Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing” (review)

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

for 4-30-18: Willie Nelson wrote every song on his new album “Last Man Standing” with producer Buddy Cannon. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman
3/15/2018 Suzanne Cordeiro/ For American-Statesman /Willie Nelson performs at Luck Reunion, an all day music festival held in Spicewood, Texas.
by:  Peter Blacksgtock

Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing” (Legacy).

Let’s pause for a moment to recognize what this is: At 85, the age he turns on Sunday, Willie Nelson has released an album of entirely new original material. This is almost certainly unprecedented in the history of recorded music.

Willie’s good friend Ray Price recorded his final album at age 87, but he didn’t write any of the songs. (Willie wrote one of them, “It Always Will Be.”) The closest comparison may be Pete Seeger’s “At 89,” which won him a traditional folk Grammy in 2009 — but that was a mix of originals, traditional tunes and spoken-word passages. All 11 tracks on “Last Man Standing” were written by Nelson and his longtime producer Buddy Cannon. It’s remarkable enough that Nelson has continued to tour and record regularly well into his 80s, but his recent increased songwriting activity, spurred largely by Cannon’s input and support, is something rarely if ever witnessed before.

“Last Man Standing” has plenty of high points, starting with the title track, which leads off the record and sets the tone. Like much of what Nelson has written with Cannon, this one’s playful even as it takes on sobering truths. The loss of close compadres such as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard leaves Nelson not wanting to be the last man standing, until he ponders the alternative and reconsiders: “But wait a minute, maybe I do.” And where would he go, anyway? “Heaven is closed and Hell’s overcrowded,” he declares on “Heaven Is Closed,” before deciding, “I think I’ll just stay where I am.” He stares down fate with a smile again on “Bad Breath,” which he reminds “is better than no breath at all.”

There’s classic Willie wisdom here too. “Don’t Tell Noah” (“about the flood”) humorously advises folks against stating the obvious to those who already know, inevitably pointing the arrow home: “Don’t tell me that I’ve lost my mind, ’cause I’ve been crazy all the time.” In “She Made My Day,” he cautions against the consequences — “but it ruined my life” — yet he’s clearly playing it for a laugh, not sympathy. Best of all is “Something You Get Over,” a beautiful ballad that’s arguably the record’s best musical moment. Willie turns serious here, deeply lamenting a lost love yet persevering: “It’s not something you get over, but it’s something you get through.”

What’s missing is the outside material so perfectly presented on “God’s Problem Child.” I’d trade another gem like Willie’s rendition of Sonny Throckmorton’s “Butterfly” for Nelson/Cannon originals such as “Ready to Roar” and I Ain’t Got Nothin’,” which are good for dancing but by-the-numbers, or “Me and You,” which is no match for “Me and Paul.”

And then you stop and think, again: This guy just released an entire album of new original songs midway through his ninth decade on the planet. We should all be so fortunate to experience not just extended longevity, but continued creativity. In the long run, Willie may not end up being the last man standing — but on second thought, maybe he will.

Read entire article, see more photos here.

Willie Nelson, “Me and You”

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Willie Nelson, “Me and You”

Turn the sound down on my TV

I just can’t listen anymore

It’s like I’m in some foreign country

That I’ve never seen before.

So come now here to think about it

What in the hell are we goin’ to do?

Cause after all is said and all is done

It’s just me and you.

It’s just me and you

And we are definitely outnumbered

There’s more of them than us

Just when you think you made a new friend

They throw you under the bus.

So it’s just me and you

It’s just me and you.

I had a friend I used to talk to

We used to both sit on the fence

But anymore I can’t relate to him

‘cause he ‘aint got a lick of sense.

So now I just ask you the question

But I’m the one I’m talkin’ to

The world has gone out of its mind

Except for me and you.

It’s just me and you

And we are definitely outnumbered

There’s more of them than us

Just when you think you made a new friend

They throw you under the bus.

So it’s just me and you

It’s just me and you

Yeah, it’s just me and you.

Paul Anka and Willie Nelson, “Crazy”

Monday, April 23rd, 2018


In his 55th year as a performer, Paul Anka is a national treasure writing all his own hits which include “Diana,” “You Are My Destiny,” “Lonely Boy,” “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “Puppy Love”, and taking control of his business career (producing, buying and owning his master recordings, a practice he still employs today). Anka wrote the all-time classic “My Way” (recorded by everyone from Sinatra to Sid Vicious), and co-wrote Michael Jackson’s posthumous single, “This Is It.” Anka also penned “She’s A Lady” for Tom Jones and the instrumental theme song for The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. He is among Billboard magazine’s Top 25 most successful recording artists, putting him alongside Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

Duets presents collaborations with a ‘Who’s Who’ of entertainment royalty, including brand new vocal recordings with Michael Bublé (“Pennies From Heaven”) and Leon Russell (“I Really Miss You”).  Other duet partners include “Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way)” with Dolly Parton, “This Is It” with Michael Jackson, “Think I’m In Love Again” with Gloria Estefan, “Crazy” with Willie Nelson, “You Are My Destiny” with Patti LaBelle, “Les Filles de Paris” with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, “It’s Hard To Say Goodbye” with Celine Dion, “She’s A Lady” with Tom Jones, “Hold Me ‘Til The Morning Comes” with Peter Cetera, and “My Way” with Frank Sinatra.

As Anka addresses the listener in his liner notes: “I am proud of what you are about to hear, and I am grateful to those of you out there who continue to show an interest in every body of work that I create. I have always said that success has many fathers and I thank everyone who has made this venture possible; it is always a team effort.”

Duets by Paul Anka

1. Walk A Fine Line – with George Benson and Michael McDonald (B)
2. Find My Way Back To Your Heart – sung by Paul Anka, background vocal by Tita Hutchison (A)
3. Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way) – with Dolly Parton (B)
4. This Is It – with Michael Jackson (B)
5. I Really Miss You – with Leon Russell (A)
6. Think I’m In Love Again – with Gloria Estefan (B)
7. Pennies From Heaven – with Michael Bublé (A)
8. Crazy – with Willie Nelson (B)
9. You Are My Destiny – with Patti LaBelle (C)
10. Les Filles de Paris – with Chris Botti (B)
11. It’s Hard To Say Goodbye – with Celine Dion (C)
12. She’s A Lady – with Tom Jones (C)
13. Hold Me ‘Til the Morning Comes – with Peter Cetera (C)
14. My Way – with Frank Sinatra (B)


NPR: First Listen, Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing”

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Willie Nelson, Last Man Standing
by:  Ann Powers

Listen to the album:  First Listen: Willie Nelson, ‘Last Man Standing’

A few months ago, social media trend spotters got excited for a moment about the fact that we’re all going to die. The occasion was the launch of a new app, WeCroak, that follows the Buddhist practice of frequently contemplating mortality by sending notifications about that very subject to users five times a day. WeCroak is cute, a kind of mashup of Siddhartha and Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies. But music lovers don’t need it. We have Willie Nelson, the best life coach anyone could ask for, who at 84 has made it his business to help all of us not only contemplate the Grim Reaper but grab that bony elbow and have a dance.

The title of Last Man Standing telegraphs its main theme, but Nelson’s been comfortably marking his place on life’s timeline over several albums now, ever since he started writing songs in earnest again. (Don’t be surprised if he and producer Buddy Cannon, who cowrote all of Last Man‘s 11 tracks, come up with an app of their own one day – since Nelson lives mostly in Hawaii and Cannon’s in Nashville, the pair collaborates mostly by text.) God’s Problem Child, which came out last year, favored poignancy over humor, though both were pleasant. Last Man Standing flips that formula, with most tracks stressing good cheer even in the face of hard times.

The title track mourns the loss of friends like Merle Haggard and Ray Price, but to a boogie woogie soundtrack. “Bad Breath” raises a beer bottle to halitosis (proof that the lungs are still working) and the honky tonk blues “Heaven Is Closed” personifies the two afterlife destinations as lovers who get confused in an old man’s. These songs aren’t sunny; loneliness and grief enter into most Nelson lyrics now. But like the legendary Buddhist monk who laughed even after dying because laughter is always young and fresh, Nelson embraces the cosmic joke while lighting one up for the pain that still teaches him.

Last Man Standing ranges in style from Western Swing to pensive ballads, with plenty of old friends from Nelson’s past recordings and touring bands in the studio, including Alison Krauss kicking up dust on fiddle. Buddy Cannon’s production is clean and foregrounds Nelson’s still utterly lucid, jazz-influenced singing. Some of the best cuts are the ballads, especially the soulful “Something You Get Through,” which sounds like a deep cut from one of Aretha Franklin’s great early 1970s sides. “It’s not ours to be taken,” Nelson sings of this life, releasing each word like a smoke ring as Mickey Raphael’s harmonica matches his syllables. “It’s just a thing we get to do.” Now that is an insight worth sending as a notification.

Willie Nelson, “Ready to Roar” (new album, “Last Man Standing” out 4/27)

Friday, April 20th, 2018
by:  Jeff Gage

Willie Nelson’s new LP Last Man Standing is due to be released a week from today on April 27th, and the 84-year-old legend is ready to get the party started — or, as he puts it in his latest song to premiere from the album — “Ready to Roar.”

The Red Headed Stranger’s recent recordings, including last year’s God’s Problem Child, have dealt with some often heavy subjects relating to his own mortality, in both somber and humorous terms. “Ready to Roar,” however, simply sees Nelson wanting to cut loose, ready to punch the clock and escape the yoke of the bossman on a Friday night when he can “light a little up and drink a little down.” The jaunty tune comes with a hilarious twist, as the night of revelry lands the narrator in jail but ends with him ready to head right back out to the bar.

Last Man Standing comes out two days before Nelson’s 85th birthday, but it’s only the beginning of a busy spring and summer for the Texan, who will headline another Outlaw Music Festival tour beginning in may, along with his annual Fourth of July Picnic in Austin.

Why Willie Nelson still does it

Thursday, April 19th, 2018
by:  Michael Hall

Many of his peers are dead, and countless others haven’t picked up a guitar since their arthritis kicked in. But on April 29, two days after releasing his aptly titled seventy-third studio album, Last Man Standing, Willie Nelson turns 85. A few weeks later he’ll be, as per usual, on the road again.

He’s got plenty of cash and a legacy that rivals any musician who’s ever lived, so no one would blame Willie if he spent the rest of his life doing nothing but lounging on a beach near his home in Maui or enjoying edibles at his ranch outside Austin. Yet he’s still writing songs, playing guitar, and making music nearly every day. We joined him on his tour bus ahead of a show at Austin’s ACL Live at the Moody Theater to ask the big question: Why does he still do it?

Because it still makes him happy. “I think I need to keep being creative, not to prove anything but because it makes me happy just to do it,” Willie says. He partially credits doing what he loves for keeping him animate into his eighties. “I think trying to be creative, keeping busy, has a lot to do with keeping you alive.”

Because what else would he do? Over the past couple of decades, whenever Willie was asked about retirement, he’d reply, “All I do is play music and golf. Which one do you want me to give up?” And Willie doesn’t play as much golf anymore.

Because he’s never been good at sitting still. From his initial move to Nashville, in 1960; to his return to Austin, in 1972, growing out his hair and bringing the hippies and rednecks together; to his first turn in Hollywood in 1979 to try his luck on the silver screen, Willie has spent his life on the move. Like he says in 1993’s “Still Is Still Moving to Me,” the closest thing he has to a spiritual manifesto: “I swim like a fish in the sea all the time.”

Because the people keep coming. “The fact that people still show up and like what we do is a good enough reason to keep doing it,” Willie says. His concerts over the past few years haven’t been his best; he’s been sick (colds knocked him out of several gigs last year, and the flu forced him to cancel two months of shows this winter), and he doesn’t perform as long as he used to. But when he walks onstage, waves at the crowd, and greets them with a “How y’all doin’?” he’s repaid with adoration. His fans come for the music and the ritual: “Whiskey River” first; the medley of “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy,” and “Night Life,” in the middle; gospel songs at the end. But mostly they are there just to be in the same space as Willie, and he feeds off of that energy.

Many of his peers are dead, and countless others haven’t picked up a guitar since their arthritis kicked in. But on April 29, two days after releasing his aptly titled seventy-third studio album, Last Man Standing, Willie Nelson turns 85. A few weeks later he’ll be, as per usual, on the road again.

He’s got plenty of cash and a legacy that rivals any musician who’s ever lived, so no one would blame Willie if he spent the rest of his life doing nothing but lounging on a beach near his home in Maui or enjoying edibles at his ranch outside Austin. Yet he’s still writing songs, playing guitar, and making music nearly every day. We joined him on his tour bus ahead of a show at Austin’s ACL Live at the Moody Theater to ask the big question: Why does he still do it?

Because he likes to win. For a born competitor like Willie, staying relevant has remained a priority. “It’s all a game,” says his friend and frequent collaborator Ray Benson, the front man of Austin-based Western swing group Asleep at the Wheel. “It’s all a bet. He loves to win a game, whether it’s golf, chess, or poker. I was in Maui recently, and he said to me, ‘You should’ve been here last night—I beat Woody [Harrelson] out of $3,000 playing cards!’?”

Because all of a sudden he’s writing songs again. Until recently, Willie, who has penned some of the greatest tunes in the American songbook, seemed content to re-record old classics or pay tribute to other songwriters. As he admitted in 2012, “I haven’t had time to write anything new.” But then, later that year, he started working with Nashville producer Buddy Cannon and rediscovered his writer’s voice. Their first co-write was 2012’s “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” and the partnership has been thriving since.

Because it’s a family affair. Sure, he’s shared the stage with some of the world’s most renowned musicians, such as Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra, but nothing pleases Willie more than playing with family. Every night on tour, his sister, Bobbie, 87, whirls through the instrumental number “Down Yonder” on piano, while Willie looks on in admiration. And he gets special joy from performing with his brood: his sons Lukas and Micah and his daughters Amy and Paula. “There’s nothing better than having your kids get up onstage and play music with you,” he says. “You can’t beat that.”

Because his body lets him. He’s certainly had health issues over the years: one of his lungs collapsed in 1981 and again in 2008, and in recent years he has ruptured a bicep and torn a rotator cuff. But Willie stays in shape. He used to run; now he bikes, swims, lifts weights, and does tae kwon do. “I think Dad’s gonna live to be 108 years old if he wants to,” Lukas says.

Because it’s how he can best prove the death rumors wrong. In February 2015 a fake news site proclaimed that Willie was dead. Two months later it followed with a report that a gardener had found him lifeless in the front yard of his Maui home. On the morning of August 3, 2017, various radio stations began tweeting rumors that Willie had died. When Willie heard about his demise, he laughed.

But he knows that one day the rumors will be true. Last Man Standing, like last year’s God’s Problem Child, is about mortality. “I don’t want to be the last man standing,” he sings on the title track, “but, wait a minute, maybe I do.” As with loving and longing and drinking, Willie’s interested in death when he can turn it into a song. “I don’t think about dying,” he said in 2012. “It’s inevitable, so why worry about that shit?”


Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing”

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018



Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing” — the outlaw king’s still got it

Sunday, April 15th, 2018
by:  Neil Spencer

To celebrate his 85th birthday, Willie Nelson releases an album of 11 original songs… there are very few pop luminaries of whom one could write that sentence, perhaps only country’s outlaw king. Nelson has responded to his advancing years by being ever more prolific, spraying out albums by favourite composers, albums of archive material (Willie’s Stash), and albums of new songs, plus countless guest appearances.

This 73rd studio album stands out, a winning mixture of confessionals, nostalgia and humour, co-written with producer Buddy Cannon. .  You can rely on Willie to come up with defiant, wisdom-of-age pieces such as Something You Get Through and Bad Breath (“is better than no breath at all”), but there’s also sly wit in the New Orleans shuffle of the title track (“I don’t want to be the last man standing/ Oh wait a minute, maybe I do…”) and Don’t Tell Noah, where Nelson admits he’s “been crazy all the time”.

Nelson and Cannon mix up the musical styles, with a brace of cuts that hark back to the ballroom Western Swing of Nelson’s youth. Willie rattles off his lines with trademark insouciance, as much spoken as sung, and still plays an acoustic guitar with jazzy panache. What a legend.

The Quiet Genius of Willie Nelson

Thursday, April 12th, 2018
by:  Heather Wilham

‘I think you can do more with music than you can with arguments and politics,’ says the octogenarian country-music legend.

‘I’ll quit when Willie quits.” That’s the back of a T-shirt crafted by the folks at Poodie’s, a Texas Hill Country bar and roadhouse featuring regular live music. Poodie’s was founded by Willie Nelson’s late stage manager and close friend, Poodie Locke. The braided country legend, meanwhile, has certainly not yet quit. After a string of flu-related show cancellations, Willie is back on the road and due to release his 73rd studio album on April 27. Two days later, he’ll turn 85.

These days, much of the talk surrounding Willie Nelson involves quiet awe that he’s still running around like he always has — singing and songwriting and touring and utilizing his fifth-degree martial arts black belt — rather than kicking back, relaxing, and calling it a day. Nelson’s album from last year, God’s Problem Child, boasts the delightful song “Still Not Dead”:

I woke up still not dead again today.
The Internet said I had passed away.
If I died I wasn’t dead to stay.
And I woke up still not dead again today.

His new album, Last Man Standing, also toys with the theme of mortality. “I don’t wanna be the last man standing,” Nelson sings, mentioning his friends — “Waylon and Ray and Merle and old Norro” — who have passed on. “Or wait a minute,” he adds, “maybe I do.”

I grew up listening to Willie Nelson; his voice bounced around our full-sized Ford van as the soundtrack to many childhood road trips. When I met my husband, our first conversation was about Willie Nelson. I’ve seen Willie in concert at least five times — once in New York City, three times in Chicago, and twice in Texas. The New York City show, held at Irving Plaza, went on so late that I, then an energetic and fresh-out-of-college twentysomething, had to quit before Willie did.

In short, we’re talking about an amazing human being.

As you might have already guessed, that’s exactly what happened. The music was impressive. The occasional divisive asides? Not so much. It’s a shame, because music can bring people together like little else. Great song lyrics can latch onto many different realities and mean remarkably different things to different people. Other songs, meanwhile — right now, I’m thinking of “Feelin’ Good Again,” by Robert Earl Keen — concoct a crisp narrative image in your head. When you throw politics into the mix, that magic shatters.

Guess who knows this? Willie Nelson. “I think you can do more with music than you can with arguments and politics. I think a song will reach more people than any other thing,” Nelson told Rolling Stone last year. “There’s a reason that it’s called ‘harmony’: When you play a show, there’s an energy exchange with the people that is unimaginable. It’s the reason I go out there. I get something out of it too.”

Willie Nelson has opinions and causes, of course: He’s far from apolitical, and is perhaps best known for his enthusiastic endorsement of marijuana. (Well, either that or his infamous 1990s run-in with the IRS, which led to the release of The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? along with an amusing H & R Block television ad in the debacle’s wake.) In 2015 he declared himself a “great Bernie and Hillary fan”; in 2011, he briefly endorsed the libertarian-leaning Republican Gary Johnson for president before backing Dennis Kucinich.

When he’s asked about politics these days, Nelson manages a fairly dexterous approach, tending to express the most alarm at how people are increasingly entrenched.

But Nelson also seems to understand that politics have their place — they’ve certainly never shown up in any concert I attended — and that neither “team” is all it’s cracked up to be. “It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Nelson said during the 2016 election. “I’ve seen the circus a few times, but this beats any circus I’ve ever seen. . . . Seems like they’re just tearing each other down. They can’t wait to say something negative about somebody and then they still want us to vote for them.”

When he’s asked about politics these days — and because we’re a society obsessed with politics, a guy like Willie Nelson gets asked about the topic with alarming frequency — Nelson manages a fairly dexterous approach, tending to express the most alarm at how people are increasingly entrenched. His song about the 2016 election, “Delete and Fast Forward,” could potentially be summed up in two sentences: “Well, yikes, that happened. Time to move on.”

“Willie invites almost universal love from hippies and rednecks, liberals and conservatives — everyone except the professional pot-stirrers,” R. G. Ratcliffe wrote in Texas Monthly last year. He’s right. It’s a wildly impressive achievement. The world of Willie Nelson fandom, thank goodness, is largely a politics-free zone. We need more of that in our country, not less.

Willie Nelson’s new album, “Last Man Standing” on gold vinyl

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Willie Nelson’s new album, ‘Last Man Standing’ will be released at end of April.  Barnes and Noble is selling this gold vinyl copy of album, and you can pre-order it here:!21


Willie Nelson helps celebrate music of Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

Some of the world’s biggest pop, rock and country artists are celebrating Elton John’s most beloved and legendary catalogue of hits with two albums Revamp (Island Records) and Restoration (Universal Music Group Nashville) out today. The superstar lineup features artists both new and iconic reinterpreting the timeless songs of the over 50 year writing partnership that Elton and Bernie Taupin share.  These renditions and artists show the depth of the catalogue these two icons have created, which can easily cross musical genres and their unparalleled influence across popular music of all styles.

You can Buy/Stream the album here: 

Revamp features the hits reimagined by the best in pop, rock and urban with Mary J. Blige, Alessia Cara, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Florence And The Machine, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, P!nk and Logic, Q-Tip ft. Demi Lovato, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith.

Restoration highlights countries biggest stars with thoughtful interpretations by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill and Don Henley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton and Lee Ann Womack.

Ahead of both album releases, two songs from Revamp and two songs from Restoration were unveiled to a rapturous response from fans and critics alike. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Q-Tip and Demi Lovato is reinterpreted as a motown esque, hip-hop infused strut with an accompanying video, followed by Lady Gaga’s powerful take on “Your Song.”  From Restoration we saw Chris Stapleton deliver a poignant and soulful interpretation of  ‘I Want Love’ followed up by Little Big Town’s harmony-rich version of “Rocket Man.”

The caliber of names contributing to Revamp and Restoration is another reminder of Elton’s enduring popularity at a busy and prolific time for the superstar. Last month Elton announced his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour. Comprising of over 300 dates across five continents over three years, the tour kicks off in the US in September and marks the finale of 50 years on the road. The first 60 dates sold out immediately after going on general sale, confirming that the farewell tour will be some of, if not the, hottest gig tickets of the coming three years.

Music stars honor Elton John’s illustrious career spanning five decades with a rockin’ tribute on ELTON JOHN: I’M STILL STANDING A GRAMMY SALUTE, to be broadcast Tuesday, April 10 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The concert showcases musicians from multiple genres performing classic songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, including Alessia Cara, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Kesha, Little Big Town, Chris Martin, Shawn Mendes, Maren Morris, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and SZA.


1. Bennie and The Jets – Elton John, P!nk, Logic

2. We All Fall In Love Sometimes – Coldplay

3. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Alessia Cara

4. Candle In The Wind – Ed Sheeran

5. Tiny Dancer – Florence And The Machine

6. Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Mumford and Sons

7. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Mary J. Blige

8. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Q Tip feat. Demi Lovato

9. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – The Killers

10. Daniel – Sam Smith

11. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Miley Cyrus

12. Your Song – Lady Gaga

13. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Queens of the Stone Age


1.       Rocket Man – Little Big Town

2.       Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – Maren Morris

3.       Sacrifice – Don Henley and Vince Gill

4.       Take Me To The Pilot – Brothers Osborne

5.       My Father’s Gun – Miranda Lambert

6.       I Want Love – Chris Stapleton

7.       Honky Cat – Lee Ann Womack

8.       Roy Rogers – Kacey Musgraves

9.       Please – Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton

10.   The Bitch Is Back – Miley Cyrus

11.   Sad Songs (Say So Much) – Dierks Bentley

12.   This Train Don’t Stop – Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris

13.   Border Song – Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson, “Something You Get Through”

Friday, April 6th, 2018

by:  Bobbie Jean Sawyer

Willie Nelson’s 73rd studio album Last Man Standing drops on April 27, just days before the legendary singer’s 85th birthday.

Today, Nelson shared one more new track from the album, the measured, solacing  “Something You Get Through.”

Like all the tracks on the album, the song was written by Nelson and producer Buddy Cannon. The gentle arrangement harkens back to the jazzy, Stardust-era Willie. Like the videos for “Last Man Standing” and “Me and You”, the video for “Something You Get Through” features Nelson recording the song in the studio. Longtime band member Mickey Raphael is seen playing harmonica.

Like the album’s title track, “Something You Get Through” references grief, loss and mortality.

“Life goes on and on and when it’s gone it lives in someone new,” Nelson sings. “It’s not something you get over, it’s something you get through.”

It’s an especially impactful sentiment from Nelson, who in recent years has had to say goodbye to some of his closest friends and musical partners.

Just a couple weeks ago, Nelson teas

The country legend won’t be slowing down once he releases the new album. Starting in May, Nelson will head out on his Outlaw Music Festival Tour, a 17-date tour that will pair the Red Headed Stranger with some of country, rock and Americana’s biggest names, including Neil Young, Van Morrison, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Ryan Bingham.

‘Something You Get Through’ Lyrics:

When you lose the one you love
You think your world has ended
You think your world will be a waste of life
Without them in it

You feel there’s no way to go on
And life is just a sad, sad song
But love is bigger than us all
The end is not the end at all

It’s not something you get over
But it’s something you get through
It’s not ours to be taken
It’s just a thing we get to do
Life goes on and on
And when it’s gone
It lives in someone new
It’s not something you get over
But it’s something you get through

(Repeat chorus)

Mickey Raphael

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Hand to Mouth

Mickey Raphael: Hand to Mouth

The Artists:

Mickey Raphael—Harmonica
Gene Rabbai, Jr.—Keyboards
Lee Michaels—Accordion
Ben Keith—Pedal Steel
Joe Lalo—Percussion
Billy Ray Austin—Guitar
Scott Page—Flute, Recorder
Willie Nelson—Guitar on Trude
Paul Butterfield—Harmonica Duet on Hand To Mouth

Track List

Don’t It Make You Wonder
Trude (with Willie Nelson)If I only had a brain/Somewhere Over the RainbowBlue Angel246 W 11th StAsia MinorMexicoThe SearchBreathlessAll My Love-parts 1 &2GypsyHand to Mouth

You can purchase Mickey Raphael’s cd from


Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing” new album out 4/29

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Wynton Marsalis talks about 30 years of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Friday, March 30th, 2018
by:  Ron Hart

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra operating under the leadership of New Orleans trumpet great Wynton Marsalis, who co-founded the program in 1987 (the Orchestra was started the following year) and serves as both its managing and artistic director. And during that time, the JLCO has established a body of work that’s explored some of the deepest aspects of American history, from the country’s oldest Baptist church to New Orleans’ Congo Square to the roots of the nation’s most beloved children’s songs.

Between 2003 and 2007, Marsalis and his legendary septet hosted some of the biggest names in pop, rock, blues, country and R&B at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Spring Galas. Within that five-year stretch, the Wynton Septet jammed with an unparalleled cast of talent that included such names as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Natalie Merchant, Lyle Lovett, John Legend, James Taylor, Lenny Kravitz, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks and, in one of his final appearances onstage, the late Ray Charles.

United We Swing collects the cream of these gala performances for an album whose proceeds are going to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s much-needed educational programs. And much like his work with the JLCO, these songs — when sequenced together across this 16-track collection — tells the crucial American tale of the union between jazz and the blues, and the way by which both genres have served as spiritual turbines propelling the people’s history of this country through the generations. Marsalis took the time to speak with Billboard about releasing an album like United We Swingin a time when our nation has never felt more divided.

Even though they played different forms of music, they really were kindred spirits, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles, huh? The soul they projected in their music, I’m talking about.

‘Hey, if you think about Willie Nelson, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong, the three of them have something in common, which is that all three of them are credible in the blues, they could swing the gospel tradition, they can sing from the Great American Songbook, they can play jazz and improvise incredibly and they can sing country songs. It’s incredible.’

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Recorded between 2003 and 2007, United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas finds an unparalleled array of music talent that collectively boasts 94 Grammy Awards joining Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis (a nine-time Grammy Award winner himself) and some of the world’s top jazz musicians to perform blues-inflected versions of iconic American repertoire.

Those one-night-only, live performances have never been released before. They include Willie Nelson on “Milk Cow Blues, Lenny Kravitz performing Marsalis’s hypnotizing, New Orleans-inflected arrangement of Kravitz’s own song, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks uniting for a stirring, infectious take on Civil Rights anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”; Bob Dylan adding harmonica licks to a deeply felt, in-the-pocket rendition of “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”; and Ray Charles taking the stage for one of his final performances to play “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.”

Together these artists raise their voices to highlight jazz’s importance to America’s cultural heritage and to remind us that, even in divided times, music can unite us all. All proceeds from the album will go toward Jazz at Lincoln Center’s education programs, which introduce thousands of children to jazz each year.