Archive for the ‘Kris Kristofferson’ Category

Happy birthday, Kris Kristofferson

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

dannyclinchkris

photo:  Danny Clinch

www.rollingstone.com
by: Neil Strauss

Kris Kristofferson: An Outlaw at 80

Country legend has faced memory loss and the death of old friends, and has also found peace – just don’t try to tell him what to do

Oh, my god, the son of a bitch is back,” announces Lisa Kristofferson as she stands in the kitchen of her Los Flores Canyon home in Malibu. The son of a bitch, who is next to her, is more commonly known as Kris Kristofferson. He has been her husband for the past 36 years. He also happens to be one of the greatest songwriters of all time (covered by Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley and some 500 others), not to mention an iconic actor in his own right (from A Star Is Born to the Blade movies).

Three decades ago, “the son of a bitch is back” may have been the rallying cry of Kristofferson’s girlfriends or wives after he went off on a drinking or cheating bender. But today, just weeks away from Kristofferson’s 80th birthday, it means something different entirely.

It means that the rugged, fiercely independent spark of consciousness that is Kris Kristofferson, which has been fading for the past few years due to memory loss, is brightening again – to everyone’s surprise.

For years, doctors had been telling Kristofferson that his increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer’s or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from the boxing, football and rugby of his teens and early twenties. Some days, Kristofferson couldn’t even remember what he was doing from one moment to the next.

It became so bad that Kristofferson started writing a song about it. “I see an empty chair/Someone was sitting there,” it began. “I’ve got a feeling it was me/And I see a glass of wine/I’m pretty sure it’s mine.”

But then, like the chair and the wine, he forgot about the song. And it lay unfinished like many others he’s begun these past few years. In this case, his daughter Kelly completed the song, which remains unrecorded.

Then, earlier this year, a doctor decided to test Kristofferson for Lyme disease. The test came back positive. His wife believes he picked it up from a tick as he crawled around the forest floor in Vermont for six weeks while filming the movie Disappearances.

“He was taking all these medications for things he doesn’t have, and they all have side effects,” she says. She is wearing one of her husband’s tour merchandise shirts. After he gave up his Alzheimer’s and depression pills and went through three weeks of Lyme-disease treatment, Lisa was shocked. “All of a sudden he was back,” she says. There are still bad days, but “some days he’s perfectly normal and it’s easy to forget that he is even battling anything.”

Kris Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson interview, Kris Kristofferson songwriting, Kris Kristofferson rolling stone
Peter Yang
Kristofferson stands next to her, alongside the kitchen counter, a black T-shirt tight on his thin but still-solid frame, his gray goatee neatly trimmed. Behind him, there is a wall covered with pen and pencil marks, denoting the growth of his children, stepchildren, grandchildren and foster children. One would imagine that he’d be elated by his unexpected recovery.

“Yeah,” he replies, unconvincingly, when asked.

So you were never scared about losing your past? Kristofferson stares straight ahead, into a sweeping ocean vista, his sky-blue eyes shining brightly under a brow that thrusts out like a rock ledge. “What good would it do?” he says with a shrug.

Seventeen years ago, Kristofferson had bypass surgery. As he was being wheeled into the operating room, the doctor told Kris and Lisa that this would be a good place to say goodbye. “I hope it’s not goodbye,” Lisa said.

His response: “So what if it is?”

This blunt, fatalistic streak is something Kristofferson has carried with him for most of his life like a birthmark. It’s one reason directors like Martin Scorsese and Sam Peckinpah have cast him in their films.

“I really have no anxiety about controlling my own life,” Kristofferson says, taking a seat at the head of a wood dining table. “Somehow I just slipped into it and it’s worked. It’s not up to me – or you. I feel very lucky that [life]’s lasted so long because I’ve done so many things that could have knocked me out of it. But somehow I just always have the feeling that He knows what He’s doing. It’s been good so far, and it’ll probably continue to be.”

He pauses. “Now as soon as I said that, of course…” He looks upward as if a lightning bolt is on its way down to strike him.

And there he goes: Just on the verge of a happy ending, Kristofferson imagines the worst will happen instead. It’s a theme that runs through many of his best-known songs. Saturday nights end in Sunday hangovers (“Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down”). Great relationships end, leaving lifelong regret as their legacy (“Loving Her Was Easier [Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again],” “Me and Bobby McGee”). The perfect lover who sweeps a woman off her feet is destined to abandon her, robbing her of body, soul and pride (“The Taker”).

To spark his memory, Kristofferson has been going through all these old songs again. A box set of his first 11 albums, The Complete Monument & Columbia Album Collection, due on June 10th, rests on the counter. He has been listening to it album by album to get reacquainted with his life’s work. “It just takes you back like a picture of something would,” he says.

I bring him the box set. He examines the sleeves of each disc, which are designed like the original vinyl album covers. “I was also interested in seeing if they still sounded good to me,” he continues. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised, particularly with this one.” He points to his third album, Border Lord. “I can remember at the time being so disappointed at the reception it got.”

His wife sits to his left and looks at him, beaming at his recall. “To me, the song is what matters, not necessarily the performances,” he says as he moves a napkin to examine a picture of him in his twenties, looking disheveled in his meager Nashville bedroom. “Just the words and melody – that’s what moves your emotions.”

Kris Kristofferson; Willie Nelson; Merle Haggard
Kris Kristofferson with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Danny Clinch
The box set is just one flake in a flurry of activity happening around Kristofferson this year. There was a celebration of his life and music at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville in March, for which he re-formed the Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson and Waylon Jennings’ son Shooter. Kristofferson recently traveled to Canada to record with Gordon Lightfoot and Ronnie Hawkins. He played the lead in a new Western, Traded, also coming out June 10th. His upcoming album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, includes a duet with Sheryl Crow for his first-ever recording of “The Loving Gift,” a song made famous by Johnny and June Carter Cash.

He’s also embarking on a special string of summer dates with Nelson: Just before Merle Haggard passed away this year on his 79th birthday, he requested that his backing band, the Strangers, continue without him. So Kristofferson, his longtime friend, decided to bring the Strangers with him on the road for a few dates to perform his and Haggard’s songs together.

“I’m thinking of his face when he was dying,” remembers Kristofferson, who was touring with Haggard up until the end. “I had the highest respect for him. Knowing him and Willie and Waylon and Johnny Cash – that’s been one of the biggest blessings in my life.”

In his current state of mind, there is one period of his life that Kristofferson often returns to when reflecting on his past – a decision that, for him, changed everything. It was a combination of luck and choice. The year was 1965; the luck was that he was a captain in the Army and signed up to go to Vietnam, but was assigned a teaching position at West Point. The choice was to leave the Army instead. After reporting to West Point, he moved to Nashville to try to make it as a songwriter. As a result, this Oxford-educated Rhodes scholar soon found himself emptying wastebaskets at Columbia Recording Studios.

“I’m kind of amazed by the whole thing,” he marvels. “I was on my way to a totally different life. And all of a sudden I committed my future and all my family and everything to this! It was pretty scary.”

Kristofferson and Lisa say that his brother joined the Navy; his father was a two-star Air Force general; both grandfathers were in the military; even his great-grandfather was in the Swedish armed forces.

“Didn’t your mother say she would rather have a gold star in the window?” Lisa asks him. Kris gives a sheepish shrug. It is his way of saying, “I can’t remember.” It is an expression he uses a lot these days.

“When you have a family member that died during World War I, they would put a gold star in the window,” she reminds him. “And your mother said she would have rather had a gold star in the window than to see what you’re doing with your life.”

“She said that I was an embarrassment to the family,” he recalls a little later. “I’ve given them moments of pride, when I got my Rhodes scholarship, but she said, ‘They’ll never measure up to the tremendous disappointment you’ve always been.’ Why tell your kid that?”

But when his mother sent him a scathing letter disowning him, Kristofferson experienced something he’d been seeking his whole life: freedom. It’s an independence he’s embraced to this day. He bucked Nashville’s conventions, helping start the outlaw-country movement. More recently, he canceled a book contract for his autobiography because he didn’t want to work on a deadline. His latest album includes a song called “You Don’t Tell Me What to Do.”

“Even if someone tells him to have a good day, he’ll say, ‘Don’t tell me what to do,’?” Lisa says. “He’s unmanageable. You can’t manage him.”

Kristofferson looks down at the table and screws up his face as she speaks.

What were you just thinking? I ask.

“I…” He pauses and purses his lips. “I think it’s probably true.”

In several of Kristofferson’s songs, characters burn brilliantly in the present moment without a past or future, trading in “tomorrow for today” or proclaiming, “Yesterday is dead and gone/And tomorrow’s out of sight.” In an unexpected twist of fate, Kristofferson sometimes finds himself similarly marooned in the present moment due to his memory problems. Except unlike the characters in his songs, who usually find loneliness there, he says he feels remarkably content and well-supported.

Kelly has observed that he “forgets to get nervous,” and Kristofferson notes that a couple of years ago, his anxiety just went away. “He hasn’t always been happy,” Lisa says. “His nickname when he was doing Star Is Born was Kris Pissed-off-erson.” These days, one of his favorite things to do is simply mow the grass or weed-whack for hours at his primary home, in Maui.

He recently went to a reunion of the Pomona College football team, where he saw his former coach, who’s now 93. And he’s still in touch with his childhood nanny Juanita, who’s 93 and still calls her former charge mijo (my son).

“She probably saved my life,” he says. “Because God knows my mother was an asshole. And my old man was gone most of the time.”

He adds that without Juanita, he “probably would have ended up as some serial killer.”

Two weeks later, Kristofferson sits in a booth of a Malibu studio, playing the part of a ghost for an animated pilot for Fox. When he reads a line about cellphone coverage, Kelly laughs: “He doesn’t know what a cellphone is. He calls them hand machines.”

Afterward, the director asks Kristofferson to sign a guitar. “I’m not a very good guitar player,” he tells Kristofferson.

“Neither am I,” Kristofferson responds.

Self-deprecation is one of Kristofferson’s most conspicuous traits. He is especially down on his singing: “I don’t think I’m that good a singer,” he says. “I can’t think of a song that I’ve written that I don’t like the way somebody else sings it better.”

Yet even as he’s pushing 80, there is no shortage of demand for his voice – whether it’s films, TV dramas, cartoons, performances or albums. He has one of the most unique careers in music, which he says was inspired in part by seeing Frank Sinatra excel as both a singer and an actor.

Kris Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson interview, Kris Kristofferson songwriting, Kris Kristofferson rolling stone
Kris Kristofferson, 1968 LFI/Photoshot
We drive back to his house with Kelly and her boyfriend, Andrew Hagar, son of Sammy. When asked half an hour later about going to the studio today, Kristofferson works his tongue around the inside of his mouth, thinking hard. “I’ll be honest with you,” he finally says. “I don’t remember going to the studio.”

Kris and his wife have spoken about Lyme disease, head injuries and aging interfering with his memory. But there’s one thing they haven’t mentioned: the smoking.

“Do you think the weed hurts your memory?”

He answers quickly and defiantly: “If it does, it’s too bad. I’m not quitting.” He pauses and considers it further. “I’m sure that it slows me down and doesn’t make me the sharpest-witted person in the room, but I’ll probably be smoking till they throw dirt on me.”

As we’re speaking, one of Kristofferson’s sons marches into the kitchen. He is known as War Pig, though he was born Jody. A heavyweight wrestling belt testifying to his prowess in the ring hangs in the living room. Each of Kris’ children seems to have taken on one aspect of his career, even down to his youngest son, Blake, who majored in creative writing.

One of the few ambitions that Kristofferson never got to realize was as a literary author. In his Maui home, there are trunks full of notepads – a treasure trove of short stories, journal entries and even novels, none of it published.

“You have stories from college on,” Lisa reminds him. “All through the Army, all through your time with Janis Joplin, all through your working in Wake Island, working in Alaska, working fighting fires and on the railroad. You even have stories from being a janitor in Nashville.”

“I don’t feel very creative anymore,” Kristofferson confesses a little later. “I feel like an old boxer.” He laughs. “The brain’s gone, but I can still move around.”

“He says that,” Kelly protests, “but he leaves little pieces of songs lying around the house all the time.”

Kristofferson considers this. “I may have some more creative work in me,” he finally admits, then concludes on a characteristically impassive note. “But if I don’t, it’s not going to hurt me.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/kris-kristofferson-an-outlaw-at-80-20160606#ixzz4CJjyUTY2
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“Highwaymen: Live at Nassau Colleseum” ( on PBS tonight (Thurs, June 9, 2016)

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Other air dates, or at least here in Colorado:

  • Sunday, June 5 at 8:30 pm on 12.1
  • Monday, June 6 at 1:00 am on 12.1
  • Thursday, June 9 at 8:30 pm on 12.1
  • Saturday, June 11 at 11:00 am on 12.1
  • Saturday, June 11 at 5:30 pm on 12.1

 

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, “How Do You Feel About Fooling Around?”

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

“The Winning Hand” Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton

Monday, May 30th, 2016

 

Dolly, Brenda, Kris & Willie
… The Winning Hand

Produced by Fred Foster
Monument Records
1982
Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton

Johnny Cash hosted a television special to celebrate release of album, and also wrote the liner notes for this album, Dolly, Brenda, Kris and Willie.  He wrote something about each artist, and here is what he wrote about Willie:

Willie Nelson

Like a thief in the night
Like the witch on her broom
The red-headed stranger
Came right through her bedroom

No, actually I’m kidding.  He was a little reluctant to walk through the bedroom at eleven o’clock at night with Waylon Jennings and myself.  They had come over to see me and I said, “Let’s go into my little back room and sit and talk and pick awhile.”  We passed John Carter’s bedroom where he was asleep.

“Come on and follow me,” I said.  leading the way through the master bedroom to my little get-away-from-it-all-writing-reading-picking-listening refuge.

“I’m afraid we’ll wake June,” said Willie, tiptoeing past the bed where she slept.

“C0me one,” I said, and the three of us walked Indian style through the dim lit room and into my private place.

“I’ve always been a dreamer.  I mean, I have vivid technicolor, wide-screen stereo dreams.  Oftimes I dream of things that are happening, sometimes I dream of things that will happen, sometimes I’m dreaming of things even before I’m sound asleep.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of a dream not knowing what the end was to be.  I go back to sleep, commanding my mind to finish the dream.

Twenty years ago I had a dream about Willie Nelson.  I hadn’t spoken with, nor seen him, in about three years.

In my dream, Willie and I were sitting in a dresing room, swapping songs.  I sang him a song I had leanred from a demo which Gene Ferguson had given me called The Ballad of Ira Hayes.

Willie said, “You should do an album of Indian songs.”

“I will,” I said.  “I never thought of doing a whole album of Indian stuff”

“You will,” I said.  “I never thought of doing a whole album of Indian stuff.”

“You will,” said Willie in my dream.  (It’s called Bitter Tears.)

Willie said, “Let me sing you one, John.  I thought of you when I wrote it.” “They’re all the same.

The dream was over at the end of they’re all the same.

Next morning I called my secretary.  “Try to find me a number where I can call Willie Nelson,” I said.  “Willie Nelson, the songwriter.  I think he’s living in Nashville.”

An hour later I was talking to him.  I congratulated him on the success of some of his big songs he had written recorded by other artists.  He kindly returned the compliments.  “Willie,” I said.  “You might think I’m a little weird, but I dreamed about you last niht.”  There was silence on his end, so I went on.  “I dreamed you sang a song to me, one you had written clled they’re all the same.”

More silence.

:Do you have a song called They’re All the Same?”  I asked.

“Yes, I do,” he said, barely above a whisper.

“Would you send it to me” I asked.  “Maybe I can record it.”

A long pause, then willie said.  “Sure, give me your address.”

Willie sent the song and I played it a hundred times, but I never recorded it.  I was beginning to get heavily into something else and somewhere along the way, I must have lost the demo of ‘Thy’re All the Same.’

Now, back to 1979.   Willie, Waylon and I were sitting in my room just off the bedroom where June was asleep, just off the bedroom where John Carter was asleep.

I hadn’t seen Willie in ten years.  The hair was long and plaited.  The beard was full and red, and the eyes were clear and intelligent.  Waylon kept his hat on and sweated like I do.

I was a little shy myself because I was in the presence of two of country music’s all time greats.  I was also a little awed by Willie Nelson for his amazing rise to super stardom.

We sang a few songs quietly.  Willie was still concerned with waking June.

“Willie;,” I said, “do you remember ‘They’re all the same’?”

“Man,” he said.  “That’s been a long tme ago.  Didn’t I send you that?”

“Yes, but I lost it.”

“I’ll send you another tape of it,” he said.  “Let me sing you this one.”  And he sang a song which became a number one record for him.  But he still hasn’t sent me a tap on ‘They’re All the Same.’ Maybe he forgot it, too.

Not more than an hour had passed when Waylon said, “We’d better go, John.  I know you and June had already gone to bed.”

“Don’t go,” I said, and to Willie, “I haven’t seen you in so long and I want to spend some more time with you.”

They insised that it was too late to keep me up and again expressed their concern of waking June on the way out.

I led the way and June was still asleep.  I stopped and went over and shook June awake.  Only the night light was on and as I started to turn on the bedside light, Wilie said, “No, John, don’t do that.”

In the dim light, I said, “June, here’s some old buddies, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.”  Waylon went over and hugged her, and Willie knelt down beside the bed and kissed her on the cheek.

“HOw have you been, Miss June?”  he said.

June started talking up a storm.  “It’s so good to see you both.  Why didn’t you wake me, John?  Waylon, how’s Jessi?  Willie, it’s so good to see you.  John and I are so proud for you.”

“Didn’t mean to wake you pu, Miss June,” said Willie, “But it’s good to see you.”

:Oh, that’s alright, stay, John, turn on the light.”

“No, Miss June, we’re going.  Hope we didn’t make too much  noise.”

“Come back anytime, Willie.  Come back, Waylon, and bring Jessie,” said June.

Waylon tipped his hat and followed Willie past John Carter’s bedroom and on out the door.

I waived goodbye to them as they got in the car and closed the door.  I started past John Carter’s open bedroom door, back into our bedroom, but he was awake and standing there.  “Who’s that, Daddy?” he asked.

“Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.”

He started back to his bed and stopped, “I smell something funny,” he said.

“Like what, John Carter?” I asked.

“I don’t know, he said, crawling under his covers.

Crawling in bed by June, I thought of the miles and the troubles my visitors must have known in their lives.  They had been everywhere and done everything, but then so have I, I thought.  Maybe I smell funny.

Willie’s a mon on The Willing Hand

Nelson is his name

Some fly high and some fly low
But theyrenot all the same
For a winning man with a winning hand
You never see brought down
One year he might disappear
And no more be seen in town
He’s got lots of things I’ve not
An he’ll master the movie game
He’ll be back along to sing his song
nd they’re not all the same
This record made in this decade
Is this decade’s number one
There is no doubt in my mind without
Willie Nelson it could not have been done
Now my take is said
And I thaik yo, Fred
You are one might man
To work it out
And bring about
The platinum The Winning Hand

— Johnny Cash

Willie Nelson & Family, Kris Kristofferson with Ben Haggard, Noel Haggard & The Strangers

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

danshram

photo:  Dan Schram

www.indyweek.com
by:  Spencer Griffith

Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary
Sunday, May 22, 2016

In early April, I called my mother and invited her to join me in mid-May to see Willie Nelson play at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. “Sure! Who else is playing?” she asked, perhaps spoiled by Alison Krauss & Union Station providing stellar support when Nelson passed through the same venue two years ago.

Hearing my reply of Merle Haggard, she bluntly replied, “Oh. I thought he was dead.” I assured her that Haggard would be there, recent poor health notwithstanding. But it was just a matter of days until the country legend actually did pass. Mom, like usual, turned out to be right.

Sunday night, our date finally arrived. Filling the huge hole left in the bill by Merle’s death, Kris Kristofferson opened alongside Merle’s sons Ben and Noel Haggard, backed by The Strangers—the late Haggard’s backing band. For my mom, Kristofferson’s appearance was bittersweet; it seems her high school crush had somehow aged in the intervening forty-odd years. I was more focused on his voice, which—especially early in the set—was, well, rather haggard. The hour-long show followed a revue format, in which Kristofferson and each of the Haggard sons took turns on lead vocals, sprinkling some of Kristofferson’s best-known songs with plenty of Merle classics.

Having joined The Strangers on lead guitar at age fifteen—nearly a decade ago now—Ben, Merle’s youngest son, did an admirable job of filling his father’s role on those tunes, injecting them with youthful energy and recounting his dad’s wishes for him to carry on with The Strangers. Meanwhile, Noel—almost thirty years Ben’s senior—lent his rich baritone to “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” sounding every bit like a man who’d lived through plenty of the song’s broken-hearted nights. By the time Kristofferson led off “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” his voice had warmed up considerably, containing just the right amount of weariness for his sighing hit.

The crowd responded with a standing ovation. Ben thanked everyone for coming to celebrate his father’s music. Kristofferson wiped away tears. The set closed on an upbeat note, sandwiching Kristofferson’s gospel number “Why Me” between Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever” and a spirited singalong of “Okie from Muskogee.”

The emotional tribute to Merle carried over into Willie Nelson’s headlining set in a surprising way. Sure, Nelson may appear to be as weathered as his trusty guitar Trigger, but as a performer, he seems to be drinking from—or smoking something out of—the fountain of youth. Almost four years older than Haggard, Nelson carried on Sunday night as if he could do so forever—and it’d be easy to convince yourself of just that, had it not been for the too-fresh reminder of Merle’s mortality.

Across an hour and fifteen minutes, Nelson barreled through more than two dozen songs with hardly a pause, ripping off nimble runs on Trigger, perhaps none more impressive than on a cover of Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages.Following along to whichever song title Nelson shouted out, The Family provided rocksteady rhythms, rousing harmonica solos, and barrelhouse piano fills. Willie remained the star, even when flanked by the backing vocals of fellow Highwayman Kristofferson. His voice sounded clear as a bell on timeless ballads like “Georgia on My Mind” and “Always On My Mind.”

Nelson seemed somehow ageless, as if defying what I’d told my mom a couple hours earlier during Kristofferson’s set—“You know we’re all getting older, mom.”

danschram2

photo:  Dan Schram

Kris Kristofferson with Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard & The Strangers setlist:
Shipwrecked in the Eighties (Kristofferson on lead vocals, duo performance with Scott Joss)
The Running Kind (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
Heaven Was A Drink Of Wine (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Me and Bobby McGee (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink (Noel Haggard on lead vocals)
What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life) (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Working Man Blues (Ben & Noel Haggard on lead vocals)
Honky Tonk Night Time Man -> Folsom Prison Blues (Noel Haggard on lead vocals)
Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Ramblin’ Fever (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
Why Me (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Okie From Muskogee (Ben & Noel Haggard on lead vocals)

Willie Nelson & The Family setlist:
Whiskey River
Still Is Still Moving To Me
Beer For My Horses
Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
It’s All Going To Pot
Good Hearted Woman
Funny How Time Slips Away -> Crazy -> Night Life -> Listen To The Blues
Down Yonder
Me & Paul
If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time
Nuages
Shoeshine Man
Georgia On My Mind
Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
Hey Good Lookin’
Move It On Over
On The Road Again
Always On My Mind
Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die (with Kris Kristofferson on backing vocals)
I’ll Fly Away (with Kris Kristofferson on backing vocals)
The Party’s Over (with Kris Kristofferson on backing vocals)
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Uncloudy Day

The Message of the Highwaymen

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

highwaypbs

www.pbs.org

Director and producer Jim Brown talks about the making of The Highwaymen: Friends Til The End, his admiration for the musicians’ camaraderie, passion for music and having a clear purpose in their careers. American Masters — The Highwaymen: Friends Til The Endpremieres nationwide Friday, May 27, 2016, at 9/8c on PBS (check local schedule) as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series, exploring how these men came together and the fruits of their historic collaboration.

Willie Nelson and Family with Kris Kristofferson, in Cherokee, North Carolina

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

andybushgeorgia

Thanks to Andy Bush, who followed Willie Nelson & Family from the Atlanta, Georgia show to Cherokee, North Carolina, for another show last night.  Andy said Kris came out and sang with Willie for ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I  Die”, and the gospel set, on both nights.

Willie Nelson fans waiting for a show in Georgia

Friday, May 20th, 2016

andyandybush2

Thanks to Andy Bush for sharing photos from the Willie Nelson & Family Show in Georgia tonight.  Andy said that President Carter was in the audience.

Kris Kristofferson and the Strangers, Merle Haggard’s band, also performed, in celebration of Merle.

andyandybush3

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, The Strangers (Florence, SC) (May 19, 2016)

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

florenceshow

Honoring Merle Haggard

May 19

Willie Nelson & Family with special guests Kris Kristofferson and The Strangers featuring Ben and Noel Haggard honoring Merle Haggard

Join us for a special concert event honoring the late Merle Haggard with legendary musician Willie Nelson & Family plus a very special guest and another original Highwaymen, Kris Kristofferson LIVE in concert. Also joining the lineup is Merle Haggard’s incredibly talented sons, Ben and Noel, collectively known as The Strangers performing on May 19th in honor of their father.

  • Arena, Florence, SC
  • $30, $45, $55
  • All tickets are for Reserved Seating: $30.00, $45.00, Floor $55.00 -additional fees may apply
  • May 19, 2016 8:00 pm
  • Buy Tickets Now

Willie Nelson announces Fourth of July Picnic 2016 Lineup

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

rick diamond

photo:  Rick Diamond

www.RollingStone.com
by:  Joseph Hudek

Willie Nelson has announced the lineup for his storied 4th of July Picnic, held this year at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas. The roster is among the Independence Day party’s most diverse, with aggro-country outlaw Brantley Gilbert sharing space with Lone Star state songbird Lee Ann Womack.

Founded in 1973, Nelson staged his inaugural picnic in Dripping Springs, Texas, just outside of Austin. Last year’s event featured Eric Church, frequent Nelson collaborator Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and the late Merle Haggard.

Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20th, at 10:00 a.m. CT via Ticketmaster, Live Nation and the Circuit of the Americas website.

“I got the idea from Woodstock about how music could bring people from different places together,” Nelson said last year about the picnic. “I had just moved to Austin and had come to realize what a great music center it was and could be. I thought it would be a nice idea to this year have it back in Austin.”

The always-on-the-road Nelson is also set to perform at the 2016 Austin City Limits Festival Hall of Fame Inductions on October 12th, as well as headline the ACL Fest’s two weekends earlier that month.

 

 

Kris Kristofferson to release 16- CD music collections to celebrate his 80th

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson
photo:  Rick Diamond

www.RollingStone.com
by: Stephen L. Betts

The 80th birthday of songwriter, actor and country-music icon Kris Kristofferson will be celebrated next month with the release of The Complete Monument & Columbia Album Collection, a 16-CD deluxe box set from Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings. Due June 10th, the collection will consist of 11 of Kristofferson’s studio albums spanning the entire decade of the Seventies. At the same time he was recording his own material, Kristofferson’s massive song catalog was mined for hits by artists ranging from Janis Joplin (“Me and Bobby McGee”) to Ray Price (“For the Good Times”) and beyond.

All of the albums in the collection, released from 1970 through 1981, will be individually packaged in facsimile sleeves reproducing the original album artwork. Five additional albums in the set will spotlight rare and unreleased live and studio recordings encompassing Kristofferson’s years recording for the Monument and Columbia labels, with three concert recordings (two of them previously unreleased) from 1970-1972 and two full discs of rarities – non-LP singles, studio outtakes, previously unavailable demos – and more.

The package will also include a deluxe booklet featuring essays and liner notes penned especially for the project, including an introduction to Kristofferson contributed by his fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Fred Foster, the founder of Monument Records who signed the Texas native and former Army pilot to a songwriting contract at Combine Music and a recording pact with the Monument label. Producer/musician Don Was contributes an aesthetic appreciation titled “Kris Kristofferson True American Hero,” and the set also features an insightful essay on Kristofferson’s artistry penned by longtime Rolling Stone contributor Mikal Gilmore.

One week after the boxed set is issued, the Grammy-winning legend will release a double album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, 25 songs recorded over a three-day period in the summer of 2014. The set includes stripped-down versions of some of Kristofferson’s most revered tunes, including “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” a dark, meditative tune he penned while living in a tenement and going through a divorce. Johnny Cash would go on to record it in 1970, winning Kristofferson CMA Song of the Year honors for it.

In March, the Nashville tribute concert, “The Life and Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” featured performances by Willie Nelson, Reba, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris and more.

The Complete Monument & Columbia Album Collection:

Kristofferson (Monument, 1970)

The Silver Tongued Devil and I (Monument, 1971)

Border Lord (Monument, 1972)

Jesus Was a Capricorn (Monument, 1972)

Spooky Lady’s Sideshow (Monument, 1974)

Breakaway—Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge (Monument, 1974)

Who’s to Bless…and Who’s to Blame (Monument, 1975)

Surreal Thing (Monument, 1976)

Easter Island (Monument/Columbia, 1978)

Shake Hands With the Devil (Monument/Columbia, 1979)

To the Bone (Monument/Columbia, 1981)

Bonus Discs:

Live at The Big Sur Folk Festival (recorded 1970, previously unreleased)

The WPLJ-FM Broadcast (recorded 1972, previously unreleased)

Live at the Philharmonic (recorded 1972/released 1992)

Extras (previously released non-LP singles, outtakes and appearances)

Demos (previously unreleased)

 

 

 

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Blake Shelton, “Highwaymen”

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The Highwaymen Live: American Outlaws (Release date: 5/20/2016)

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

livehighwaymen

www.cmt.com
by:  Samantha Stephens

It’s Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson like you’ve never experienced them. That’s because this concert footage has never been seen before.

CMT has the video premiere of the super group’s performance of “Good Hearted Woman,” recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on March 14, 1990.

It’s all part of the new collection The Highwaymen Live — American Outlaws, a CD/DVD package arriving May 20 with previously unreleased concert performances from the legends.

In addition to the complete concert from their 1990 tour, the Columbia/Legacy package includes various performances at Farm Aid and a previously unreleased version of Cash and Jennings’ take on Bob Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings.”

American Masters — The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End, a new feature-length documentary on the supergroup, will premiere May 27 on PBS.

Enter to Win Tickets to see Willie Nelson & Family in Florence, SC (May 19, 2016)

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

winwillie

If You Go:

WHAT: Willie Nelson and Family – Live in Concert

WHEN: 8 p.m. May 19

WHERE: Florence Civic Center

ADMISSION: A limited number of tickets to the May 19 show are still available. Tickets range from $30 to $55 and can be purchased online atwww.florenceciviccenter.com or at the Florence Civic Center box office.

www.FlorenceNews.com

by:  Deborah Swearingen

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence Civic Center has announced a new lineup for the May 19 Willie Nelson concert after the unexpected death of the show’s co-headliner, Merle Haggard, in early April.

Kris Kristofferson and a country group called The Strangers, featuring Haggard’s sons, Ben and Noel, will join Nelson on the stage for the show that will now honor Haggard’s legacy.

“Obviously no one could ever replace Merle Haggard,” said Nick Hooker, senior marketing manager at the venue. “That was not the objective. It was to bring in someone of the same stature in more of an honorary role.”

Hooker said he knew the tour was working on some big names that would be appropriate for the concert but did not have confirmation of the new lineup until Thursday afternoon.

“It’s great news. We’re very excited,” he said. “Kris Kristofferson is one of the original outlaws of country music, one of the original members of the Highwaymen just like Willie Nelson.”

Kristofferson is a three-time Grammy-award winner and has recorded 28 albums, including three with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen.

Plus, Hooker said, it will be a wonderful experience to have Haggard’s two sons join the lineup in honor of their father.

“I think that is a deeply passionate and wonderful notion that they’re willing to hop on the tour, head to Florence and perform for all of Merle’s fans,” he said.

There was a lot of concern when Haggard died, Hooker said, but fans were considerate of the situation.

“The fans were very patient through this ordeal, and we really appreciate their understanding and their support,” he said.

A very limited number of tickets to the May 19 show are still available. Tickets range from $30 to $55 and can be purchased online at www.florenceciviccenter.com or at the Florence Civic Center box office.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Buddy Cannon (whenever it is)

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

budbud

Today is producer/musician/songwriter Buddy Cannon’s birthday, that is if you can believe everything you read on the internet, and you know I do.***

Happy Birthday, Buddy!  And thanks for all the great music.

*** someone told me it was in August, but it doesn’t matter