Archive for the ‘Duets and collaborations’ Category
Willie Nelson’s website has the new Django and Jimmie album on vinyl!
Get yours here:
Not the Highwaymen, but another super group perform.
by: Stephen L. Betts
In 1979, the Bee Gees were busy extricating themselves from the growing backlash against the decade’s biggest phenomenon – disco. Arguably the biggest recording act on the planet, the brothers Gibb (Barry, Maurice and Robin) attempted to move past the dance-floor phenomenon of Saturday Night Fever, for which they penned several massive hits, including “Staying Alive” and “Night Fever,” with Spirits Having Flown, a still-danceworthy LP that featured blockbusters such as “Tragedy” and “Too Much Heaven.” The trio’s subsequent world tour would be filmed for a TV special which captured the group on stage in July during the second of a three-night stand in Oakland, Cailfornia.
The Bee Gees Special aired November 15th, 1979, on NBC and included the siblings being interviewed by British presenter David Frost, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of tour preparation, vintage TV clips from their native Australia (where they began performing as youngsters), plus an appearance from younger brother Andy Gibb, who was breaking through on the pop charts with his own string of career-defining hits at the time.
Among the most unexpected highlights of the 90-minute special was an impromptu jam session with two of the biggest country stars of the decade, both of whom would enjoy pop crossover success: Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell. During their onstage jam, with Nelson’s familiar backdrop, the Texas Lone Star flag, draped behind them, the Bee Gees, Campbell and Nelson performed a medley of rock, pop and country tunes that included the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” featuring Barry Gibb and Campbell’s high harmonies. After a line from the Fifties’ rockabilly hit “Party Doll,” Gibb once again took the lead on a soulful rendition of the Don Gibson (and Ray Charles) classic, “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” as Campbell and Nelson offered guitar accompaniment. Sure, the horn arrangement can’t help but date the performance but it’s nonetheless a great treat to hear some of the music that surely influenced the brothers early on, leading, of course, to Gibb’s penning of the massive Kenny Rogers-Dolly Parton crossover hit, “Islands in the Stream” just a few years after this collaboration.
The medley concludes with the once-in-a-lifetime group performing the Bee Gees’ own “To Love Somebody,” (covered recently by Dwight Yoakam), as the clip transitions back to footage of the Spirits Having Flown World Tour. That song was performed yet again in 2012, when Barry Gibb, the last surviving of his brothers, made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Opry member Ricky Skaggs.
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Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman duet on Friedman’s upcoming new album. photo: Gary Miller
by: Chris Parton
At 70 years old, Kinky Friedman — Jewish cowboy, former Texas gubernatorial candidate, cultural satirist, author, singer-songwriter and campaigner against the scourge of political correctness — has recorded his first studio album in nearly 40 years.
Called The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, the project arrives October 2nd and finds Friedman applying his scathing sense of humor and love of traditional country to some of his favorite cover songs, as well as a few never-heard-before originals. One of the standouts is a duet with Willie Nelson on Nelson’s quirky 1974 breakup tune “Bloody Mary Morning.” Hear the exclusive premiere below.
“You hang on for dear life when you’re working with Willie,” Friedman tells Rolling Stone Country. “I just remember getting so high I needed a step ladder to scratch my ass. I don’t smoke pot really, but I will with Willie just as a matter of Texas etiquette.
“Some of Willie’s picking on this thing is just terrific, and talk about stripped-down,” he continues. “This is just Willie playing on [his famous Martin guitar] Trigger, his sister Bobbie playing baby grand piano and Kevin Smith, Willie’s bass player, on stand-up bass.”
Nelson and Friedman trade mellow lines about leaving L.A. in a funk, while a loose, improvised guitar solo fills out the song. Friedman says his collaborator’s unique style influenced the whole album.
“Willie breaks every rule, he bucks every trend, and I kept thinking [of] Red Headed Stranger when we did this record,” says Friedman. “I wanted it stripped down to the soul, because I think with music, as in literature, nothing is really worth a damn except what’s written between the lines.”
Friedman has a long history of pushing people’s buttons, making his name off of songs like “Asshole From El Paso” (a parody of Merle Haggard te to victims of the Holocaust that Friedman says inspired Nelson Mandela while he was in prison.
On The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, he continues the trend of doing whatever the hell he wants, choosing covers from a wide swath of roots music like Haggard’s “Hungry Eyes,” Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country” and Tom Waits’ “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.” Warren Zevon’s”My Shit’s Fucked Up,” written after Zevon found out he was dying from cancer, is a particular favorite of Friedman’s.
“It’s a song that starts funny and ends tragic, and I think that song is not just a description of one guy dying of cancer, but of the whole condition of the world today,” he says. “I mean, ‘My Shit’s Fucked Up’ describes it about as well as anything.”
Friedman will embark on an ambitious tour in support of the new album, visiting 36 cities in one run starting October 9th in Ashland, Virginia, and plans to release his 20th mystery novel, The Hardboiled Computer, sometime in the next year.
Listen to song here
Willie Nelson and Lily Meola perform “Will You Remember Mine” at the Farm Aid concert in Raleigh, NC on September 13, 2014.
Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001.
For more information about Farm Aid, visit: http://farmaid.org/youtube
Farm Aid’s performances are donated by the artists in order to raise funds and raise awareness for family farmers. They’ve raised their voices to help — what can you do?
Lily Meola has a new album coming out soon. Keep in touch with her, and hear her music:
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by: Edward Morris
Alert the media: The old guys still rock!
Willie Nelson 82, and Merle Haggard, 78, have the bestselling country album this week with Django and Jimmie, their buoyant tribute to their musical role models, Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 30,408 copies its first week out.
- Easy Money
- Woman Knows
- Funky Country
- Bonnie Blue
- If Her Loving Don’t Kill Me
- Something to Drink About
- You Already Know My Love
- Brown Liquor
- I Can’t Make Her Cry Anymore
- Willie’s Guitar – John Anderson, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson
Artist: John Anderson, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard
Title: “Willie’s Guitar”
Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell perform, “Just to Satisfy You”, then Roger Miller joins in for “Uncloudy Day”
by: Stephen L. Betts
Something to be thankful for this (and every) Thanksgiving: that country music gave us musicians like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. A bonus? The time those two icons performed together for a 1983 TV special that also featured Kris Kristofferson and Brenda Lee, both of whom had appeared alongside Parton and Nelson on a 1982 double album called The Winning Hand. Coincidentally, Johnny Cash — who wrote the liner notes for The Winning Hand — also hosted the syndicated TV event.
In the mid Sixties, Parton, Nelson, Kristofferson and Lee were all signed to Monument Records in Nashville, a label whose roster (at one time or another) also included Roy Orbison, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely and Ray Stevens. In 1982, with Parton and Nelson at the height of their popularity, the label released a collection that included previously unreleased songs by the two songwriters, as well as songs by Lee and Kristofferson. Many of those songs were edited together to create duets for the artists, including two by Willie and Dolly: “Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby” and “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way).” In spite of the similar title, the latter tune was not a cover of the 1970 hit by Ray Stevens, “Everything Is Beautiful,” but rather an unreleased tune Parton had written and recorded for Monument around 1967.
In the above clip, Parton (with a whole lot of hair piled on her head) is dressed in an off-the-shoulder top and long denim shirt. She holds hands with a small boy as they walk onto the set, where children are painting with watercolors. Meanwhile, Nelson – pre-pigtails – strolls onto the set during the second half of the verse, holding the hand of a little girl. He’s also decked out in denim, with his signature red bandanna around his head (and a blue one around his neck). There’s even a patented Dolly ad-lib at the end of the performance, which marked the very first time the two musicians had actually sung “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way)” together.
“Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way)” marked Parton’s first chart duet with someone other than Porter Wagoner. The tune was a Top Ten country hit in 1982, and The Winning Hand reached the Top Five on the album chart. Monument Records was later revived by Sony Music in the late Nineties and was home to the Dixie Chicks, among other country acts.