Archive for the ‘Duets and collaborations’ Category

This day in Willie Nelson History: President Jimmy Carter joins Willie Nelson on stage in Georgia (7/27/2008)

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

On July 27, 2008,  Jimmy Carter joined Willie Nelson and Family on stage and played harmonica on “Georgia On My Mind” during a concert at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta.

“Five different times I’ve been on the stage with Willie Nelson,” Carter said. “He always calls me up on his final number, which is usually ‘Amazing Grace,’ and we sing a duet together. He’s very careful to turn the microphone completely away from my voice.” – Jimmy Carter


Former President Jimmy Carter once told Rolling Stone magazine that “all the good things I did as president, all the mistakes I made – you can blame half of that on Willie.”



Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow, “CMT Crossroads”

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, “Okie from Muskogee”

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, “Graceland”

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and more on Mary Sarah’s “Bridges”

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

by: Andrew Leahey

Yesterday, Mary Sarah turned 19 years old. Today, she’s releasing Bridges, a duet-filled album featuring cameos by some of the biggest living legends of country music.

It’s one thing to cover songs from the country songbook. It’s another thing to sing those tunes with the people who originally made them famous. As a result, Bridges serves as a tribute to the classic music Mary Sarah sang in churches and regional Opry houses during her younger days, as well as a testament to the longevity of old-school crooners like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Milsap and Merle Haggard, all of whom lend their voices to the project.

Sarah turns on the waterworks with “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” performed alongside Vince Gill, and dips her toe into more contemporary waters with the Big & Rich duet “My Great Escape.” The most impressive duet, though, may be “Heartaches by the Numbers,” recorded with Ray Price months before the singer’s death last year. The song feels like a passing of the torch between different generations, and Sarah’s performance — confident, tuneful and rarely overshadowed by her vocal partner — bodes well for a songbird who’s just now leaving the nest.

Mary Sarah, Bridges Track List:

1. “Jolene” (featuring Dolly Parton)?
2. “Crazy” (featuring Willy Nelson)
?3. “Fightin’ Side of Me” (featuring Merle Haggard)?
4. “Heartaches By the Number” (featuring Ray Price)
5. “Go Rest High on That Mountain” (featuring Vince Gill)
?6. “Dream On” (featuring the Oak Ridge Boys)?
7. “Texas, When I Die” (featuring Tanya Tucker)?
8. “Rose Garden” (featuring Lynn Anderson)
?9. “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life” (featuring Ronnie Milsap)?
10. “Where the Boys Are” (featuring Neil Sedaka)
11. “My Great Escape” (featuring John Rich and Big Kenny)
?12. “All I Wanna Do Is Sing My Song” (featuring Freddy Powers)?
13. “I’m Sorry”

Willie Nelson’s Magic

Friday, June 27th, 2014


Buddy Cannon, left, and Willie Nelson co-wrote nine of the 14 songs on Nelson’s new, Cannon-produced “Band of Brothers” album.(Photo: Photo by Glen Rose)
by: Peter Cooper

 Buddy Cannon, esteemed Nashville songwriter, musician and producer, got up one morning in 2011 and noticed he’d received a text message while slumbering.

The text said “Roll me up and smoke me when I die.”

Its sender was a fellow named Willie Nelson.

“I got out of bed, picked my phone up and that text was there, and I laughed my (posterior) off,” Cannon says. “Since then, we’ve written probably 25 songs together by texting back and forth.”

How do you write a song with 81-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer Willie Nelson? It helps to have a good mobile plan. Cannon has never been in the same room with Nelson to write a song, but the two co-wrote nine of the 14 songs on the new, Cannon-produced “Band of Brothers” album. That album just made its debut atop the “Billboard” country albums chart.

“I’ll get up, look at my phone and there’ll be a text from him, with a verse or some lines,” Cannon says. “I’ll start tweaking and adding, and we’ll pass it back and forth. When it looks like it’s where we ought to be, we hum a melody to teach each other over the phone. Then he has me go in and cut a track, and he comes in and sings it and plays guitar.”

Easy enough, then. At least for Cannon. For the rest of us, it’s tougher to get Willie’s cell phone number than it would be to get a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your point-of-view) inhalation of Willie’s favorite herb. But Willie trusts Buddy, and has since 2007, when Nelson added a vocal to  Kenny Chesney’s version of the Cannon-produced classic “Lucky Old Sun.”

“He came in and did his vocal, and I made a rough mix and sent it to him,” Cannon says. “A couple of days later, he called my cell and said, ‘Hey, Buddy, this is Willie. That’s the best version I’ve ever heard on that song. Let’s find some songs and go make a record.’ ”

And so Cannon and Chesney produced Nelson’s 2008 album “Moment of Forever,” which included gems from the pens of Kris Kristofferson, Randy Newman, Guy Clark, Gary Nicholson, Bob Dylan and Paul Craft, among others.

Cannon has been working with Nelson ever since, blending Nelson’s acoustic guitar and longtime Nelson cohort Mickey Raphael’s harmonica with session honchos including drummer Eddie Bayers, bass man Kevin “Swine” Grantt and steel guitarists Mike Johnson and Tommy White.

“Every time he sings a song, he does something spectacular,” Cannon says. “The magic of Willie is his phrasing and his choice of notes. Nobody else on the planet does what he does. But you have to let him do it. I’ve seen people start trying to give him direction, and he’s apt to walk out the door, get on his bus and leave.”

Nelson doesn’t skip out on Cannon-produced sessions. They’ve done five albums together, and Cannon recently accompanied Nelson on a northeast trip to do television appearances in support of “Band of Brothers.” Cannon has grown comfortable around his text-happy friend, but Nelson is also a hero to Cannon, who has worked with industry honchos including Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Mel Tillis and Jamey Johnson.

“Recording with him is the ultimate,” Cannon says. “The first memory I have of him was driving around in Chicago in the 1960s and hearing his versions of ‘Columbus Stockade Blues’ and ‘Home in San Antone’ on the radio. The phrasing was so out there that it hooked me.”

These days, Cannon doesn’t have to check the radio to hear from Nelson. He can usually just check his text messages, and find lines such as “Bring it on,” “Wives and girlfriends” and “I thought I left you.” Lately, the texts are coming fast.

“We’ve got a record that just came out, and Willie’s head is already in the next album,” Cannon says. “Sometimes, he’ll send me a lyric where I can’t figure out what he’s talking about. One, he sent me a year ago, and I’m still trying to figure out what he’s saying. I dig it out and look at it a lot because I know there’s something there.”

Willie Nelson and Ray Price, “Run That By Me One More Time”

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Willie Nelson & Johnny Depp, ‘On the Road Again’

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Johnny Depp, on guitar, with Willie Nelson

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

by: Megan Johnson

Johnny Depp has a lot of friends. So when Willie Nelson & Family came to town on Tuesday for a concert with Alison Krauss, Depp made sure to spend some time with his country legend pal – onstage.

Clad in jeans, a black T-shirt and glasses, the low-key star played electric guitar alongside Nelson throughout the entire set at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion by the Boston waterfront.

Nelson didn’t announce that a movie star was on his stage – when introducing his band, the 81-year-old kept it on a first-name basis.

“He just said something like, ‘And that’s Johnny over there playin’ the guitar,’ ” said concertgoer Kristen Panderson, of Boston, who pointed out that Depp “even played a solo in one of the songs.”

Earlier that day, Depp, 51, and costar Juno Temple filmed scenes on the South Boston set of Black Mass, in which he plays notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger.

Depp also got a visit over the weekend from fiancée Amber Heard, who was spotted hanging out behind the scenes during filming and making herself a sandwich.

Willie Nelson and Johnny Depp, together again, in Boston

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
by:  Zayda Rivera

Johnny Depp is a rocker at heart.

So when the 51-year-old actor had a moment to jam onstage with his pal Willie Nelson during the country star’s Boston show Tuesday, Depp didn’t hesitate.

In true Depp fashion, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star snuck onstage quietly and began strumming his guitar.

“(Nelson) just said something like, ‘And that’s Johnny over there playin’ the guitar,’” concertgoer Kristen Panderson told People that the 81-year-old country crooner said, adding that Depp “even played a solo in one of the songs.”

Fans were excited to see the award-winning actor join Nelson & Family along with Alison Krauss at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion performance.

“When #JohnnyDepp joined #WillieNelson onstage at BH Pavilion we figured one tune,” @GlobeRodman tweeted along with a photo of Depp onstage. “He’s played whole set.”

“From last night, some good looking fellas,” Nelson wrote on Instagram along with a photo including the actor and a couple of bandmates.

Depp is currently in Boston filming “Black Mass” costarring Juno Temple, in which he plays real life gangster Whitey Bulger.

His fiancée, Amber Heard, 28, also reportedly paid a visit to the Massachusetts capital recently to hang out on her man’s movie set.

“She’s a wonderful girl,” Depp said in a previous interview with the “Today” show. “She’s sharp as a tack, a wonderful southern belle and sweet as can be and very good for me.”


Billy Joe Shaver is a wise man

Monday, June 16th, 2014


Enjoy this, a recording of Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver and Waylon Jennings , singing a Billy Joe Shaver song.

The Git Go

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Jamey Johnson is singing a duet with Willie on Willie’s latest album Band of Brothers

Willie Nelson, Holmes Brothers, “Opportunity to Cry”

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Poncho & Lefty”

Sunday, June 8th, 2014