must Have Been The Roses.” And while these debuts, nestled among fan favorites like “Playing In The Band” and “Brown-Eyed Women,” were quite tantalizing, the 2nd set really brought it all home. Witness the magic on an incredibly jazz, introspective “Dark Star,” perhaps one of the finest version of “Morning Dew” during this time, and a beautifully arranged cover of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” The moments making up this masterpiece are made even more clear by the crispness of Kidd Candelario’s recording. Epic, indeed!

Limited to 16,500 individually numbered copies, Dave’s Picks Volume 13: Winterland, San Francisco, CA – 2/24/74has been mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman and features illustrations by our 2015 Artist in Residence Micah Nelson (learn more about the multi-talented artist and musician in our upcoming All In The Family piece).

This one ships February 1st – get your copy before they are gone, gone, gone!



Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones, “Here We Go Again”

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Hallelujah I Love Her So
Come Rain or Come Shine
Unchain My Heart
Cryin’ Time
Losing Hand
Hit The Road Jack
I’m Moving On
Here We Go Again
Makin’ Whoopie
SwingI Love You So Much (It Hurts)
What’d I Say

I don’t know if you have this album or not, but it has some real gems on it. Once again, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis collaborate at the Rose Theater in New York City, and this time they invited their friend Nora Jones to sing with them. The album is recording of their live performances on February 9th and 10th, 2009, featuring the music of the great Ray Charles. I’ve been listening to it again, all week, and it’s a special event to get to hear.


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.