Archive for the ‘Good causes’ Category

This day in Willie Nelson History: USO Show in Germany with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey (May 23, 2005)

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

In 2005 Willie Nelson joined Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey on a USO tour to entertain the troops overseas at the Ramstein Airbase in Germany.  The show was filmed, and broadcast on television as  “Nick and Jessica’s Tour of Duty.”  Also on the tour:  Big and Rich,  and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.   Willie and Jessica treated the crowd to a duet from movie ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’,  the movie they starred in together, ‘These Boots are Made for Walking.”

Jimmey Kimmel talked about Willie at the show, and said, “I got to meet Willie Nelson.  He’s such a nice guy, he even let me carry his bags through customs for him.!”

“Don’t Mess with Texas”, featuring Lukas Nelson

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016




don't messwitht2

Willie Nelson Artwork for sale to benefit the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Sunday, April 17th, 2016



Painting by Leonard Peltier

Get more info on the case and find out how you can participate at

Native American activist Leonard Peltier has spent nearly 40 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Prosecutors and federal agents manufactured evidence against him (including the so-called “murder weapon”); hid proof of his innocence; presented false testimony obtained through torturous interrogation techniques; ignored court orders; and lied to the jury.

People are commonly set free due to a single constitutional violation, but Peltier — innocent and faced with a staggering number of constitutional violation — has yet to receive equal justice.

Leonard Peltier at Leavenworth. 6/92 ©Jeffry Scott

Leonard Peltier at Leavenworth.
6/92 ©Jeffry Scott

Behind bars, Peltier has become an outstanding artist. His artwork depicts traditional Indian scenes and soaring visionary imagery. Recently, he painted this iconic portrait of Willie Nelson lighting up. As we gear up for a massive 4/20 holiday, this stirring portrait of Willie Nelson, one of our cannabis legends, can be yours. Order here!

11 x 14 – $150 print or $250 mat & framed
16 x 20 – $200 print or $300 mat & framed
18 x 24 – $300 print or $400 mat & framed

The asking price for the original oil painting is $7500 (open to offers).

T-Shirts $25 plus $5.99 shipping

All proceeds from purchases benefit the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC) to carry on his clemency campaign. Purchases and donations are tax deductible.

 Get more info on the case and find out how you can participate at

(ILPDC is a project of the Indigenous Rights Center 501 c 3. (

Willie Nelson guitar, signed artwork up for auction to benefit REVERB

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016


Bid to win this Willie Nelson signed Martin 00-DB (Jeff Tweedy signature series). This guitar is FSC certified.

This guitar was designed in collaboration with Grammy Award winning Wilco front man, Jeff Tweedy. The 00-DB Jeff Tweedy is Martin’s first Custom Artist model that is FSC® Certified, an important distinction for both Tweedy and Martin. The guitar is also Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and comes with a hard case.

“Despite the weather, Reverb had a great time at the Luck Reunion event with Willie Nelson and friends.

There is some incredible memorabilia from the event up for auction online to support the work of REVERB, including limited edition artwork signed by Willie Nelson and a beautiful Martin Guitar, also signed by Willie Nelson.

Click the link and check it out.


Willie Nelson autographed limited edition poster for Luck Reunion 2016


Willie’s Reserve print autographed by artist J. Micah Nelson and Willie Nelson

Dinner With Willie Nelson: Chef’s Pot Luck @Luck Reunion (Stories and photos by The Simple Sol)

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016


It isn’t a secret that I love Willie Nelson and when I got invited to a dinner he was hosting on his iconic Luck, TX ranch outside of Austin it was the perfect excuse to escape after three crazy days of SXSW. It was an intimate gathering and truly a hidden gem tucked away from the downtown hustle and bustle, apparently Adrian Grenier thought so too —  he was sitting across the table from me.  It was also the kick-off for Willie’s one-day music festival, Luck Reunion, held the next day.  Sadly I didn’t get to take part in the festival because I was in Mexico City.


Read the article, and see all the great photos here.

And enjoy the travel culture blog:

Willie Nelson, “The Love of Horses”

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

photo: Andrew Shapter

Chef Leonardo Maurelli III at Willie Nelson’s Chef’s Pot Luck Fundraiser Banquet

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Allison Negron, Giada Chiarello, Chef Leonardo Maurelli III, Willie Nelson, John wood, Daniel Tackett.
by:  Sonya Balaam

The Chefs’ Pot Luck was part of The Luck Reunion Festival. The festival showcased more than 35 acts on three stages, but the night the before the festival on March 17 was the Pot Luck, an event that brought together celebrity chefs preparing a family-style Texas meal. The proceeds from Pot Luck supported Wholesome Wave, a non-profit that has as one of its initiatives to make healthy food options more accessible to low-income families. In addition to Nischan, the other celebrity chefs were Chef Dean Fearing, Chef Scott Conant, Chef Michael Chiarello and Chef John Mitchell.

“It’s a pretty big honor to have a chef like Michel Nischan, who’s a highly decorated, three-time James Beard Award winning chef to ask you to come assistant him and be his executive sous chef on the road while he does events,” Maurelli said. “…Very humbling.”

One of the dishes Maurelli helped prepare was a vegan chili called “Willie’s Chili.” Nelson’s wife is vegan, and Maurelli said they wanted to make sure there was a dish she could eat and enjoy. Maurelli also helped prepared the Use a Spoon Chopped Salad, which was to serve with chili. Chefs’ Pot Luck brought 200 guests to Nelson’s ranch.

This was Maurell’s third event with Nischan. The first was the 2015 Hospitality Gala at The Hotel at Auburn University.

“It (was) a super fun trip…I had a great time with all the chefs. I learned a lot. I got to talk about Auburn and the hotel and the university and what we do here. It’s really a great opportunity to be able to spread the gospel of our little town

Willie Nelson raises $125 for West Texas and Abbott Texas Fire Departments (May 2013)

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Willie Nelson Raises $125K For West & Abbott Volunteer Firefighters

WEST (CBS 11) – At the West Volunteer Fire Department, a day of mixed emotions. As they continue to mourn their seven firefighters killed when the West Fertilizer Company plant exploded, they take comfort in the generosity of country superstar Willie Nelson.

He held a benefit concert for West last month, and on Monday, one of his life-long friends, Donald Reed, presented the fire department a check for $80,900. “Heroes they were, even though they are not here, we should never forget them.”

Reed says Nelson was deeply touched by what happened. “Willie is so benevolent, so loving, so gracious.”

West Mayor Pro Tem Stevie Vanek says, “What he (Nelson) has done for us — with our fire department, and our fundraising, it would have taken us ten years to raise that kind of money.”

For the first time since the blast that claimed the lives of his volunteers, Chief George Nors was overcome with emotion. “Can’t express it — it’s emotional for me.”

He was injured while responding to the fire at the plant and is still wearing a brace.

“I’m doing better, I’m doing better. I got hurt in the blast, I’m still recuperating.”

The good news wasn’t isolated to West.

Nelson and the Abbott Methodist church also presented a check to the town of Abbott for $46,551.

Three of their volunteer firefighters also lost their lives.

“Willie’s always been generous to help us out anything we need in Abbott, he’s always been willing to donate or help.”

Back at the West fire department, the money will go for new equipment, such as pagers, beepers and radios.

The department has also received two donated firetrucks — a used pumper truck, and a brand new tanker that can hold 3,000 gallons of water.

It’s worth $250,000.

Vanek says, “This is a great donation for us,” according to Vanek, who explains the money will be used to buy radios, beepers, and pagers to replace those lost during the blast.

Some money will also go to the families of the firefighters killed.

Next week, the fire department hopes to resume responding to all fire calls in the city.

For now, they’re covering calls that come in only at night.

Willie Nelson to host benefit Chef’s Potluck Dinner for Wholesome Wave (Luck, Texas) (March 17, 2016)

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

photo: Ebet Roberts

Country music legend Willie Nelson has been helping family farmers for more than 30 years. On Thursday, he’s hosting a Chefs’ Pot Luck to raise money for Wholesome Wave, an organization that helps provide farm-fresh produce for low-income communities. It’s a win-win for farmers and the folks who need nutritious food the most.

Nelson is hosting the sold-out event on his ranch in Luck, Texas, and it’s the kick-off for his new one-day music festival, Luck Reunion, being held on Friday, also at the ranch. (Full disclosure: Modern Farmer editors will be attending the dinner and concert.) It was Annie D’Angelo, Willie’s wife, who got the party started last year, as it were, when she asked Michel Nischan, the cofounder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, to cook for the couple’s annual Heartbreaker Banquet. Things went so well, D’Angelo asked him to do it again, but this time as a fundraiser for the charity.

“When you look at what Willie’s been able to accomplish with Farm Aid, it’s powerful,” says Nischan. “And it’s a great connection to be at Luck—to have his home base offered to us as for our fundraiser so people struggling with poverty can afford to support local farmers while putting healthy food on their dinner tables.”

Nischan, a three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner, will be manning the kitchen for the event, along with several other celebrity chefs, including Dean Fearing, the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” John Mitchell, a pioneer in the sustainable food movement, James Beard Award-winner Scott Conant, and Food Network star Michael Chiarello. Fleisher’s Craft Butchery and Niman Ranch will be providing the sustainably-sourced meat for the event.

The more than 200 guests will be treated to a performance from singer-songwriter Aubrie Sellers followed by a concert featuring Nelson. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

“Farm Aid raises money to help farmers in need, to give them grants and loans, create meaningful networks—but Wholesome Wave raises money so people struggling with poverty can actually buy their food,” says Nischan. “Farmers would prefer to never take a loan or write a grant. They just want customers who can pay a fair price and keep them in business, which is what we help make happen. So there’s a real continuity of intent, and a great spiritual alignment.”

Paula Nelson at Peace, Love, Happiness concert in Austin (Friday, April 8, 2016)

Sunday, March 13th, 2016


The Peace*Love*Happiness Charity Motorcycle Ride was conceived in 2002 while two bikers were riding through the Texas Hill Country. During a pit-stop at Poodies Hill Top, John Paul Dejoria, “Captain of Industry” and “Steward of the Planet”, along with his long time friend and riding buddy, Gary Spellman, decided to take a stand after hearing how horribly an Austin Police Officer was being criticized for risking his life to save another. That day, the Peace*Love*Happiness was born. They would go on to create an event that helped and supported the families of fallen peace officers and any and all abused and neglected children.

Willie Nelson hosting Chef’s Pot Luck Dinner on Texas Ranch to benefit Wholesome Wave (3/17/16)

Friday, March 4th, 2016


The Red Headed Stranger is no stranger to charitable causes. The Texas legend is hosting a Chef’s Pot Luck dinner at his ranch in Luck, Texas on March 17 that benefits Wholesome Wave, a non-profit organization that works to increase affordable access to healthy food for members of under-served communities.

The Abbott, Texas native will team with Wholesome Wave founder, chef Michel Nischan, the 2015 James Beard Award Humanitarian of the Year winner for an event that will welcome celebrity chefs including the Southwestern cuisine pioneer Dean Fearing, Scott Conant, Food Network star Michael Chiarello and sustainable food trailblazer John Mitchell.

The menu for the family-style dinner will feature “Willie’s Chili,” a collaborative dish from Nelson and Nischan, Conant’s fried Chicken,and Fearing’s wood-grilled meat with West Texas mop.

Will there be music? Of course. Singer/songwriter Aubrie Sellers, Green River Ordinance and Lily Meola will perform, along with the legend himself. The evening event kicks off the Luck Reunion festivities, which continue on the 18th, featuring a day of music from Billy Joe Shaver, Jenny Lewis, Blitzen Trapper, Jack Ingram, Willie Nelson and many more.

Dinner Patron tickets, which include the meal and private performance on the 17th, cost $550. For $600, guests get access to the dinner and performance on the 17th, as well as the Luck Reunion Festivities the following day. Visit for tickets and more information

Willie Nelson concert in Charlottesville to benefit Local Food Hub (May 25, 2016)

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Willie Nelson & Family Concert to Benefit Local Food Hub

On Wednesday, May 25, country music legend Willie Nelson will headline a concert at the Charlottesville nTelos Wireless Pavilion in support of Local Food Hub, a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase access to local food. Sponsor packages are now available through Local Food Hub and include an exclusive pre-concert party, VIP seating, a raffle to win Willie Nelson memorabilia, and more.

“Willie Nelson has a lifelong connection and dedication to local food and small family farms,” said Kristen Suokko, Executive Director of Local Food Hub. “This concert will help us raise funds for our mission to connect people with food grown close to home. We are thrilled to have his support in our community.”

Those supporting Local Food Hub through purchases of sponsor packages will be treated to a pre- concert party with a sumptuous local spring harvest. Local chefs will prepare hors d’oeuvres using food grown by Local Food Hub partner farms, and food will be paired with beverages from some of Virginia’s finest brewers and wineries. Sponsor packages also include some of the best seats in the house to see Willie Nelson, located in the Lower Orchestra, one-of-a-kind local food deliveries to a home or business, year-long listing on Local Food Hub’s delivery truck, and more.

Local Food Hub partners with more than 60 small family farms in Virginia to distribute fresh, local produce, meats, and value added products to more than 200 customers throughout Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Richmond, and the greater Washington, D.C. areas. It provides essential support services to farmers, at no cost to them, while ensuring that everyone in the community has access to fresh, nutritious food through partnerships with schools, youth programs, and health clinics.

This work relies on a whole community working together. It requires the support of businesses and individuals to enable farmers, consumers, and advocates to come together in the name of healthy food and strong local economies. With the community’s support, Local Food Hub is creating a new model for how the community feeds itself, and addressing environmental, public health, and economic issues in the process.

For more information about supporting Local Food Hub’s mission through the Willie Nelson & Family Concert on May 25, or to purchase sponsor packages, visit, or contact Laura Brown at or (434) 244-0625.


Chef’s Pot Luck at Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas (March 17, 2016)

Thursday, February 4th, 2016


For more information:

Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX
1100 Bee Creek Rd
Spicewood, TX 78669

Special benefit for Wholesome Wave:

Wholesome Wave is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that strives to create a vibrant, just and sustainable food system. By making fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables affordable and available, it inspires under served consumers to make healthier food choices. Its innovative initiatives are improving health outcomes among low-income families, generating additional revenue for small and mid-sized farm businesses and bolstering local and regional economies in 38 states and counting. Partnering with over 90 community-based organizations at more than 550 farmers markets and dozens of community health centers, hospital systems, food hubs, and retail outlets, Wholesome Wave reaches more than 50,000 under served consumers and their families, as well as thousands of farmers annually.

“Willie Nelson did something magical; something I will never forget.” — Alan Grayson, for US Senate

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015


Alan Grayson, a three-term U.S. Representative from Florida (D-Orlando), is looking forward to bringing his political, legal, and business experience to the US Senate.  He attended the Library of Congress event last Wednesday when Willie Nelson received the Gershwin Prize.   He sent this letter to friends and family after the event.

I wish that you could have been there with me last Wednesday night, at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Willie Nelson did something magical. Something I’ll never forget. After that miserable anti-refugee vote earlier that day, he found the perfect way to honor our common humanity.

Willie received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, bestowed by the Library of Congress. In his honor, a packed auditorium listened to covers of his great songs, performed by Neil Young, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, and a dozen other amazing performers. At the end of that incredible show, Willie himself took the stage, with his two sons and a few others, and he performed three wonderful songs.

Willie could have played “On the Road Again,” “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” and “Crazy,” and left it at that. It was his night, receiving one of the highest honors America can bestow. But he knew that the House of Representatives had passed a terrible slam-the-door-in-their-faces bill just a few hours earlier, and that a number of Congressmen who voted for that awful piece of offal were in the audience. In fact, one of them, Kevin McCarthy, was sitting almost right next to him.

So Willie Nelson saved his best for last. He reached deep, deep down in his personal playlist, and pulled out a song from three decades ago. His last song that night was a musical slap in the face to those who had voted, just a couple of hours earlier, to turn away people in danger, in desperate need. The song is called “Living in the Promiseland,” and it starts like this:

Give us your tired and weak,
And we will make them strong.
Bring us your foreign songs,
And we will sing along.

Leave us your broken dreams,
We’ll give them time to mend.
There’s still a lot of love,
Living in the Promiseland.

The audience went wild. Absolutely, totally wild.

And I felt proud that I had voted against that stinking meadow-muffin of a bill, that putrid cow pie in the form of legislation. Proud to be in the audience, honoring that great man. Proud to be part of the worldwide community of decent human beings.

After the show, I went to Willie’s tour bus, joined him and his wife Annie, and thanked them both.

Willie Nelson, November 18, 2015: It could have been his night, and his night alone. But he made it our night.


Rep. Alan Grayson

So they came from a distant isle,
Nameless woman, faithless child.

Like a bad dream.

Until there was no room at all.
No place to run, and no place to fall.

Give us our daily bread,
We have no shoes to wear,
No place to call our home,
Only this cross to bear.

We are the multitudes,
Lend us a helping hand!
Is there no love anymore?
Living in the Promiseland.”

– Willie Nelson, “Living in the Promiseland” (1986).


donate and support Mr. Grayson

I am un-bought and un-bossed. I carry the banners of justice, equality, compassion and peace. My compass is the greatest good for the greatest number. With your help, and the help of all kindred spirits, we will continue this fight, and WIN!

This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson & Family performs for Leroy Bank depositors (11/14/1988)

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

On November 14, 1988, Willie Nelson performed a concert to benefit the Leroy Bank customers in Waco.

August 19, 1988

Waco (AP) — A Willie Nelson concert to benefit the depositors of a failed bank is back on track and scheduled for another coliseum, after the Baylor University president canceled the original show.

Plans for the singer to perform at the Ferrell Special Events Center were abandoned after Baylor University President Herbert Reynolds, citing “concern for the health and well-being of the American people,” canceled the program.

But concert promoter Tom Gresham of Austin said Wednesday that Nelson authorized him to proceed with plans for a concert at the heart O’ Texas Coliseum to benefit the depositors of the failed Leroy Bank, a private bank northeast of Waco.

Some of the 600 depositors who lost their savings at the bank responded happily Wednesday after hearing the news.

“Knowing Willie like we do and him being a local person, we though he’d find anothe rplace to have his concert,” said Otis Richardson.  “He’s a kindhearted fellow, not a greedy man.”

Nelson grew up in Abbott.  Gresham estimates the concert could raise $35,000 for the depositors.

The show is scheduled for Nov. 14.