Archive for the ‘Other Artists’ Category

Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr.

Friday, May 8th, 2020

Thanks, Phil Weisman, for sharing this photo.

Miles Davis – “Willie Nelson” (live) (Filmore West, San Francisco (April 10, 1970)

Friday, April 10th, 2020

Miles Davis – Willie Nelson
Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA), 04/10/1970
Music Audio Miles Davis

Around the release of Bitches Brew and just days after wrapping the session that yielded “Yesternow” for the yet to be released A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Miles Davis gathered his band and flew to San Francisco for his first live recorded performance since 1965. Davis had crossed a bridge and was playing to rock houses now–at first to his dismay, but the crowds were responding to his sound, as it reached into epic fourth and fifth dimensions, going places that only a master musician like Davis could navigate and conquer. Miles was also a recent convert to rock—or at least to Jimi Hendrix—and the influence of Hendrix’s wild psychedelic styles poke through in performance here, as well as on the then-new Bitches Brew. This is the Fillmore West show that would ultimately be released as Black Beauty in 1973.

During this window of Davis’ career, when he was expanding the boundaries of the music he’d already shaped and pioneered, he often opened his shows with the Joe Zawinul piece, “Directions.” Casting a spell with the high and frantic notes of “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down,” his groove machine is up and running now, thanks to Jack DeJohnette on drums, Airto Moreira flying high on percussion and Dave Holland holding it down on bass. With Chick Corea on electric piano and Steve Grossman on sax, Miles was free to blow, and though he famously loathed the style of jazz known as “free” or avant garde, his aggressive and intensive deliveries that were uniquely his own sure get close to that far-out style of improvisatory expression.

“Willie Nelson,” is also contemporary to this period; it would emerge eventually on The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions. Throughout the set, Miles pretty much sticks to recent or working repertoire rather than reaching back in time, though he pays respects to the standards with the Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne piece, “I Fall In Love Too Easily.”

And while no longer in the fold, Miles plucks from two compositions by sax man Wayne Shorter: The distant “Sanctuary” and the more jittery “Masqualero,” a mighty showcase for Miles as well as for Grossman on soprano sax that slides nicely into “Spanish Key” from the game-changing Bitches Brew. As the jam winds down, Davis pulls out “The Theme,” and guides the ship in for a landing—and what a ride it’s been.

Though the calendar on this gig may’ve said 1970, Davis had already seen the future of music and he was on board, flying high and running all the way with it. Recorded during a crucial period in which everything he’d created to that point was exploding into jazz’s next dimension, not to mention impacting rock along the lines of the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix, the only question that remains is, can you dig it? We think you can.

Green Day’s Tre Cool sits in with Willie Nelson & Family in California

Friday, January 24th, 2020

photos: Suzanne Cordeiro  Chelsea Lauren
by: Patrick Doyle

Fans who attended Willie Nelson’s show at San Francisco’s Fillmore earlier this month were surprised to see an unexpected guest onstage: Tré Cool, the longtime drummer of Green Day. According to reports, Cool was onstage for almost the entire show, playing bongos and a washboard, without being formally introduced.

Cool appeared again onstage in California a few nights later; the site Saving Country Music quoted one fan who observed, “I’m sure 99 percent of the arena had no idea who the dude playing a washboard was.”

It turns out the appearance was a lifelong dream for Cool. He grew up a Nelson fanatic and connected with his band through Nelson’s son Micah, after attending one of Micah’s concerts with Particle Kid.
Says Micah, “I used to bounce around head-banging on the school bus listening to Dookie on my Walkman, so it kinda blew my mind to see Tré doing the same thing in the front row of a Particle Kid show. We connected afterward about music, drumming, and our love for Bowie and the Blackstar record.”

Alison Krauss covers Willie Nelson

Friday, October 11th, 2019

(This is not video from Little Rock, it’s from a performance when Willie Nelson was honored in Washington D.C. a few years ago, so beautiful.)
by: Jack W. Hill

There were a couple of Willie Nelson covers: “I Never Cared for You”
and the stunning “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” which was
so tastefully rendered that the crowd erupted with applause in the
middle of the song.

Alison Krauss, formerly known as Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, is just plain Alison Krauss these days, but there’s nothing plain about her performing, for sure. She showed she’s still got the magic Wednesday night to what looked to be a packed house at Robinson Center Performance Hall in Little Rock.

Though Douglas has gone off on his own, Krauss was not hurting for accompanists, with seven musicians on the stage on occasion, not always on each song, but stepping up at all the right times to play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, acoustic or electric bass, banjo, mandolin, drums, dobro and piano.

The 48-year old bluegrass veteran with the angelic soprano voice looked as angelic as she sounded in a 90-minute set that included some surprises (such as her opening selection, a fairly obscure Roger Miller number, “River in the Rain,”) along with songs that fans were there to hear, such as the three songs from her days with Union Station and Douglas: “The Lucky One,” “Let Me Touch You for Awhile” and “Sawing on the Strings.”

There were a couple of Willie Nelson covers: “I Never Cared for You” and the stunning “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” which was so tastefully rendered that the crowd erupted with applause in the middle of the song. Other choice selections were Little Milton’s “Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson,” a terrific take on John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind,” and a couple of her big hits: The Foundations’ “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” and Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing at All.”

She also did “Forget About It,” “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby” and Down to the River to Pray,” closing with a spirited version of a spiritual, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Another surprise was a song inspired by Cotton Plant native, the legendary Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Sam Phillips’ “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us.”

Krauss was generous with her superb singing but stingy with her fiddle playing, which was in short supply and sometimes covered up by the electric guitar. Known for her sad songs, she did add some mirth to the show with some recollections of how long she had played with some of the band members, especially with a lengthy tale of her long friendship with her current dobro player, Sidney Cox, known for his work in his Northwest Louisiana family band.

The lighting and set were imaginatively done, seeming to suggest a street scene from years past behind the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

Robert Earl Keen, Whitewater Amphitheater (4/20/2018)

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Thanks to the great Janis Tillerson, for these great photos of the great Robert Earl Keen, from the Whitewater Amphitheater show last night.


Nora Jones’ favorite Willie Nelson songs

Monday, September 4th, 2017
by: Kara Manning

Norah Jones might have broken into the mainstream consciousness as a jazz and pop artist, a path she followed on her most recent album, Day Breaks, but the Texas-raised musician has always been a country music aficionado at heart.

She co-founded the alt-country The Little Willies — named after Willie Nelson — nearly 15 years ago with fellow heartland music lovers Richard Julian, Jim Campilongo, Lee Alexander and Dan Rieser. On the Little Willies’ two albums, their eponymous 2006 debut and 2012’s For The Good Times, the group ebulliently covered songs by a large swath of American legends, like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and, of course, Nelson, this week’s FUV Essentials artist.

Jones has performed with Nelson many times, in the studio on standards like “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” found on his 2009 album American Classic, or joining him live in 2010 at Farm Aid 25, singing songs like Alexander’s “Lonestar” (which appeared on Nelson’s 2002 live album, Willie Nelson & Friends – Stars & Guitars).

When FUV broadcast Willie Nelson and Family’s concert at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in August 2015, Jones was there in the crowd, watching Nelson and his band with a broad smile on her face, reveling in his great classics. Their kinship is one of mutual admiration, humor, collaborative intuition and respect. FUV reached out to Jones to write about the recordings and songs that mean the most to her, by her friend and fellow Texan.

Norah Jones: Five Essential Willie Nelson Songs:

“Permanently Lonely,” Crazy: The Demo Sessions (2003)
This song is one of my favorites. The turn of phrase, melody, and chord changes. So beautiful and simple, yet very complex which I didn’t realize until I tried to cover it! He really cuts straight to the bone on this one.

“Funny How Time Slips Away,” VH1 Storytellers with Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson (1998)
There are so many great versions of this song but this is my favorite, just stripped down with Willie and Johnny Cash on guitar. This is also one of my favorite Willie guitar solos. As a song it’s biting, heartbreaking, and funny. It’s a good story song with a little knife-in-the-back at the end.

“Things to Remember,” The Demos Project, Vol. 1 (2003)
Great honky tonk song and vibe. And he sings so good.

“Washing the Dishes” into “Walking,” Phases and Stages (1974)
The first two songs go together so beautifully. It goes from this gorgeous jazz-tinged guitar ballad with moments of Brazil, and then the second part is a killer country song. He made some amazing concept albums and these two tracks really capture that magic.

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” Red Headed Stranger (1975)
From my favorite album of all time — Red Headed Stranger. A classic. It shows how he makes every song his own, even the ones he didn’t write.

– Norah Jones
August 2017

The Little Willies: Live Concert 2011

The Little Willies: Words and Music 2012


“Willie Nelson is my spiritual Guru” — Margo Price

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Margo Price calls Willie Nelson “like my spiritual guru,” and she aims to emulate his “calming energy.” To that end, “I feel a lot better when I’m smoking [weed] and not drinking so much,” she says. “It’s not as taxing on my body. I get on with my day.  “I can’t go out and party like I used to,” admits Price. Self-care is her priority: healthy eating, exercise “and, honestly, smoking a lot of weed.” Years on the road meant lots of time eating at truck stops, getting very little sleep, “so the biggest thing for me now is staying well-rested and healthy. It sucks to have to cancel shows because you’re burned out.”

Read entire article and tips on life from Margo Price here.

Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Willie Nelson inducts Allman Brothers into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1995)

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson fan, Ed Jurdi, Band of Heathens

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
by: Annie Zaleski

Austin, Texas’ own Band of Heathens are road warriors who have played shows with the Drive-By Truckers, Hayes Carll and Old 97’s — and that’s just in the last few years. Ask vocalist / guitarist / songwriter Ed Jurdi who’s left on his band’s concert wish list, however, and he doesn’t hesitate before answering: Willie Nelson.

“I do want to make that happen,” he says, calling The Boot from (where else?) the road, on the eve of the band’s performance at June’s Mountain Jam. “We’re pretty good friends with Lukas [Nelson], his son — he has a really great band — but we haven’t quite gotten to do a show with Willie yet. We have a lot of friends who have done it, too. So we’re putting our names on a list.”

When told he should pull the Texas card to make that happen, Jurdi laughs: “That’s right,” he says. “Willie’s everyone’s now, though. He’s really a man of all people.”

With the release of January’s Duende, the Band of Heathens are increasingly in the same boat. The record is a distillation of everything that makes the band great; its songs encompass meditative folk-rock (“Keys to the Kingdom,” “Last Minute Man”), bluesy soul (“Sugar Queen,” “Daddy Longlegs”), Wilco-esque pop (“Deep Is Love”), loping twang (“Cracking the Code”) and swaggering rock ‘n’ roll (“Trouble Came Early”). Better still, these disparate songs hang together seamlessly.

“I feel this is the best record we’ve ever made, and I feel like the band is the best that it’s ever been.”


Dwight Yoakam and Robert Earl Keen play before Willie Nelson & Family Show Rained out in KC Saturday

Monday, June 19th, 2017

photo:  Susan Pfannmuller
by:  Bill Brownlee

A severe storm forced a dream triple bill of Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam and Robert Earl Keen at Starlight Theatre on Saturday to remain an elusive fantasy. The deluge that followed sets by Yoakam and Keen led to the cancellation of the country legend’s headlining appearance.

While many in the audience of almost 8,000 received a thorough soaking before Nelson’s portion of the concert was called off, the venue was almost full for appearances by Yoakam and Keen.

Yoakam still wears the skintight jeans and cowboy hat that turned heads when his debut release “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” topped the country albums chart in 1986, but the California-based artist was more committed to paying homage to his heroes than in assuming the role of a sex symbol. Yoakam has always been a dedicated revivalist — his first hit was a cover of the 1956 Johnny Horton song “Honky Tonk Man” — but Saturday’s outing was more like a tribute show than a showcase for his original material.

Supported his outstanding four-piece band, Yoakam opened with a muscular cover of Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie.” He paid homage to Elvis Presley with his hit version of the 1961 single “Little Sister” and dedicated “Streets of Bakersfield” to the late country star Buck Owens.

Heartfelt renditions of four Merle Haggard songs formed the core of the 50-minute set. A gentle translation of “Silver Wings” elicited appreciative sighs while plaintive pedal steel guitar solos bolstered “”Swinging Doors” and “Mama Tried.” Yoakam spoke at length about “Okie From Muskogee” before playing the controversial song. Recalling that Haggard had told him the hit was intended to be “tongue in cheek,” Yoakam implied that the societal rifts that made the song resonate in 1969 are just as prevalent today.

An ongoing flurry of anxious activity on the fringes of the stage repeatedly distracted Yoakam. A cover of Nelson’s “Me and Paul” was cut short when Yoakam said that someone backstage was displeased with the selection. The misconstrued signals of a stagehand also contributed to a couple false starts.

Keen and his six-piece backing band spent an hour re-creating his beloved Texas roadhouse songs like “The Road Goes On Forever” and “Gringo Honeymoon” with the admirable efficiency of jukebox. The raggedness of Keen’s unvarnished bray was offset by stellar fiddle and mandolin accents. While the rainout of Nelson was disappointing, Keen’s fans took it stride. They know that the motto of Keen’s signature song applies to the career of the octogenarian country legend: “the road goes on forever and the party never ends.”

Dwight Yoakam set list: Little Queenie; Please, Please Baby; Little Sister; Streets of Bakersfield; Silver Wings; Swinging Doors; Mama Tried; Okie From Muskogee; Me and Paul; It Won’t Hurt; I’ll Be Gone; Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose; Honky Tonk Man; A Thousand Miles From Nowhere; Guitars, Cadillacs.

Robert Earl Keen set list: I’ll Go On Downtown; What I Really Mean; Feelin’ Good Again; Gringo Honeymoon; Shades of Gray; Ride; I Gotta Go; Dreadful Selfish Crime; I Know You Rider; I’m Comin’ Home; The Road Goes On Forever.

Billy Gibbons talks about Willie Nelson on guitar

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

by:  Andy Langer

These days, Billy Gibbons describes ZZ Top as “four decades, same three guys, same three chords.” Indeed, by design, not much has changed about the self-proclaimed Little Ol’ Band From Texas: Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard, who’ve been together since forming in Houston in 1969, still play the revved-up blues that made them arena-filling hit-makers for much of the seventies and eighties. But this month, with the blessing of his longtime bandmates, Gibbons will tour with a new outfit, the BFG’s, in support of his first-ever solo record, a Cuban-inspired set titled Perfectamundo. Their tour includes the Havana Jazz Festival, in December.

ANDY LANGER: You kicked off 2015 onstage with Willie Nelson at his annual New Year’s Eve gig, in Austin. What can you learn from playing for two hours with Willie?

BILLY GIBBONS: I wasn’t supposed to play two hours. I talked to him before the show and said, “How about we play ‘Milk Cow Blues’?” And Willie replied, “How about we play all the blues?” I still thought I could play a few songs and bow out, but his sets are so seamless I ended up staying the whole gig. And up close, it’s even more obvious just how exquisite a soloist he is. It goes beyond the simplicity of three-chord blues. It contains the elegance of that simplicity but gets into some very “adult” chords and melodic changes. The gypsy-jazz stuff that Willie’s capable of delivering is dazzling. I spent most of the night just watching his hands and trying to keep up.

Read Andy Langer’s entire interview here:

And check out Billy Gibbons new solo album (yeah, solo album).



– See more at:

Help Induct Vern Gosdin into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Friday, October 2nd, 2015


Sign the Petition here.  Doesn’t take long.

Petition Background (Preamble):

“The Voice”, Vern Gosdin, was born August, 5, 1934 in Woodland, Alabama. He began singing in church where his mother played piano. As he grew up, Vern sang in a gospel quartet called The Gosdin Brothers. When he was in his late teens, his family moved to Birmingham, Alabama and began hosting The Gosdin Family Gospel Show on a local radio station.

In 1961, Vern and his brother, Rex, moved to California and began performing bluegrass music. They joined a group called The Golden State Boys who then had two top 40 country hits with “Hangin’ On” and “Til the End”. They frequently opened for the iconic pop group, The Byrds.

In the 1970’s, Vern moved to Georgia where he worked a day job but he never gave up his music. In 1976, he signed with Elektra Records. His first hit was a remake of “Hangin’ On”,which featured Emmylou Harris singing harmony vocals. His next single was “Yesterday’s Gone” in 1977 which also featured Emmylou Harris and became his first Top Ten Hit. Several more hits followed between 1977 and 1979 with the biggest of these being a remake of “Til the End” and a cover of The Associations’ hit record, “Never My Love”, which also featured harmony vocals from Janie Fricke.

In 1982, Vern had a Top Ten hit with “Today My World Slipped Away”. In 1983, Vern co-wrote “Tennessee Courage” with Max D. Barnes and Louis Brown. The song was also recorded by Keith Whitley.

In 1983 Vern teamed up with songwriter Max D. Barnes once again. They penned two Top 5 hits; “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right) and “Way Down Deep”. Vern released the album, “There Is a Season” in 1984. This release was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as Best Country Album of the Year. Also in 1984, Vern had his first #1 single, “I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)”. Vern traveled from coast to coast opening shows for George Jones. During this time, George’s manager, Gerald Murray, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, maintained the same home office for both singers. Muscle Shoals became a pivot location for great writers and other entertainers, including Hank Williams, Jr.

In 1987, “Do You Believe Me Now” went to #4, then “Set ‘EmUp Joe” was released and went to #1. Vern and Max D. Barnes co-wrote “Chiseled in Stone” and it won the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year. In 1989 Vern had another #1 hit with “I’m Still Crazy” and over the ensuing years,he had numerous Billboard Top 10 songs such as “Right in the Wrong Direction”, “That Just About Does It” and “Is It Raining at Your House”.

In 2007, Gerald Murray, wrote “True Life Stories About ‘The Voice'”. The book tells of the life and times the two had together and about some other people in Vern’s life. Murray was a part of Vern’s life for some 30 years and referred to him as a father, brother and friend.

In December 2008 Vern announced the release of “40 Years of The Voice”. This would be his final music project showcasing 40 years of his remarkable career. The compilation contained 101 pure country songs hand selected by Vern. 11 new songs recorded in 2008, 14 songs from his 1968 album, “Sounds of Goodbye”, recorded with his brother, Rex, and 77 of his favorite country and gospel classics.

When we lost Vern on April 28, 2009, we lost a legendary singer, a role model, a mentor and a dear friend.

Everyone please take a moment to sign this petition and help put Vern Gosdin where he belongs–in the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Sign the Petition here.  Doesn’t take long.


Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, sing for Dennis Kucinich (1/3/2004)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

George Miguel Concert in Burbank tomorrow night — Free!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

My friend, musician, music lover and Willie Nelson fan George Miguel produced this video introducing his band.  If you live in the Burbank area, the band is performing a free concert tomorrow night at the Burbank Moose Lodge.

For more information and to hear more music: