Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Willie Nelson, “Come on Time” (from new album out 6/26)

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

The Willie Nelson Come on Time song is a track on his Ride Me Back Home album that will be released June 21, 2019 on Legacy Recordings.  This is the third single from the record to be released so far.

Willie co-wrote the “Come on TIme” song with Buddy Cannon.

Willie Nelson Come on Time Lyrics

Time is my friend, my friend
The more I reject it the more that it kicks in
Just enough to keep me on my toes
I say come on time, I’ve beat you before
Come on time, what have you got for me this time?
I’ll take your words of wisdom and I’ll try to make a rhyme
Hey it’s just me and you again
Come on time

Time, you’re not fooling me
You’re something I can’t kill
You’re flying like a mighty wind
Keep never standing still

Time, as you’ve passed me by
Why did you leave these lines on my face?
You sure have put me in my place
Come on time, come on time
Looks like you’re winning the race

Time, you’re not fooling me
You’re something I can’t kill
You’re flying like a mighty wind
You’re never standing still

Time, as you’ve passed me by
Why did you leave these lines on my face?
You sure have put me in my place
Come on time, come on time
Looks like you’re winning the race
Come on time, come on time
Looks like you’re winning the race

Willie Nelson Ride Me Back Home Album Trailer

Willie Nelson’s Ride Me Back Home out (June 21, 2019)

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

New York, NY – Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, is previewing Willie Nelson’s new studio album, Ride Me Back Home, with an album trailer out today spotlighting four key songs from the album.

Willie and his longtime producer/collaborator/friend Buddy Cannon are featured in the trailer providing background information and insight into the songs. In addition, Willie has shared a music video for the album’s 3rd single “Come On Time” also out today.   

The four tracks showcased on the album trailer are: “Come On Time,” a rollicking upbeat groove co-written by Willie and Buddy; “My Favorite Picture of You,” a haunting ballad penned by Guy Clark (from his 2014 Grammy-winning Best Folk Album); “Hard to Be Humble” featuring Willie rocking out with his sons, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, on a tune written by Mac Davis; and “Ride Me Back Home,” an homage to horses written by Sonny Throckmorton (with his daughter Debby, Joe Manual & Lucinda Hinton) inspired by Willie’s “Luck” ranch in Texas.

Willie has adopted scores of horses over the years, rescuing them from the slaughterhouse and giving them a home on his ranch.  

Ride Me Back Home –Willie Nelson’s new studio album (and 13th for Legacy)–arrives on Friday, June 21. It will be available on CD, vinyl and digital formats as well as part of exclusive merch bundles on Willie’s web store.  

Pre-order Ride Me Back Home here:  

“With Willie Nelson’s Ride Me Back Home, the artist rounds out a trilogy about mortality that began in 2017 with God’s Problem Child and was followed in 2018 with Last Man Standing,” observed American writer and music journalist Mikal Gilmore. “Ride Me Back Home, though, brings a different component of mortality into view: empathy.”

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Django and Jimmie”, with Merle Haggard, released (June 2, 2016)

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

On June 2, 2015, “Django and Jimmie” by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, was released.



Willie Nelson sings the songs of Cindy Walker

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

Release date: March 14, 2006

Bubbles in My Beer
Not That I Care
Take Me In Your Arms and Hold Me
Don’t be Ashamed of your Age
You Don’t Know Me
Sugar Moon
I Don’t Care
Cherokee Maiden
The Warm Red Wine
Miss Molly
Dusty Skies
It’s All Your Fault
I Was Just Walkin’ Out The Door

Ms. Walker pronounces Mr. Nelson’s latest CD “wonderful.” While she was not directly involved, the disc does feature a number of her peers. The fiddler Johnny Gimble, credited as session leader, played with Wills’s band for many years, in addition to frequent stints with Mr. Nelson. Fred Foster is a close friend of Ms. Walker’s who produced Roy Orbison’s hit version of her “Dream Baby,” as well as her sole LP, the 1964 “Words and Music.” His arrangements on “Songs of Cindy Walker,” which include backing vocals by the Jordanaires, are retro but clean-lined, with a modern use of space.

Cindy Walker
by Will Hermes
March 13, 2006

At this point, Willie Nelson is a national monument. One of country music’s most fertile songwriters, tireless performers and distinctive vocal interpreters, he is also a longtime ambassador between red and blue states of mind; he has been pals with presidents, allegedly smoked marijuana on the White House roof (and just about everywhere else), founded Farm Aid to assist family farms and recently launched his own biodiesel fuel company.

And Mr. Nelson has made dozens of records and this year he’s on a roll. In addition to campaigning for hurricane relief and the usual endless touring, he has released ” in light of the media attention surrounding the hit film “Brokeback Mountain” a touching version of Ned Sublette’s gay cowboy homage “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other)” as an exclusive single on iTunes. And this month, Mr. Nelson, 72, will release a record of pop and country classics titled “Songs of Cindy Walker.”

So much for the lethargy of pot smokers.

In addition to being a tremendously likable, laid-back set of classics with jaunty, western swing-flavored arrangements by the veteran Nashville producer Fred Foster, “Songs of Cindy Walker” spotlights another monument of American music, one who might have been forgotten had she ever been properly known in the first place. Ms. Walker, who lives and works in the small East Texas town of Mexia, is a prolific songwriter whose works have been covered by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Ernest Tubb, Roy Orbison and many others. Her tunes ” including “You Don’t Know Me,” “Dream Baby,” “In the Misty Moonlight,” “I Don’t Care” made regular appearances on the top 10 charts beginning in the 1940’s and are still covered today.

With hundreds of recorded songs to her credit, she is known as the dean of Texas songwriting and is generally considered the foremost female composer in country music history; in fact, the late Harlan Howard called her “the greatest living songwriter of country music” and he had some claim to that title himself.

“Her work as a writer, spanning so many decades, and still getting things cut, is unparalleled,” said Eddie Stubbs, country music historian and announcer for the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts on WSM-AM in Nashville. “A lot of the songs she wrote have become standards, although people may not know Cindy Walker wrote them.”

A good example of her direct, finely chiseled art is “You Don’t Know Me.” A hit for Eddy Arnold in 1956, Ray Charles in 1962 and Mickey Gilley in 1981, it was re-recorded by Mr. Charles with Norah Jones for 2004’s best-selling “Genius Loves Company,” and is the lead single for Mr. Nelson’s record. It telegraphs the silent longing of a man for a female friend:

You give your hand to me and then you say hello
And I can hardly speak my heart is beating so
And anyone could tell you think you know me well
But you don’t know me.

Some of Ms. Walker’s best-known songs — “Miss Molly,” “Cherokee Maiden,” “Sugar Moon” â” were written for Bob Wills, a fellow East Texan and master of the country-jazz hybrid known as western swing. In fact, she wrote more than 50 songs for Mr. Wills, the Texas Playboys bandleader.

“Wills was a big hero of mine,” Mr. Nelson said by telephone from his tour bus before a show near Fresno, Calif. “And Cindy is from Mexia, Tex., which is only a few miles from Abbott, where I was born and grew up. I didn’t know her personally in those days, but I was well familiar with her writing. I told her years ago I wanted to do an album of her songs; she’d probably given up on me.”

She hadn’t, but she was hardly holding her breath ” she was too busy writing. Ms. Walker began writing songs when she was around 12, and until a recent stretch of ill health, she never stopped. Each morning, she woke up before dawn, poured herself some black coffee, headed upstairs to her little studio, sat down at her pink-trimmed Royal typewriter (which graces the cover of Mr. Nelson’s CD) and set to work.

“Songwriting is all I ever did, love,” Ms. Walker said in an interview last month from her home. “I still can’t cook, to this day!”

She has been in the music game for a while. As a young woman visiting Los Angeles in 1940 with her father, Aubrey (a cotton buyer), and mother, Oree, she talked her way into what was the Crosby building on Sunset Strip in an attempt to show her suitcase of songs to Bing. When she got an on-the-spot audition with his brother, Larry Crosby, she ran to get Oree, her lifelong piano accompanist.

“Mama said: ‘Are you crazy, girl? Don’t you know I’m not goin’ anywhere with my hair not fixed? It’s up in rollers!’ And I said, ‘I don’t care what it’s in ” You c’mon with me!’ ” With Oree at the piano, she sang a song called “Lone Star Trail,” which Crosby recorded later that year. It was her first sale.

Others quickly followed, and Ms. Walker was so successful that she remained in Los Angeles with Oree when her father’s business in town was done. As a handsome blonde with singing and dancing talent (she had performed for years in Texas), she soon had her own recording contract and was a pioneer in the proto-music videos called “soundies.” She shows a husky, jazzy and rather elegant voice on her sole hit as a singer, “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again” (not her composition, surprisingly). But songwriting was her calling, and she soon abandoned performing, returning to Texas in the mid-1950’s to be near family.

And there she stayed, except for regular trips to Nashville, New York and Los Angeles to sell her songs. Like a honky-tonk Marianne Moore, she lived most of her life with her mother, who died in 1991, and has led a very private life, the details of which remain sketchy, which seems to suit her fine. While most biographers note she has never married, Ms. Walker claims she did marry once. “But it was a short-lived marriage,” she said. “A very short-lived marriage.” She closes discussion on the topic with a long, hearty chuckle.

In the end, songs seem to be her preferred mode of expression. She quotes her own lyrics often during a conversation. After finding out about a death in a reporter’s family, she insists he hear Arnold’s recording of her poignant cowboy eulogy “Jim, I Wore a Tie Today,” even offering Arnold’s home phone number to request a copy.

The CD recalls “Stardust,” Mr. Nelson’s 1978 Tin Pan Alley set, also a career high point. But while the singer’s voice may be a tad less steady here, the material lies closer to his roots, the mix of Texas country, blues and jazz, of ballads and uptempo romps, a mirror of his impish, hybrid-minded character. It may in fact be the quintessential Willie Nelson album.

This disc aside — and not counting the hard-to-find “Words and Music” and a recent tribute set by the former Wills vocalist Leon Rausch — there are no proper documents of the breadth of Ms. Walker’s achievement. Fans might trawl eBay for a gray-market transcription of a seven-hour Cindy Walker radio special, broadcast in 1997 on the California freeform radio station KFJC. Or they might try assembling an MP3 playlist from tracks available on digital music services like iTunes or eMusic.

But they’ll have to play catch-up with a writer whose catalog is said to number over 500 songs and counting. And does Ms. Walker intend to return to writing when her health permits? “I sure do hope so, love,” she said. “I sure do hope so.”

Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker at Muscle Shoals

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
by: Peter Stone Brown

Muscle Shoals is a small town on the Tennessee River near the larger city of Florence where, for some reason no one’s quite sure of during the mid-’60s, a lot of great musicians came together to make some of the greatest records of all time.

Willie Nelson recorded “Phases and Stages” at Muscle Shoals, with Jerry Wexler producint

In 2013, the movie Muscle Shoals toured country, the documentary about the town, the studio and the musicians. Muscle Shoals is the first movie by director Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier. It is a movie that anyone interested in R&B and soul music, not to mention rock & roll, will want to see.

The film is built around the story of Rick Hall, the man who founded FAME Studios. FAME is an acronym for Florence Alabama Music Enterprises. Hall’s life story is dark, full of truly horrible tragedies and brutal poverty, so the film is also the story of one man’s perseverance.

Fame was started in the late ’50s in Florence, Alabama, by Hall, Billy Sherrill and Tom Stafford — who soon moved on. Sherrill became a major Nashville record producer and was basically responsible for the career of Tammy Wynette. Hall then moved the studio to a former tobacco warehouse in Muscle Shoals and, in 1961, had his first hit with Arthur Alexander’s “You Better Move On,” which a few years later was recorded by the Rolling Stones. Interestingly enough, several of the musicians on that record, bassist Norbert Putnam, pianist David Briggs and drummer Jerry Carrigan, would also move to Nashville and become well known studio musicians and eventually producers. Hall used the money from the record, which reached #24 on the Billboard chart, to build another studio, and had another hit, “Steal Away” by Jimmy Hughes on FAME Records. Word of the studio began to spread and soon producers were bringing musicians to record there. One of the biggest hits was the Tams’ classic “What Kind Of Fool.” Soon, Joe Tex was recording there — though he used his own band. The next big album to help put Muscle Shoals on the musical map was Tell Mama by Etta James.

In 1966, Muscle Shoals broke in a big way with Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman.” The record was actually recorded at a smaller studio in Florence, Norala owned by a DJ aspiring to be a record producer, Quin Ivy, and included a couple of local musicians who had been working with Hall as well as the Memphis Horns. Ivy knew Rick Hall had connections to legendary producer Jerry Wexler, and asked for his help. The song shot to #1. Wexler, who had problems with Stax/Volt in Memphis, decided to use FAME Studios instead, and sent Wilson Pickett to record there. Wexler brought in some musicians from Memphis and elsewhere, but did use the house drummer, Roger Hawkins, and guitarist Jimmy Johnson, resulting in a number 1 hit: a cover of Cannibal! & the Headhunter’s “Land of 1,000 Dances” and quite a few other top ten hits. The next artist Wexler brought to Muscle Shoals made history: Aretha Franklin. Franklin recorded a few songs at Fame, most notably “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You,” but when her husband caused problems, Wexler moved the sessions to New York and brought the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section with them. Suddenly, these small town musicians barely making a living where in demand.

?Read entire article here.

Willie Nelson: Teatro the Complete Sessions re-release (10/27/2017)

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

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
by:  John Paul

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

Willie Nelson

Teatro: The Complete Sessions

(Light in the Attic)

Release Date: 27 Oct 2017

For the recording of what would become Teatro, Nelson and producer Daniel Lanois elected to take over an unused movie theatre in Oxnard, California. Aiming for what they conceived as a cinematic sound and feel, the empty theatre seemed as good a place as any to capture just the right atmosphere. Adding to this, they landed on recording the entirety of the album live amidst the red velvet seats of the Teatro. This rawness lends the recordings an urgency and an ever-present threat of going off the rails – words dropped, cues missed and flubbed notes captured for posterity – but also a relaxed, confident air that permeates the whole of the album (the jazz-indebted ballad “Home Motel” is particularly brilliant in its stark simplicity).

Newly reissued by the folks at Light in the Attic, TeatroThe Complete Sessions here is presented as both sound and vision, Wenders’ film accompanying the remastered recording, and seven previously unissued tracks. To watch the recording process is to fully inhabit the world in which the music of Teatro was created and captured. As the camera pans across the performers, you’re able to watch Emmylou Harris looking to Nelson for cues as to when she is to come in vocally. There’s a delicate uncertainty on her entrances, Nelson’s notoriously behind-the-beat style making true harmonic collaboration very nearly impossible. But she still gamely follows throughout, her eyes keyed in on Nelson as he loses himself in the song (“My Own Peculiar Way”, in particular, offers a prime example of just this).

Harris’ presence here adds another level of country royalty, herself having experienced renewed critical interest in the wake of her Lanois-produced Wrecking Ball. Able to harmonize with seemingly everyone with whom she works, she sounds particularly inspired when paired with Nelson, her voice gently seeping into the cracks of his iconic nasal twang. “I Never Cared For You”, a song that had been in the Nelson catalog for some time prior to its recording here, bristles with an immediacy and intimacy, the brushed snare insistently pushing the melody forward, Nelson and Harris intertwining their vocals with a subtle sophistication and Nelson’s own rhythmically dangerous guitar solo lending the track a heightened thrill in its potential to come fully undone.

Given Lanois’ involvement in Harris’ Wrecking Ball, he proves to be a particularly inspired choice to capture what can be seen as the umpteenth phase of Nelson’s career, one built on knowing collaborations that have continued to the present day. Indeed, the one-two pairing of Spirit and Teatro seem to have rejuvenated interest not only in Nelson but Nelson’s interest in the music he was capable of producing. Rather than resting on his laurels – something he no doubt would’ve been more than entitled to by the time the ’90s rolled around – he once more proved himself to be a vital creative force. Just listen to the emotional tenderness with which he and Harris sing “Everywhere I Go” or the shit-kicking blues that underscores “Darkness on the Face of the Earth”. The latter in particular is a savvy choice, going all way back to his 1962 debut, And Then I Wrote, showing the continued relevance of both Nelson the writer and Nelson the performer.

Read entire article here.

Willie Nelson’s, “Last Man Standing”

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
By: Lauren Tingle

There is no telling how many celebrities and world leaders have been on Willie Nelson’s tour bus. His longtime collaborator and producer Buddy Cannon has met several public figures while onboard Nelson’s home on the road, including former president Jimmy Carter, Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey and James Caan.

“Every conceivable celebrity that you can think of, they all know Willie and want to be around him,” Cannon tells “He has an unbelievably strong magnetism. I’m sure everybody would like to hang out with him.”

But the first time Cannon met Nelson, 85, it wasn’t onboard a Honeysuckle Rose (the official name for Nelson’s buses). It was in a room big enough for approximately five standing people backstage in Amarillo, Texas way back when Cannon was a rising singer-songwriter for Mel Tillis.

“Mel had bought a radio station in Amarillo, and he planned a listener appreciation show and asked Willie to do it,” Cannon recalls. “Mel asked me and another songwriter, Buzz Rabin, if I wanted to ride down there, go to the show and hang out.

“Buzz had a couple of joints, and he said, ‘You want to meet Willie?’ And I said, ‘Heck yeah.’” When Rabin procured Nelson from his bus, they scavenged the venue’s backstage area for a discreet place to smoke.

“So, me, Buzz and Willie are walking down the corridor of this coliseum in Amarillo pulling on doors as we’re passing,” Cannon says. “And the first one we come to that’s unlocked is a broom closet. It was about big enough for four or five people to stand in I guess. That was my first actual contact with Willie. I really didn’t get to know him until much later. It’s a funny first introduction.”

When fans listen to Cannon and Nelson’s newest album, Last Man Standing, they’re hearing their text messages. Texting lyrics to one another is a practice they’ve had since Nelson, 85, texted Cannon the idea for their 2012 hit, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

“It’s crazy I know,” Cannon admits. “If he sends me something, and I think there might be a word or a line that I think fits better, I’ll change that and write another verse or something and send it back to him. And we never talk about it.”

When deciding what to title the new album, “Last Man Standing” was an obvious choice because it best describes Nelson at this stage in his life.

“A lot of his people who he came up through the business with have gone on,” Cannon says, “and we’ve lost a bunch of them within the last two or three years; people he’s been close to a long time. And he’s really almost the last one of them; maybe him, Bobby Bare and Bill Anderson. There are a few guys who are still around who saw the beginning of where we are now.”

With a sound that embodies ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll by Chuck Berry, the songs on Last Man Standing are all captivating performances in the raw. Credited on the album are Nelson’s famous acoustic, Trigger, his longtime harmonica player Mickey Raphael and Alison Krauss (fiddle); plus an all-star lineup of studio musicians including Jim “Moose” Brown (keys), Bobby Terry (guitar), James Mitchell (guitar), Fred Eltringham (drums and percussion), Kevin “Swine” Grantt (upright bass), Eddie Bayers (drums), Tommy White (steel guitar), Mike Johnson (steel guitar) and Lonnie Wilson (steel guitar).

“I think I finally got the personnel in the band locked where I want them for this kind of a Willie record,” Cannon says. “I try not to cut songs too many times. If I can get it on the first take, I’m a happy guy. I don’t know why this one sounds so rocking. It’s just different songs with the lyrics, the feel and the rhythm I guess.”

Last Man Standing explores themes of friendship (“Me and You”), Biblical allusion (“Heaven Is Closed,” “Don’t Tell Noah”), mortality (“Last Man Standing,” “Bad Breath”), the afterlife (“I’ll Try to Do Better Next Time”), partying (“Ready to Roar”) and heartache (“She Made My Day,” “Very Far to Crawl”).

But it’s the hopeful “Something You Get Through” that is one of Cannon’s favorite songs he’s ever written. It was inspired by a vivid memory on Nelson’s bus three years ago in Austin, Texas. At the time, a woman came onboard that Cannon didn’t recognize, but he could tell she and Nelson were old friends.

“I could just tell by the way Willie greeted her,” Cannon recalls, “and he had her sit down by him, and she was very emotional and tearful. She was talking about she was missing someone she had just lost.

“I don’t know if it was a child or a husband, but Willie was listening to her and holding her hand on the table, and she said, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to get over this.’ And Willie said, ‘It’s not something you get over, but it’s something you’ll get through.’ It just stuck in my brain, and I think I have thought that line every day since that day.”

Nelson is on tour through November. His Outlaw Music Fest returns May 25 in Raleigh, N.C. with Sturgill Simpson, Alison Krauss and Delta Rae.

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

Monday, May 20th, 2019


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)
In March 2007, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price performed on-stage together for the first time in the Last of the Breed tour.

Willie Nelson Blanket Quilt

Friday, May 17th, 2019

This woman will make a Willie Nelson album cover quilt for you, order here.

Willie Nelson’s “Immigrant Eyes” Video showing at #CarefortheCaravan Event, (May 19, 2019)

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Willie Nelson is no (red-headed) stranger to speaking up for the downtrodden. In the ’80s he rallied to keep family farmers on their land with the Farm Aid concert series. In 2017, he led an all-star benefit for Hurricane Harvey relief. Now, the Texas music icon is raising his powerful voice to address the humanitarian crisis on the border.

Nelson is one of several Texas artists lending their support to #CareFortheCaravan, a grassroots mobilizing effort and donation drive organized by social justice group, Buffalo Tree Presents. The group is collecting donations at a series of Texas events. They plan to deliver essential supplies and clothing items to refugees at the South Texas border.

Austin audiences can catch a sneak peak of the video for Nelson’s new song “Immigrant Eyes” at the #CareFortheCaravan event at Still Whisky Company on May 19.

The event kicks off at 1 p.m. and includes an appearance from local television personality, Olga Campos Benz and performances from Kiko Villamizar, Atash, Bamako Airlines, Leti Garza, Tiarra Girls, and Grupo Massa. There is no cover to attend, but organizers urge attendees to bring donations from the list below.

Buffalo Tree Presents is also hosting a kickoff event in Dallas with Polyphonic Spree on May 18. They plan to drop off supplies in McAllen on May 20.

Buffalo Tree Presents is also hosting a kickoff event in Dallas with Polyphonic Spree on May 18. They plan to drop off supplies in McAllen on May 20.

Requested items include (new items only):

· Toiletries including deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, feminine hygiene products, etc

· Tennis shoes for men, women, children and infants of all sizes

· Clothes (pants, t-shirts, blouses, underclothing) for children and adults of all sizes

· Baby supplies for toddlers (diapers, baby wipes, baby bottles)

· Gift cards to purchase food items

· Resealable plastic bags (ziplock, etc)

· Phone cards

· Jugs of water

Willie Nelson, “My Favorite Picture of You” (from new album)

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Willie Nelson, “Sing Me Back Home” mini music documentary

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
by: Nate Todd

Willie Nelson shared a mini music documentary for the title track from his upcoming album, Ride Me Back Home. The song and it’s accompanying video are a heartfelt tribute to the horses and mules who served in conflicts like World War I and the Korean War.

The visual also features footage of Nelson and his rescue horses and mules on the legendary singer-songwriter’s ranch in Luck, Texas. While the video is a tribute to all horses and mules who have served, it is dedicated to Sergeant Reckless USMC, who completed 51 missions in the Korean War and saved countless lives. She is the most decorated horse in modern history. The doc is also dedicated to Willamina, “the most decorated mule in Luck,” who Willie talks lovingly to in the video.

Willie Nelson’s Ride Me Back Home is due out on June 21 via Legacy Recordings. Check out the mini music documentary for “Ride Me Back Home” below:

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Always on My Mind” #1 (May 8, 1982)

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

On May 8, 1982, Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” reaches #1 on the Billboard country chart.

In 1983, Willie Nelson wins Best Country Vocal Performance for ‘Always On My Mind. The song won three times during the 25th annual Grammy awards including awards for songwriters Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher and Mark James earn Song of the Year.

Track listing

  1. “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”
  2. “Always on My Mind”
  3. “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
  4. “Let It Be Me”
  5. “Staring Each Other Down”
  6. “Bridge over Troubled Water”
  7. “Old Fords and a Natural Stone”
  8. “Permanently Lonely”
  9. “Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning”
  10. “The Party’s Over”

2003 re-release bonus tracks

  1. “The Man Who Owes Everyone”
  2. “I’m a Memory”

Is Willie Nelson the Top Balladeer? (New York Times) (September 9, 1981)

Monday, May 6th, 2019

WHY is Willie Nelson, who wears his long, graying hair in braids, dresses like a hippie and was singing honky tonk music in Texas roadhouses as long ago as the l950’s, America’s most admired pop balladeer?

Kenny Rogers sells more records with his saccharine love songs and stagey whisky-rasp, and Frank Sinatra is certainly still a force to be reckoned with, but it is Willie Nelson who has turned chestnuts like ”Georgia on My Mind,” ”Stardust” and ”Mona Lisa” into recent pop hits, and Mr. Nelson draws a more diverse audience than either Mr. Rogers or Mr. Sinatra. The last time he performed in New York, pot-smoking rock fans were sitting next to middle-aged businessmen and their wives and a few grandmothers, and all of them were hanging on to Willie Nelson’s every word.

The release this week of ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” (Columbia records) offers some clues, both in the music it includes and in what it omits. On first hearing, Mr. Nelson’s dry, reedy tenor can sound deceptively thin, but listening to his hits back to back, one soon notices a sinewy strength that’s barely hidden behind his apparently vulnerable sound and casual delivery. One also notices that most of his hit records have used a sound, a kind of musical formula, that refers to several traditions, including country music, rock, folk and middle-of-the-road pop, without really belonging to any of them. Their most characteristic sound is a softly strummed acoustic guitar, a wailing harmonica played by his band’s most prominent soloist, Mickey Raphael, and Mr. Nelson singing, straightforwardly and with just a hint of melancholy, about faded loves, rejection in love, and men who are drawn to the open road and can’t seem to help themselves, men who live like cowboys not because they want to but because that’s what they are. A Land of Cowboys

Cowboys – there’s a clue. America needs its cowboys. There’s a cowboy in the White House, a cowboy who likes living on his ranch and gives press conferences with his boots on. There were latter-day cowboys in ”Urban Cowboy,” one of the most successful films and record-album soundtracks last year. There are more and more countryand-western clubs opening, and more and more city slickers in western shirts and boots to go to them, even in Manhattan. And Willie Nelson is a cowboy.

He’s still a convincing cowboy at the age of 48. He crisscrossed Texas for years, playing in roadside honky tonks. He peddled his songs in Nashville, and some of them, most notably ”Crazy” and ”Funny (How Time Slips Away),” became country standards. But record producers in Nashville didn’t think he could sing, and when he did get a chance to record, he was saddled with string orchestras and inappropriate material. By the time he finally became a full-fledged country star, in the mid-70’s, he had been branded an ”outlaw” by Nashville’s conservative country-music establishment, and although he has long since become a pop star, with a fistful of platinum albums and singles and several film roles to his credit, he still projects that outlaw image.

This is a curious thing. What one sees is an outlaw – a cowboy gone wrong. What one hears, especially on Mr. Nelson’s recordings of ”Stardust” and other standards, is a weathe red but reassuring voicesinging the old songs as if they really matte r to him, against a simple, folksy musical backdrop. Apparently, American pop consumers won’t buy records of songs like ”Stardust” when they are performed by entertainers who project an old-fashioned, sophisticated showbusiness image, but they will buy them wh en the singer is a longhaired, pot-smoking rebel. The countercul ture of the 60’s has become the mainstream culture of the 80’s, an d Mr. Nelson is the one American popular singer who gives the impress ion of being part of both the counterculture and the mainstream at the same time. Back to Honky Tonk

Interestingly, ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits,” a double album that includes two previously unreleased performances, has only one of his performances of pop evergreens on it -his hit version of ”Georgia on My Mind.” The rest of the album concentrates on hits that are clos er to country music and to country rock. There are several live performances recorded with his wonderfully idiosyncraticband, which l ayers electric guitars and back-country church-style piano over he avy bass and the two-beat cowboy drumming of Mr. Nelson’s long time sidekick, Paul English. There are tributes to Mr. Nelson’s honk y-tonk roots, including a fine reworking of Lefty Frizzell’s ” If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time” and two numbers, ”Fa ded Love” and ”Stay a Little Longer,” that were associated wi th the late Bob Wills, ”King of Western Swing” and probably the most popular Southwestern entertainer or all time. Mr. Nelson’s most celebrated duet with his fellow country ”Outlaw” Waylon Jennin gs, ”Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” is here, too.

So ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” is really the best of Willie Nelson, country singer, an album for his hard-core fans. Perhaps he feels that with his albums of pre-World War II pop standards and his movie appearances, he has been neglecting the people who made his reputation in the first place. At any rate, he is still a winning country stylist. And it is somehow reassuring, at a time when most country entertainers can’t wait to get that first pop hit and start wearing tuxedos and playing Las Vegas, to find one who knows who he is and what he comes from. Maybe that’s why his fans accept the long hair and the rumpled clothes; they are outward indications that no matter how successful he becomes, the inner Willie Nelson is not about to change.

Willie Nelson, “Ride Me Back Home”

Sunday, May 5th, 2019
by: Patrick Doyle

Watch Willie Nelson Pay Tribute to Horses in ‘Ride Me Back Home’

Nelson, who has more than 60 horses on his Texas property, says he was immediately moved by his friend Sonny Throckmorton’s song
by: Patrick Doyle

Willie Nelson turned 86 yesterday, announced a tour and appeared on the cover of our cannabis issue. The story is timed to Nelson’s new album Ride Me Back Home, out June 21st, which features new songs and covers of everyone from Guy Clark to Billy Joel.

On Tuesday, Nelson released a new video for “Ride Me Back Home,” a song co-written by his friend Sonny Throckmorton, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member.

The song is a tribute to horses who have seen better days (“Now they don’t need you/There’s no one to feed you/There’s fences where you used to roam/I wish I could gather up all of your brothers and you would just ride me back home”). It immediately moved Nelson, who has more than 60 rescue horses on his property outside Austin, Texas. “I’ve bought a lot of horses that were gonna be slaughtered,” Nelson said.

“It’s a good story,” Nelson added of the song, which Throckmorton actually wrote thinking about Willie’s horses. “I heard it and I said it fits exactly the same thing I’m doing. It just seemed natural.” Nelson last paid tribute to the animals in 2012’s “A Horse Called Music,” with Merle Haggard.

“Sonny lives right by Willie’s Luck studio,” Nelson’s producer/co-writer Buddy Cannon said. “He said he wrote that song because he was over there and saw Willie’s horses. I don’t even know if Willie knows that or not.”