Archive for the ‘Duets and collaborations’ Category

“A Willie Nice Christmas”, Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves

Saturday, November 21st, 2020
by: Will Hodge

When it comes to Christmas-themed country duets, it’s pretty surprising that many of the genre’s most well-loved and well-known duos never captured a shared seasonal moment for an official release. Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn never collaborated on their separate Christmas albums, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton released 13 albums together without ever drawing from the holiday well, and although Faith Hill has one of the Top 10 best-selling Christmas singles of all-time (2001’s “Where Are You Christmas?”), she’s never recorded even one seasonal single with husband (and sometimes duet partner) Tim McGraw.

However, thanks to a variety of inspired studio partnerships and one-off television specials from yuletides of yesteryear, there are more than enough Christmas collaborations to enjoy this time of year. Here are 15 duets spanning the early Seventies all the way up to now.

Read entire article of best country duets, here.

Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow, “If I were a Carpenter”

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Willie Nelson duets and collaborations

Saturday, November 14th, 2020
Country music singers Waylon Jennings, right, and Willie Nelson are shown in New York City on Feb. 5. 1978.  (AP Photo)
by: stephen L Betts

Read entire article here.

Willie Nelson’s solo work — including Red Headed Stranger and Stardust — is rightly recognized as some of the most important and enduring music in any genre, both boundary-pushing and reverent toward tradition. Even so, time and again, Nelson proved himself a musical collaborator par excellence, singing with everyone from Dolly Parton to Snoop Dogg and making it sound natural and relaxed in the way that only he knows. From “Seven Spanish Angels” to “Pancho & Lefty,” here are Willie Nelson’s 12 best collaborations.

‘Mendocino County Line’ with Lee Ann Womack, 2002

405643 35: Lee Ann Womack, left, and Willie Nelson perform onstage during the 37th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards May 22, 2002 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Photo : Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Absent from the country Top Forty for 12 years, Willie returned to the upper reaches of the singles chart with this eventual Grammy winner, penned by Bernie Taupin and Matt Serletic. For this wistful reflection of a failed romance, Womack provides the soaring vocal build-up then leaves Nelson to shine at his poignant best. The album which supplied it, The Great Divide, earned mixed reviews for its slick adult-pop production, but Nelson’s voice, as warm as a Pacific Ocean breeze, offers calming reflection.

‘Heartland’ with Bob Dylan, 1993

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01:  USA  Photo of Willie NELSON and Bob DYLAN, with Willie Nelson, performing live onstage  (Photo by Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)

Photo : Robert Knight Archive/Redferns/Getty Images

At the dawn of the Nineties, while also sorting out his IRS tax debt, Nelson managed to put together his best album of the decade – and one of the most satisfying in his massive catalogue – with Across the Borderline. Produced by Don Was, the LP had him sharing vocals with Bonnie Raitt on the gorgeous Stephen Bruton tune “Getting Over You,” Sinead O’Connor, with their revelatory take on Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up,” and Bob Dylan, with whom he co-wrote and sang “Heartland.” An extension of Nelson’s flowering activism at the time, especially with Farm Aid, the plight of Middle American family farms rarely sounded as urgent or dire.

‘Pancho & Lefty’ with Merle Haggard, 1983

Country musician Merle Haggard performs with a Fender Telecaster with Willie Nelson in August 26, 1988. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)

Photo : Beth Gwinn/Getty Images

Although it had been covered before (notably by Emmylou Harris), this cinematic Townes Van Zandt classic unfolds like a movie within a movie with Nelson and Haggard swapping verses. One can imagine two old pals riding together in the Old West telling each other a fascinating-yet-enigmatic tale of banditry and betrayal which they’ve either experienced together, heard about, or are just making up to pass the time. The two Hall of Fame legends brought out the best in one another nearly every time they collaborated, but here they took it to a level that would set the gold standard for country duets.

Read article here.

Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, “Family Bible”

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Amos Lee with Willie Nelson, “El Camino”

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Amos Lee sang “El Camino” when he performed at Chautauqua in Boulder a few years ago. Before he sang it he talked about how great an opportunity it was to record it with Willie Nelson.  Such a beautiful song.  It’s on Amos’ Mission bell Album, along with Mickey Raphael on harmonica. They performed the album together at Farm Aid in Milwaukee, as well.

Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler, Farm Aid 25 (Milwaukee, WI) (October 2, 2005)

Monday, October 26th, 2020
Throwback to Farm Aid's 25th anniversary at @millerpark in Milwaukee when very special surprise guest #Steven Tyler joined @willienelsonofficial on stage! #tbt Steven Tyler was a surprise guest at Farm Aid 25 in Milwaukee in 2010. Willie and Steven sang, “One Time Too Many” together.

Folk Uke – People are Talking about “Small One”

Monday, October 26th, 2020


The singing, songwriting and ukulele and guitar strumming duo of Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, known as Folk Uke, boast a fascinating stylistic DNA with distinctive and winning twists to it.

With endearingly sweet and lovely vocals and melodies, they adeptly craft and deliver original songs that can be provocative, profane, and pointed as well as uproariously funny. Case in point is their new single, “Small One,” their well-aimed stab at pathological narcissism, bullying, and male braggadocio that’s ideally suited for the current state of the nation and election season.

Folk Uke explain that the objectionable behavior of a number of public figures fed into the song. Its words call to mind many men whose misogyny and abuse reflect an overcompensation for shortcomings in their masculinity: “With abuse of power, you’re man of the hour/Stopping to trample on each precious flower/Do you mind if I don’t have this dance?/Keep your VIP-ness in your pants.”

 A clever animated video for “Small One” was created by musician and visual artist Micah Nelson (Amy’s brother) and his wife Alex Dascalu Nelson. The couple, aka Particle Kid & Sister Lu, has made similar videos for Micah’s future-folk solo project Particle Kid and psych-punk orchestra Insects vs. Robots. He also plays with his brother Lukas in the group Promise of the Real, who have backed Neil Young on recordings and in concert. Folk Uke has also posted a lyrics video for the song on YouTube (links below).

“Small One” does have its application to today’s political mood. “We have to point out what is dividing us so that we can become united,” says Cathy. Amy adds, “it’s not black-brown versus white. It’s love versus hate. There are more of us who love,” 

“I think that life is just so heavy already that we make music to soothe ourselves and make ourselves laugh.” Cathy concludes. And in doing so they provide comfort and healing laughter to an ever-growing community of listeners. Amy and Cathy are backed by a blue-ribbon roster of players on “Small One.” The recordings began just before coronavirus lockdown with producer and fellow Austin, TX resident Jeff Klein (My Jerusalem).

Thanks to file sharing, the track is graced with remote contributions by Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Wallflowers) on keyboards, Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) on bass, JT Bates (Bonny Light Horseman/Big Red Machine) on percussion, Matt Pynn (Dwight Yoakam, Miley Cyrus) on pedal steel, and Walker Lukens and McKenzie Griffin on backing vocals. 

Folk Uke hail from two of America’s foremost musical families. Cathy is the daughter of longtime folk music star Arlo Guthrie and granddaughter of American musical icon Woody Guthrie. Amy is the daughter of country music legend Willie Nelson. Both fathers have appeared on Folk Uke recordings.

Yet as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer observes, “They might have famous musical parents, but… Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie are deserving of recognition in their own right.” The two met and bonded in the late 1990sin San Diego when they both worked at Croce’s, a restaurant and bar run by Ingrid Croce, the widow of singer-songwriter Jim Croce. Soon after the first time they hung out, Amy took Cathy to buy her first ukulele.

They began writing songs together but approached any music career quite informally, eventually debuting as performers at Woody Fest, the annual Oklahoma gathering that celebrates the legacy of Cathy’s grandfather. In 2005, Folk Uke released their self-titled first album on their own label. American Songwriter hailed it as  “likely to be the best folk record out today, and I’m not folking around.” Reincarnation followed in 2011; their most recent album, Starfucker, was issued in 2016.

They’ve charmed listeners with sometimes quite irreverent and NSFW songs deceptively delivered with their honeyed voices and harmonies like “Shit Makes the Flowers Grow,” “Motherfucker Got Fucked Up” (their No. 1 Spotify global hit that was heard on “Orange is the New Black” which Vanity Fair noted made a scene “even better when two voices begin to harmonize so sweetly it’ll take you a moment to realize exactly what they’re saying… you can’t help having this mellifluous, macabre tune stuck in your head.”) and “Knock Me Up.”

The duo’s distinctly yin-yang approach enables them to tackle tough topics with humorous leavening and irony. They also skewer aspects of the music business that they grew up around on “Starfucker” and “BJ to a DJ.”

The pair’s abundant charms have won them a burgeoning following of fans as well as enthusiastic musical peers, including Snoop Dogg, who notes how “They’re off the motherfucking chain…Dope as fuck.” With three albums to their credit, they’ve played international tours, had a song featured on the soundtrack to “Orange is the New Black” and tracks in such films as “Indie Jonesing,” “The Babymakers” “G7,” “Social Animals” and “Super Troopers 2.” Folk Uke have also opened shows for a variety of artists such as X, The Jayhawks, Tommy Stinson, Kinky Friedman, Shooter Jennings, Wye Oak, Dan Mangan and Dog Trumpet.

Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles, “A Song For You”

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles performing Leon’s hit – “A Song For You”. Live at willie’s 70th birthday concert in New York’s Beacon Theatre 2003.

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, “Bring it On Down To My House”

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Toby Keith, “Pancho and Lefty”

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Willie Nelson and Sons Cover John Lennon’s ‘Watching the Wheels’

Saturday, October 10th, 2020
by: Angie Martoccio

To mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, Willie Nelson and his sons Lukas and Micah covered “Watching the Wheels” at part of a day-long celebration for the late singer.

Sitting on stools holding their guitars, the Nelson family kicked off the Double Fantasy track, joined by Promise of the Real’s Anthony LoGerfo, Corey McCormick, Logan Metz, and Tato Melgar. Lukas and Micah trading off lines in the first verse, while Willie took the second: “Well they shake their heads and they look at me/As if I’ve lost my mind/I tell them there’s no hurry/I’m just sitting here doing time.”

The Nelson family’s cover follows several renditions in honor of Lennon’s 80th, beginning with Sean Ono Lennon’s cover of “Isolation.” Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker covered “Jealous Guy” — as well as Peter Yorn — while Rufus Wainwright performed “Mother” and Jeff Tweedy tackled “God.” More will be rolled out through the day.

read article here: RollingStone

“Big River”, the Highwaymen

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Willie Nelson joins Dolly Parton on, “A Holly Dolly Christmas” album

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020
by: Catherine Walthall

Dolly Parton knew we needed something to pull us through the rest of 2020. So, today, Dolly Parton has dropped the entirety of her twelve-track 2020 Christmas album titled A Holly Dolly Christmas. Pull up a chair, put on Parton’s record and be transported into a more wholesome, untroubled holiday state of mind.

This record is Parton’s first holiday release in 30 years, and it features a few timeless Christmas songs in addition to some original tracks. Famous for her timeless songwriting, five of the songs on A Holly Dolly Parton were solely written by Parton and they exhibit her unparalleled ability to combine soulful lyrics and delightful melodies. The album also features exciting duets with some of Parton’s dearest friends including Michael Bublé, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson, Darren and Rhonda Vincent, plus a special song with her brother, Randy Parton.

“I’ve never been more excited about a project in my whole career than my Holly Dolly Christmas album,” says Parton. “I’m singing with some of the greatest artists ever on some of our favorite classic Christmas songs and a few new ones that I have written. I hope we all have a Holly Dolly Christmas this year!”

Read article here.

Willie Nelson and Ray Price

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Dolly Parton talks about her friendship with Willie Nelson

Friday, September 25th, 2020

Dolly Parton reflects on her friendship with Willie Nelson during this exclusive bonus clip from her Time Life DVD collection. In the ’60s, both were songwriters new to Nashville, tucked in a basement writing room hoping to make magic.

“We both wrote for the same publishing company,” Parton recalls, “And he was writing all of these wonderful hits … and I thought, ‘He’s such a stylist.'”

The clip above cuts to the two Country Music Hall of Famers singing a song he wrote called “Funny How Time Slips Away.” Elvis Presley is responsible for one of many notable recordings of the song.

In addition to a new interview with Parton, Time Life includes interviews with stars like Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Rogers, Carrie Underwood and Lily Tomlin. Find it only through a Time Life website dedicated to the release. Anyone looking forward to Parton’s Christmas album next month may appreciate the special Christmas disc in this set. There’s also a song by song telling the stories of her most iconic songs.