Archive for the ‘Duets and collaborations’ Category

Willie Nelson with Neil Young and Crazy Horse, “All Along the Watchtower” (Farm Aid 1994)

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Willie Nelson sings with Glen Campbell on his new album “Adios”

Saturday, April 15th, 2017
by: Lauren Moraski

Glen Campbell will unveil his final studio album on June 9, six years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Called “Adiós,” the album features 12 classic songs that Campbell loved, but never had the opportunity to record. Among them are “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right,” “Everybody’s Talkin’” and title track “Adiós,” made famous by Linda Ronstadt.

The set, recorded in Nashville shortly after the music legend wrapped his 2011 “Goodbye Tour,” features guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Vince Gill and Campbell’s children, Ashley, Shannon and Cal.

“Glen’s abilities to play, sing and remember songs began to rapidly decline after his diagnosis in 2011,” Campbell’s wife, Kim Campbell, told People on Friday. “A feeling of urgency grew to get him into the studio one last time to capture what magic was left. It was now or never.”

The singer-songwriter hasn’t performed live or recorded since 2012.

1st Annual Radio Keen Country Music Festival (June 11 – 12)

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

That’s a lot of music, for $8.00.

Happy Birthday Loretta Lynn

Friday, April 14th, 2017


Happy Birthday Loretta Lynn, who turns 85 today.

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Pancho and Lefty”

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

What I’m listening to… Willie Nelson and Ray Price

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Willie Nelson and Bill Mack, “Drinking Champagne” (Live from Carl’s Corner)

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Rehearsing with Keith Richards, Don Was and Willie Nelson

Monday, April 10th, 2017

“Rehearsing with Keith Richards, Don Was and Willie Nelson”

Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, “Reason to Quit”

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Willie Nelson and dozens of others gather to celebrate music of Merle Haggard in Nashville

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

photo:  Joshua Timmerman
by:  Sarah Rodman

Not that anyone needed to be convinced of the depth and breadth of Merle Haggard’s formidable influence — on country music and beyond. But a spectacular case was made for his legacy Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena here.

One year to the day that Haggard died, more than two dozen artists across genres and multiple generations gathered to pay tribute to the American music legend on what would have been his 80th birthday.

“Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” featured collaborators and peers (Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn), younger artists (Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves) who aspire to his authenticity and a bevy of pop and rock acolytes (Keith Richards, John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow) who cite him as an influence.

From the cheeky swagger of Hank Williams Jr.’s take on “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” — a perfect marriage of singer and song — to the delicacy of Alison Krauss’ intonation of “Sing a Sad Song,” with rich harmonic help from the Cox Family, the three-plus-hour show had an air of both celebration and solemnity.

Veteran character actor W. Earl Brown (“Deadwood,” “True Detective”), a fan and friend of Haggard’s, hosted the event with élan and a broad, booming personality well-suited to keeping things moving.

Guitarist Ben Haggard, Merle’s son, anchored the first part of the show, leading his father’s old band, the Strangers, behind a parade of classic artists who still have plenty left in the tank: John Anderson, Bobby Bare, the still-feisty Tanya Tucker and a full-voiced Connie Smith, who did a gorgeous rendition of “That’s the Way Love Goes.”

Among the younger set, Lambert delivered a note-perfect rendition of the melancholic “Misery and Gin,” an occasional favorite of her regular shows. Chris Janson and Jake Owen were among several artists teaming up to pay homage, with an assured version of “Footlights” that found Janson turning out smoky harmonica wails.

Alabama kept it simple and stripped down for a harmony-laden rendition of the rueful “Silver Wings.” Jamey Johnson gave one of the night’s standout performances with “Kern River,” a hushed tale of both menace and sadness that drew huge cheers from the crowd. The estimably beaded Johnson joined forces with Krauss to tip a cap to songwriter Blaze Foley with a poignant duet of “If I Could Only Fly.” Johnson also offered an arm to help Lynn to the stage for her take on “Today I Started Loving You.”

Interspersed between the sets were tribute videos that included one section devoted to Haggard’s side-splitting appearances on vintage talk and variety shows, doing spot-on impersonations of fellow country stars Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Bakersfield compadre Buck Owens.

The second set had just as much bang for the buck, including Lynyrd Skynyrd’s stomp through “Honky Tonk Nighttime Man” and a scorching version of “Working Man Blues” from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule.

The Avett Brothers ably motored through “Mama Tried,” Mellencamp and a core crew (including his former drummer, Kenny Aronoff) performed a haunting rendition of the snarling, desperate “White Line Fever” and Crow soared on “Natural High.”

Richards, a late addition to the lineup, emerged and was his typically shambolic self, lending his piratical charm to “Sing Me Back Home,” which the Stone alone recorded in 1977.

“It’s good to be here,” Richards said, adding with a laugh, “or anywhere.” He also made sure to thank the evening’s truly all-star backing band, which included Aronoff, Don Was on bass, Sam Bush on fiddle and mandolin, Mickey Raphael on harmonica and the McCrary Sisters on support vocals.

While the crowd was appreciative of all the performers, the loudest roar was reserved for Haggard’s close friend and collaborator, Willie Nelson, the Pancho to Haggard’s Lefty.

Nelson joined Richards for the ode to bad behavior “Reasons to Quit” and Toby Keith for a raucous “Ramblin’ Fever.” Appropriately enough, Kenny Chesney served as Nelson’s Lefty for the night on the Southwestern-tinged track, a highlight of the Nelson-Haggard canon.

The show came to a rousing conclusion with an all-hands rendition of Haggard’s signature tune “Okie From Muskogee.” It was a particularly fine touch to have Nelson croon the opening line, “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee.”

The concert was recorded for broadcast at a later date on an as-yet-to-be-determined outlet.

Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson, “Just Breathe”

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Willie Nelson celebrates Ray Benson’s Birthday in Austin (Mar. 14, 2017)

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Fans got a big surprise when Willie Nelson showed up unannounced at Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Bensen’s early birthday bash on March 14.

The celebration, which took place in Austin, Texas behind advertising firm GSD&M, is part of a South By Southwest tradition held to raise money for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

In this clip, Willie, 83, is shown jamming out to “Whiskey River” alongside Ray and the Avett Brothers. According to Austin 360, the harmonica-infused track, which appears on the country legend’s 1973 “Shotgun Willie” album, was the first of many in the set list he played that night.

Willie also teamed up with the birthday boy on a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty.”

Willie continued to delight folks with songs including one off his upcoming LP, “God’s Problem Child,” called “Still Not Dead.” After running through a dozen or so songs, he concluded his performance with the iconic “On The Road Again.”

Aside from Willie and the Avett Brothers, other artists in attendance included Sunny Sweeney, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Shelly King, Marcia Ball, Carolyn Wonderland and Charlie Sexton. Ray turned 66 on March 16.

The two have been friends a long time.


Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver, “Willie, the Wandering Gypsy and Me” (Luck Reunion)

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

The crowd went crazy when Billy Joe Shaver joined Willie Nelson on stage last night at the Luck Reunion, at Willie’s western ranch outside Austin. The two friends conferred for a minute, and then broke in to “Willie, the Wandering Gypsy, and me. Willie played the song on Trigger like he did it every night. He is an amazing guitar player. Billy Joe is such a story teller, incredible songwriter and so much fun to watch.

Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Willie Nelson has collaborated with Bonnie Raitt three times: In 1993, on “Getting Over You ” on Across the Borderline,  in 1979 playing guitar on “Trouble In Mind”, and in 2001 harmonizing on “You Remain.”

“You Remain” with Willie Nelson (2001)

“I really only sang the background,” remembers Raitt, “But the song still stays in my heart.”

Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias, “Spanish Eyes”

Friday, March 10th, 2017