Archive for the ‘Good causes’ Category

Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again: Lifting Lives Edition”

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
by: Paul Grein

Nelson wrote “On the Road Again” for the 1980 film ‘Honeysuckle Rose,’ in which he starred. It brought him a Grammy and an Oscar nomination.

Willie Nelson is featured on a new version of his classic hit “On the Road Again,” along with all 10 of this year’s ACM Awards’ nominees for new female and new male artist. The single, dubbed “On the Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives Edition),” will benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund.

The single, produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins, will be available via Warner Music Nashville. It will be released to country radio on Thursday (Aug. 13).

COVID-19 caused the 55th ACM Awards to be delayed from their initial April 5 date to Sept. 16. That has kept this year’s nominees for new male and new female artist of the year in suspense – but has also allowed them to stay under the nominee spotlight longer. They are Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Riley Green, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, Tenille Townes and Morgan Wallen.

Willie Nelson on Twitter: Hey Congress — the live music industry needs your help

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Go to… and share your voice.

Willie Nelson joins Ringo Starr’s Birthday Fundraiser

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Texas Virtual Event with Joe Biden, Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen Julian Castro, Beto o’Rourke

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon & friends raise nearly $600,000 at ‘A Night For Austin’

Friday, June 12th, 2020
by: Peter Blackstock

The life I love is making music with my friends/ And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

Willie Nelson never could have imagined just how on-point those words would be for a pandemic-seized world when he wrote them in the late 1970s. But when Wednesday evening’s “A Night For Austin” streaming fundraiser concluded with Nelson performing from his studio in Spicewood, there was no doubt which song he would sing.

Nelson’s bittersweet longing for the life he loves was a perfect endcap for a star-studded two-hour program that featured performances by many of Austin’s most celebrated musical artists, plus a handful of outsiders who’ve long held a special place in their hearts for the city.

Foremost among the latter are Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, who brought the idea of “A Night For Austin” to Willie and Annie Nelson. Willie’s cohorts at Luck Productions, along with musical director Charlie Sexton, helped put the whole thing together, assembling prerecorded footage into a telethon-like event that was televised on CBS Austin and and aired by ACL Radio and KOKE on the FM dial.

More viewers from around the world tuned in via the website, many of them contributing to the cause of helping Austin cultural institutions weather the pandemic as a banner across the bottom of the screen updated the tally of their donations. Initial support from Universal Music Publishing, BMI Austin, AT&T and Brightcove had the total near $100,000 from the outset; by the end of the night, that number had reached nearly $600,000. (Contributions are still being accepted on the event’s website.)

Messages on the screen explained that 100% of donations would go to the Austin Community Foundation’s A Night for Austin Fund, which benefits six local organizations, the most prominent being Central Texas Food Bank and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. Also included are Six Square, which supports local artists and entrepreneurs of color who have suffered hardships from COVID-19; PeopleFund, which provides business loans, assistance and education to those with limited access; Southern Smoke Foundation, helping individuals in Austin’s bar and restaurant community; and the Red River Cultural District, a coalition of mostly downtown venues that have been deeply affected by coronavirus shutdowns. (One prominent RRCD venue, Barracuda, announced Wednesday that it is closing permanently.)

Nelson and Simon were focal points for a program that included many memorable performances. Willie gave a short introductory speech about Austin’s reputation as a live music mecca and the importance of “keeping Austin weird,” followed by Simon serving up his 1970s hit “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” with wife Brickell popping in for a mid-song whistling solo. (Simon and Brickell recently bought a home in the Austin area; Brickell is a Dallas native, and many of her New Bohemians bandmates now live in or near Austin.)

Simon and Nelson returned at the end, Paul playing his 1966 Simon & Garfunkel standard “Homeward Bound” before Willie took the show home with “On the Road Again.” Between the hosts’ bookends, more than two dozen artists offered songs and messages of hope. Occasional footage of beloved Austin haunts provided a poignant reminder of the event’s mission: It was hard not to feel emotional as images of Sam’s BBQ, Deep Eddy Cabaret, Donn’s Depot, Waterloo Records and other iconic local businesses rolled by onscreen.

Three performances were delivered from essentially empty venues, underscoring the pandemic’s effect on Austin’s live music scene. Gary Clark Jr. played “The Governor,” from last year’s Grammy-winning album “This Land,” at Antone’s, the iconic downtown blues club of which he is part-owner. (When the small handful of crew members in the room applauded at the end, Clark said sincerely, “Thanks for clapping, I’ve been all by myself playing. Made me feel good.”) Ray Benson brought an abbreviated Asleep at the Wheel, with fiddler Katie Shore and bassist Josh Hoag, to the Broken Spoke, which recently reopened.

And blues great Jimmie Vaughan performed at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul with his Tilt-A-Whirl Band, its members spread out beyond the stage to the venue’s floor per social-distancing needs.

Other musical highlights included:

— Lukas Nelson, son of Willie, singing “Just Outside of Austin” in a euphorically idyllic setting, complete with live oak trees, cacti, a wood-rail fence and deep blue sky that perfectly visualized the song’s title;

— Black Pumas principals Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada hitting a deeply soulful nerve with “Colors,” one of the best songs on the 2019 debut album that earned them a Grammy Best New Artist nomination;

— A mini-Arc Angels reunion between Sexton and his former bandmate Doyle Bramhall II, singing and playing together from separate locations in split-screen format;

— James Taylor giving a special nod to Simon with a cover of the 1968 Simon & Garfunkel classic “America”;

— Spoon’s Britt Daniel, who performed “Rainy Taxi” from 2014?s “They Want My Soul” in a room bathed with red light while keyboardist Alex Fischel accompanied on keyboards via laptop from Los Angeles;

— Conjunto favorites Los Texmaniacs backing up San Antonio legends Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers in separate performances;

David Ramirez, who won over new fans when he took part in the Luck Reunion livestream in March, playing a new song called “Easy Does It” that will be on his new album due out next month;

— Simon and Brickell singing together joyfully on the Bobbettes’ 1950s doo-wop ditty “Mr. Lee” (with Edie serving up a sweet mid-song solo on a guitar she got from local instrument maker Collings);

— Shawn Colvin wisely choosing Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” its theme a good fit for the pandemic era;

— Actor Ethan Hawke and his daughter Indiana playing a song together (Hawke was one of several non-musicians who provided occasional narrative breaks throughout, along with Renee Zellweger, Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, the Saxon Pub’s Joe Ables and BMI Austin’s Mitch Ballard).

More performances came from Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt with Boz Scaggs, Patty Griffin, Vince Gill, Norah Jones, Alejandro Escovedo, Terry Allen, Ryan Bingham, Jerry Douglas, Kalu & the Electric Joint, and a solo piano tune from Brickell.

There are no current plans for the program to be rebroadcast or archived online, a representative for the organizers said Thursday, adding: “Artists were assured that this would be the first and final showing, and that they will own their content immediately after.”

A Night for Austin TONIGHT

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

Introducing: A Night For Austin

A live-streamed telethon supporting the “live music capital” of the world.

Join us on Tuesday, June 10th at 8PM CST for a telethon event supporting the city of Austin. Initiated by Paul Simon himself, the streaming show will be available on,, and CBS Austin/KEYE.  

A Night For Austin will feature a star-studded lineup of performances and appearances, and highlight the venues and people behind the “live music capital” of the world.  

The program will raise funds for Austin Community Foundation who has created a special fund benefitting MusiCares Austin, HAAM, Central Texas Food Bank, Red River Cultural District, People Fund, and Six Square.  

Let’s band together to celebrate a very impo

Willie Nelson & Friends, “A Night for Austin” (June 10th) (that’s tomorrow) (yeah, Wednesday)

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Don’t Forget! A Night for Austin (June 10th)

Friday, June 5th, 2020
By: Peter Blackstock

All-star benefit musical events have been plentiful in coronavirus time, but even so, this one’s a doozy. “A Night for Austin,” a two-hour streaming event set to air at 8 p.m. June 10 on the website and local CBS affiliate KEYE-TV, features a lineup that rivals any such event held during the pandemic. And the cause is specifically Austin-centric.

First, the lineup: Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Gary Clark Jr., Bonnie Raitt with Boz Scaggs, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Black Pumas, Norah Jones, Vince Gill, Patty Griffin, Lukas Nelson, Flaco Jimenez & Augie Meyers with Los Texmaniacs, Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Jimmie Vaughan & the Tilt-A-Whirl Band, John Hiatt, Ryan Bingham, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Terry Allen, Alejandro Escovedo, Edie Brickell, Charlie Sexton with Doyle Bramhall II, Jerry Douglas, and David Ramirez, plus guest appearances by Ethan Hawke, Owen Wilson, Renee Zellweger and Woody Harrelson. All of the performances were recorded recently by the participants, largely at their homes, and have been assembled for the streaming presentation.

Spearheaded by Willie and Annie Nelson with Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, and presented by the organizers of Nelson’s annual Luck Reunion mini-festival, “A Night for Austin” was designed as “a music benefit supporting the Austin Community Foundation fund which is focused on Austin’s businesses and individuals in need of necessary aid,” according to the event’s website.

“100% of the proceeds from the program will go toward Austin Community Foundation and the fund’s beneficiaries MusiCares, Red River Cultural District, Six Square, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Central Texas Food Bank, Southern Smoke, and People Fund.”

The event also will “highlight many of the iconic venues that have contributed to Austin’s status as a renowned cultural hub,” per the website statement. Already stepping up with matching support have been Universal Music Publishing with $25,000 and BMI Austin with $10,000. Individual donations can be made at

A Night for Austin

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Introducing: A Night For Austin

A live-streamed telethon supporting the “live music capital” of the world.

Join us on Tuesday, June 10th at 8PM CST for a telethon event supporting the city of Austin. Initiated by Paul Simon himself, the streaming show will be available on,, and CBS Austin/KEYE.  

A Night For Austin will feature a star-studded lineup of performances and appearances, and highlight the venues and people behind the “live music capital” of the world.  

The program will raise funds for Austin Community Foundation who has created a special fund benefitting MusiCares Austin, HAAM, Central Texas Food Bank, Red River Cultural District, People Fund, and Six Square.  

Let’s band together to celebrate a very important city. See ya there.

Texas Artists sing, “Promised Land”, raise funds for TX artists

Thursday, May 28th, 2020
by: staff

Ft. Worth, TX-(May 26, 2020)-Despite the struggles independent musicians have been facing recently, twenty-five Texas artists have banded together to help raise money and awareness for a population of people with even greater struggles than their own. The group of singer-songwriters, along with the notable band and orchestral musicians, have joined forces as the Fort Worth Musicians Choir, to support the area’s struggling refugee community, with the release of their grand version of the Willie Nelson classic “Living in the Promiseland,” written by David Lynn Jones and originally released by Nelson in 1986.

All proceeds from the song and video, as well as an upcoming benefit concert scheduled for June 21st in Fort Worth, benefit the Refugee Services of Texas, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to finding homes and jobs for, educating, and acclimating the area’s refugee population.

“‘Living in the Promiseland’ speaks of the struggles of refugees and immigrants to America, referencing the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty,” says singer-songwriter Dan Johnson who arranged and conducted the orchestra and choir. “These folks aren’t illegal immigrants. They’re families with children who have waited an average of 7 years in refugee camps and gone through all the proper legal channels and background checks, to try to pursue the American dream of freedom and build a better life for themselves and their children.” Johnson is best known for his 2018 concept album/book project Hemingway, another non-profit endeavor which funded a two-year tour of veteran suicide prevention concerts and speaking engagements, dedicated to the memory of his father, a veteran who died from suicide when Dan was ten years old. Johnson says recently he became aware that funding and support for refugee services in Texas had been cut off. His own family, having been impoverished and homeless at times when he was a child, left Dan with a heart for displaced and struggling families, and he has volunteered with refugee support services over the years. “These are good, hard-working people and innocent kids, and they deserve a chance at freedom,” Johnson remarks.

Ashley Faye, Development Director for Refugee Services of Texas (RST) commented, “Since the onset of the virus quarantine, funding has dried up even more, and so many of their jobs have been lost. This support means more than ever, during this difficult time.” The organization also cares for and empowers victims of human trafficking. They’ve responded to 293 cases of sex and labor trafficking in our area, 32% of which are children under the age of eighteen. Additionally RST provides support for individuals with Special Immigrant Visas. Recipients of these visas have put their own lives at risk to work with the US Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, serving as translators and interpreters. Because of their help with the US forces, they are no longer safe in their home countries, and the US welcomes them to build a safe and secure life for their families, here in the States.

Johnson reached out to friends in the music community and asked if they would be willing to put together a benefit to help the regional organization and was blown away by the response. The group, equally comprised of male and female artists, even includes two musicians who came here as refugees themselves through the RST organization, from the Congo and Iran. Co-producer Grant Jackson Wilborn, noted for his work with famed Texas artist Ryan Bingham, and more recently Red Shahan, and Austin Meade, offered his services and studio, 7013 Records, in Fort Worth for the production. Vocalists in the fifteen-member choir included talented favorites like Jackie Darlene, Big Joe Walker, and Andrew Sevener, recently acclaimed for his long run to the final four on NBC’s The Voice. Musicians in the ten-piece orchestra included the likes of Aden Bubeck, Miranda Lambert’s longtime bass player and lead guitarist Ryan Tharp, revered for his work with artists like Bonnie Raitt.

Streaming and purchase of “Living in the Promiseland” is currently estimated to be available by the end of May, as distribution services are facing challenges of their own in the virus-restricted age.

Save the Post Office

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Willie Nelson gives back masks, autographed

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

HOUSTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – While making face masks to give out during the coronavirus pandemic, a Texas resident said she also wanted to send some to country music legend Willie Nelson and his wife.

However, as KTRK reports, Nelson decided to pay it forward by, instead, signing those face masks so that the resident could auction them off and use the money for materials to make more masks.

Houston resident Tanya Boike started making masks with the help of a local nurse, Monica Cabazos, as restrictions were being put into place by government officials to stop the spread of COVID-19. So far, they’ve made and given out over 500 masks.

“I remembered about us as a community during Harvey and the flooding we had. I said, everybody was helping each other,” Cabazos said.

Boike told KTRK she met Nelson’s granddaughter, Noelle Ward, several years ago and wanted to send some face masks to the 86-year-old singer and his wife. After sending them, Boike got quite the surprise.

“[Noelle] texted me a few minutes later and said ‘pops would rather sign these and have them auction them off. That way you can get more materials and keep making these masks for free.’ I just lost it. That’s not what I had made them for,” Boike said.

Ward said that’s just how her grandfather is.

Langhorn Slim on Willie Nelson’s 4/20 special

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Support your local food bank

Monday, April 13th, 2020

Listen to @WillieNelson
and head on over to to sign up for a shift! You will get plugged into the closest food bank in your area that needs help! Also, you might find yourself in a future ad with a Texas legend when you help us.

Concert for Our Lives Maui (March 24, 2018)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

On Saturday, March 24th, people all over the country made a stand to end gun violence in schools at March for our Lives events at over 30 locations nationwide. In Hawai’i artis joined students, musicians and local community members for ‘The Concert for Our Lives Maui’, a star-studded event in support of ending gun violence in schools at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.   Performances included Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Kriistofferson, Mick Fleetwood, Steven Tyler , Landon McNamara, Lily Meola.