Archive for the ‘Highwaymen’ Category

The Highwaymen, “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

Friday, April 15th, 2016

highwaymen

www.DailyBeast.com

Johnny, Waylon & Willie do ‘Desperados Waiting for a Train’ in previously unseen footage.

There aren’t four more recognizable or legendary faces in music—country or otherwise—than those that comprised supergroup The Highwaymen. Formed unintentionally in 1984 in Montreux, Switzerland, when Johnny Cash invited Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings to be guests on a Christmas special he was taping, the foursome found a collaborative creative fire that would etch itself forever into the lore of country music.

“There’s the four of us standing there, grouped around microphones,” wrote Jennings in his autobiography, Waylon: An Autobiography. “The Highwaymen. John, Kris, Willie, and me. I don’t think there are any other four people like us. If we added one more, or replaced another, it would never work.”

Having four established artists known for doing what they want, when they want, work together is the sort of endeavor that can explode brilliantly or implode dramatically with equal ferocity. When it came to playing live for The Highwaymen, it was almost the latter, until the moment when they found a way to come together. Jennings addressed this in his book as well.

“When we first took The Highwaymen out live, it looked like four shy rednecks trying to be nice to each other. It almost ruined it. That didn’t work, for us and the audience, and it was really bothering me, how different we were on stage than when we were sitting around in the dressing room. [At one point] I was fixin’ to quit. I talked to John about it and he was feeling the same way. ‘I get a little nervous,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to look like I’m trying to steal your thunder.’ That was it. We were boring each other and the audience. It may be hard to think of Johnny Cash as intimidated, but that’s the way we were. You can’t have four big guys tiptoeing around each other on stage. Nobody has a good time. By the end of the week, with Willie dancing across the stage and John and Kris singing harmony neck-and-neck, we had the wildest show, and it made us a group.”

Over the course of their decade-long run, The Highwaymen released three records, charted multiple singles, and won a Grammy for Best Country Song for their tune, “Highwayman,” as well as playing barn-burner live shows that will forever rate as “you should have been there.” You can watch part of one of those performances below, featuring the song “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” filmed March 4, 1990, at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

While there will never be another group like The Highwaymen, their legacy lives on with a celebratory new multimedia box set, The Highwaymen Live—American Outlaws, out May 20. Featuring unreleased footage—including the entire Nassau concert as well as Farm Aid performances—and songs, as well as wildly fun to read liner notes from music scholar Mikal Gilmour, the box set is complemented by a PBS documentary, American Masters—The Highwaymen, ’til the End, which premieres May 27.

Willie Nelson featured in new documentary, “Highwaymen: Friends Until The End”

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
4/27/93 Staff Photo by Sung Park/American-Statesman Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings at KLRU studio during the taping of the Willie Nelson 60th birthday special.

photo:  Sung Park

“Well I had three of my favorite people out there— it was some of the best times of my life.” — Willie Nelson

http://music.blog.austin360.com
by: Jake Harris

They’ll always be around, and around, and around…

Though only half of its founding members are still alive, The Highwaymen are making a bit of a comeback.

The country supergroup made up of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson will be the subject of a new “American Masters” documentary on PBS in May, and a box set of rare live shows is set to be released a week before the documentary, Rolling Stone Country reports.

“The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End” airs on PBS May 27, and will feature new interviews from Kristofferson and Nelson as well as archived interviews from Cash and Jennings, who died in 2003 and 2002, respectively.

“Well I had three of my favorite people out there— it was some of the best times of my life,” Nelson says in the trailer, which can be viewed here. Other country artists are interviewed, too, such as Jessi Colter and Marty Stuart.

The documentary showcases a rare 1990 concert in New York where the band played for nearly three hours, with each member playing their own solo hits.

“The Highwaymen Live – American Outlaws” is a box set that will be released May 20. The four-disc CD/DVD package includes a DVD of the full New York show featured in “Friends Till the End” and CDs of two Farm Aid concerts from 1992 and 1993.

Nelson fans can expect to see some of his biggest hits in the box set, including “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “Always On My Mind” and “On the Road Again.” The third disc closes with a new version of “One Too Many Mornings,” which Cash and Jennings previously recorded. Kristofferson and Nelson provide the vocals for the new version.

And if you can’t get enough of Willie, you can always drive by East Seventh Street and Neches Street

This day in Willie Nelson history: Highwayman begin tour at Houston Rodeo (March 3, 1990)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

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On March 3, 1990, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson perform at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at the Astrodome, kicking off their first concert tour as the Highwaymen.

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Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, “Loving You Was Easier”

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

From a 1992 concert by the Highwaymen in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, “Loving Her Was Easier..”

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

From a 1992 concert by the Highwaymen in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson with Kris’s song Loving Her Was Easier (than anything I’ll ever do again.

The Highwaymen

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

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It’s Official: David Bowie is a Highwayman!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
bowie

The Highwaymen

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

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The Highwaymen, “Why Me, Lord?”

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Highwaymen, Farm Aid 1993

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

City Of New Orleans

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

City of New Orleans was written by Steve Goodman. It’s about a train called “City of New Orleans”, the train that runs between Chicago and New Orleans.

You can read the story behind the song here.

The songs has been performed by many artists over the years, this is one of my favourites:

Highwaymen Prayer Candles

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

etsy

  • Handmade item  — Made to order —   Choose from red or white candles
  • $27.00/  set of 4
  • Ships worldwide from Petaluma, California

Creepy or cool?  You be the judge.

Waylon, Willie, Kris and the Renegades of Nashville

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

highwaymen

www.statesman.com
by:  By Joe Gross

American-Statesman Staff

Attention, people of Texas in general and Austin in particular: Michael Streissguth, author of “Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, and the Renegades of Nashville,” insists that the title is not personal.

Indeed, it absolutely makes sense.

When most folks think of outlaw country, they think of Texas. “Progressive” country, the Armadillo World Headquarters, hippies and rednecks getting together: These things are as crucial to the mythology of late 20th-century Austin as anything.

But Waylon Jennings, he of the massive voice, rugged persona and love of the guitar phaser-effect; Willie Nelson, he of “Red-Headed Stranger” and dealing with super-stardom better than most; Kris Kristofferson, he of a genuinely revolutionary way to write country songs: These guys were rebelling against Nashville, not Texas.

And Nashville was still (and is still) the world capital of country music, the center of the industry, the place where all three artists spent an awful lot of time.

“I do feel like Nashville lived in some ways in the shadows of this movement,” Streissguth says.

The Le Moyne College professor is the author of several books on country music, including two on Johnny Cash. “They had come from Texas, but they were based in Nashville, for the most part,” Streissguth says. (Willie’s Texas residency excluded.) “I wanted to tell the Nashville side of the story.”

Streissguth says the book started when he began to look into the life and times of the great Waylon Jennings.

“When ‘Crazy Heart’ with Jeff Bridges came out, it reminded me that Jennings had been dead (about seven years), and he seemed to be slipping from memory,” Streissguth says. He started getting into Waylon’s life and career, and that opened up the outlaw topic.

“Outlaw” traces the movement via the very different career paths of Jennings, Nelson and Kristofferson. All three intersected with each other’s careers, all three embodied a new way of thinking about (and writing and recording) country music.

But all three started at different points and arrived at very different places. Along with way, Streissguth folds in figures such as Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Kinky Friedman, and, of course, Johnny Cash.

“I don’t want to say there is a specific path from Cash to outlaw,” Streissguth says. However, Cash is certainly a player, recording Kristofferson’s songs and engaging progressive singer-songwriters on his short-lived-but-increasingly legendary TV show, which featured performances from Kristofferson, Jennings and Bob Dylan.

In fact, Dylan’s recording “Blonde on Blonde” in Nashville is one of the key moments in the development of outlaw country. “There was one ‘a-ha!’ moment in writing this, and that was finding out that Kristofferson was working as a studio lackey during the ‘Blonde on Blonde’ sessions,” Streissguth says. “I don’t think you can’t discount how Dylan changed Nashville.”

Then again, Streissguth got a lot of time with Kristofferson. “He was very generous,” Streissguth says. “I didn’t talk to Willie, though I tried, and Waylon came alive for me through his drummer and confidant Richie Albright. Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark and Roseanne Cash were great as well.”

What emerges is a case for Nashville as its own incubator, a place where, for a brief period of time, this sort of songwriting flourished.

“I do think that we typecast Nashville,” Streissguth says. “There was very much a Greenwich Village-like scene in the West End,” the neighborhood that helped nurture all of the book’s heroes.

In fact, there were many aspects to Nashville in this period that Streissguth thinks have been under-reported or are becoming forgotten. An entire generation knows Kristofferson more as a character actor than a songwriter.

“It’s a cliche at this point, but Kristofferson’s songwriting changed Nashville, it really did,” Streissguth says. “And I developed a great appreciation for producers such as Fred Foster and Jack Clement. These guys were serious risk takers. They took chances on artists, and you need that in a vibrant scene. Anything that is pioneering involves money and risk.”

Streissguth notes that Clement collected these songwriters, giving them publishing deals and pushing them to think big about their careers. “He would say, ‘you’re a writer, but have you thought about performing? What about film-making?’”

Waylon, the reason for all of this research, also came under some revision.

“There was a lot of bluster surrounding him and this idea that the was rebelling for the sake of rebelling,” Streissguth says. “But you look at the nuances of his career, and he really had been beaten down by the Nashville machine. He was thinking about packing it in and becoming a session guitarist.”

And then there were Waylon’s personal habits. “Cocaine is almost a character in this book,” Streissguth says. (Speed is pretty important as well.) “I think Waylon’s suspicion of journalists and fans really harmed him in the long run. Had Waylon made himself more accessible to the world, the way Willie did, I suspect we would be talking about him in the same way as Willie.”

Ah, Willie. He really does emerge from “Outlaw” better than anyone.

“No question he becomes the quintessential outlaw figure,” Streissguth says. Kristofferson went Hollywood, Waylon flamed out, but Willie endured. “He’s remained on this even path, and he’s still such a powerful symbol of so many aspects of American culture.”

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

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The Highwaymen (Country Weekly, March 2015)

Friday, March 6th, 2015

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Thirty years ago, four musical giants–Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson–came together to form country’s first supergroup, The Highwaymen. In this special cover story, we take a look back at the group’s legacy and ongoing influence.