Archive for the ‘Picnic’ Category
SiriusXM has your chance to win a trip for two to Austin, TX for Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic!
It’s the celebration of the summer! The all-day event on America’s birthday features performances from 20 artists!
One Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip for two to Austin, Texas including round-trip airfare, three nights hotel accommodations at Hotel San Jose on South Congress and a pair of VIP tickets for Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at Circuit of The Americas.
Full Lineup: Willie Nelson & Family
Jamey Johnson featuring special guest Alison Krauss
Lee Ann Womack
Billy Joe Shaver
Ray Wylie Hubbard
David Allan Coe
Asleep at the Wheel
Raelyn Nelson Band
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Picnic historian Dave Thomas brings you a year-by-year look at the details and evolution of the event, as well as a look at many of the Picnic’s posters.Photo gallery: Picnics through the years.
photo: Rick Diamond
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.
Raise the stars and stripes right here: The Picnic stays in Austin. Willie Nelson brought his iconic Fourth of July bash back home from Fort Worth in 2015, and things went well enough out at Circuit of the Americas to warrant a return engagement there this year.
More than 20 acts will join Nelson and his Family Band, including fellow Highwayman and living legend Kris Kristofferson, a pairing of renowned singers Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss, contemporary hitmaker Brantley Gilbert, old-school Picnic favorites Leon Russell and Billy Joe Shaver, and younger upstarts Margo Price and Shakey Graves.
Also on the bill are Lee Ann Womack, Jamestown Revival, Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cody Johnson, Asleep at the Wheel, David Allan Coe, Dallas Wayne and Amber Digby, along with extended representatives of the Nelson clan in Paula Nelson, the Raelyn Nelson Band and Folk Uke (which includes Amy Nelson).
Like last year, music will be presented both at the Austin 360 Amphitheater and on a smaller stage in the venue’s Grand Plaza, which has both standing-room areas and picnic-table seating. The evening entertainment also will include a fireworks display.
Tickets are $85 for reserved seats in the Amphitheater, $65 for the general-admission standing-room pit up front and $39.50 and up for general-admission lawn seating. VIP packages run $200-4500. All tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 20, via ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Gates open at 11 a.m. Set times have not yet been announced; last year, music in the Grand Plaza started around noon, with Amphitheater performances beginning mid-late afternoon. Premium parking lots will open at 9 a.m., with standard lots (included in the ticket price) opening at 10 a.m. The ticket office also offers options for purchasing RV parking or campsites; in addition, the Circuit of the Americas website includes a hotel booking service.
Thanks, Budrock, Lighting Director for Willie Nelson & Family, for your pass from the ’83 Picnic at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands.
THESE days, Willie Nelson is as much a symbol of steadfast American individualism as a Buffalo nickel. His albums of standards – ”Stardust,” ”Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and ”Always on My Mind” – have sold in the millions, and he’s become a compelling movie presence that Hollywood still doesn’t quite know how to use.
As this granite-faced, long-haired man of the soil has grown from a cult figure into an American institution, his Fourth of July picnics in Texas and Oklahoma have become meccas for music lovers who cut across the traditional categories of pop, country and rock.
Mr. Nelson’s last Fourth of July picnic was held two years ago on his own 27-acre Pedernales golf course and country club near Austin. Now, Mr. Nelson is taking his festival on the road. Tomorrow, he and a spectacular roster of pop talent will perform in Syracuse. And Sunday, Mr. Nelson and friends will be at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, in East Rutherford, N.J. The 10-hour marathon, which begins at noon, will feature seven acts. Appearing with Mr. Nelson will be his fellow ”country outlaws” Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings and Mr. Jennings’s wife, Jessi Coulter. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Haggard, who recently recorded their first album together, the excellent ”Poncho and Lefty,” will perform at least one number together Sunday.
Linda Ronstadt Is Back
Linda Ronstadt, making her first appearance in years in a countrymusic context, will also perform, and so will the country-pop singer Emmylou Harris and the Stray Cats, a hot rockabilly trio. Tickets are $17.50 and $20, and are available at the Capitol Theater box office in Passaic, N.J., at the Byrne Meadowlands Arena box office and through Ticketron and Teletron.
”The first time I saw a group of people out in the pasture listening to music together was at the first annual Dripping Springs Reunion, in Dripping Springs, Tex.,” Mr. Nelson recalled the other day. ”It was a three-day affair in March 1971 that some of us Texas musicians and others outside of Nashville put together to call attention to ourselves. People had a good time, and every imaginable type of person showed up. The following July, I tried it again in the same place and called it a Fourth of July picnic.”
One of the aims of Mr. Nelson’s picnics has been to show off a diversity of pop-music styles. The original Dripping Springs Reunion brought together such non-Nashville country and western performers as Mr. Haggard, Tex Ritter and Roy Acuff. The following year’s picnic brought out Jerry Jeff Walker, Leon Russell and other friends. One year even the Pointer Sisters performed. Mr. Nelson’s goal of focusing press attention on himself and his friends was quickly realized. The first Willie Nelson picnic drew 50,000 people and generated Mr. Nelson’s first significant coverage. Out of it, the myth of the ”country outlaw” – a renegade from the Nashville music establishment – was born. A Tantalizing Coalition
Sunday’s bill brings together one of the most tantalizing coalitions of pop-music talent to appear locally in some time. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Haggard, who have never appeared together before in this area, are more than just country-music stars; they are folk heroes who, along with the late Hank Williams, have done for the folk music of the white rural South what Bob Dylan and his followers did for urban folk music. Like Dylan, they have taken root styles – in their case rural folk music, Western swing, the country yodeling style of Jimmie Rodgers and the barroom honky-tonk music of the 1940’s and 50’s – and made them the basis of a primitive vernacular art song.
Miss Ronstadt and Miss Harris have both made crucial connections between country music and the Los Angeles pop mainstream by including some of the best work by country-oriented songwriters on their albums. Miss Ronstadt has included Hank Williams tunes and Motown songs on the same album, while Miss Harris has recorded most of the major songs by the late Gram Parsons, the country-oriented songwriter and singer who influenced West Coast rock groups like the Byrds and the Eagles. The Stray Cats, who draw an enthusiastic, young rock audience, perform contemporary rockabilly songs with a zest and humor that recall the young Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent.
Merle Haggard, who has never enjoyed the commercial success of high-power rock stars and who has yet to reach the mass audience that has embraced Willie Nelson, is skeptical of putting labels on musical styles.
”It seems that if they like you, they call you rock,” he said the other day. ”If they don’t like you, they call you country.” ”If CBS, who markets my product, wants to sell it in the pop field or the corn field, it’s fine with me,” he went on. ”While there’s some good music that comes out of Nashville, most of it sounds like it’s produced by a machine.” The Haggard-Nelson Ties
Mr. Haggard believes that he and Willie Nelson have basically the same viewpoint. ”We’ve been acquaintances for 20 years and friends for six or seven,” he said. ”We both had Middle-Western families, and we both admired the music of Bob Wills, Django Reinhardt, Lefty Frizzell and Tommy Duncan, who was to the Wills Band what Frank Sinatra was to Tommy Dorsey. Bing Crosby, Duncan and Frizzell were the three biggest influences on my singing.”
Mr. Haggard doesn’t mind the ”outlaw” label that was affixed to the non-Nashville-oriented singer-writers who have frequently appeared at Mr. Nelson’s picnics. ”It means a person who does his own thing, who plays his own music and is able to reproduce himself, as opposed to being the product of a producer,” he said. ”I’m still striving for something they can call Merle Haggard music – not jazz or country or hillbilly or rock. Elvis Presley did Elvis Presley music, and he did it everywhere. That’s what I’d like to see.”
Willie Nelson, who used to be a disk jockey, made the same point in even simpler terms. ”I just like good popular music of whatever kind,” he said.
“I attended this heat wave with a buddy and let me tell you… We set out for what was being called Willie’s last picnic. We made the mistake of setting out on bicycles from Houston the day before the concert. We made good time on the 3rd. It was so hot we had to get off highway 290 and find a lake. We ended up in snake country on Lake Somerville near Burton. As it was night time we couldn’t find the lake. Ended up drinking cold beer at a country store. Just as well, there we learned of the cotton mouths. Unable to sleep anywhere we decided to continue riding.
Drunk and stoned we made it back to 290 thanks to one generator light on my buddy’s bike. There we passed out in the ditch. Woke up by the sun and feeling like shit we continued on. We made it to Bastrop and realized we were going to be late. Started hitch-hiking with 2 bicycles and by god, got a ride. Classic old timer in a 50’s pick-up got us damn near the rest of the way. With about 10 miles left to ride people were dragging coolers and walking due to parking issues. Had many offers to buy our bicycles. No way! As we were a little late we had made it. I remember looking up and seeing the red cross choppers hauling people away from heat exhaustion. I remember wondering how I could get on one.
I think we had to be the hottest ones there. After getting right to the gate we didn’t budget enough money to get in. Had just enough but no extra. Discouraged but not to worried. Thanks to some bikers that bolt cut the fence behind the porta johns we were able to slip in. Got up close and got some great pictures of Willie. Still have them. Managed to see a good part of the concert. As we decided to hike back to where we locked our rides to a telephone pole we encounter a run in with some shine. Made it to the telephone pole and woke up on the 5th. It looked like a war zone. Only thing left was a massive clean-up. We helped just the same. After all we did get in free. I’m sure Willie would’ve had us back stage had he knew how hard we worked to get there.”
(Love to hear picnic stories! Thanks, Rick.)
photo: Janis Tillerson
Love this moment when Willie Nelson turns around and shakes Paul English’s hand, after the band plays, “Me and Paul.” Hard to capture sometimes, but Janis did a good job on the 4th of July
This was my first time seeing Chris Stapleton perform. He and his band, which includes his wife Morgane, performed at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic. The picnic is always fun because you get introduced to other great music that you might not normally hear. They were great.
Kentucky-born singer, songwriter and producer Chris Stapleton is one of Nashville’s most revered craftsmen, with a 15-year career that includes No. 1 hits, Grammy Award nominations, feature film contributions, the respect of his peers and, now, a new album.
Stapleton will release his highly anticipated debut “Traveller” on May 5. The Mercury Records Nashville release is the rare mainstream country album eagerly awaited by fans on both sides of the dial.
Blessed with an otherworldly voice, Stapleton earned this respect in numerous recording studios and anonymous writing rooms on Music Row and on stage as a touring headliner and opener for the most popular acts in the genre.
He has written five No. 1 songs for George Strait, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker and Josh Turner and contributed cuts to several major motion picture soundtracks. He’s also been nominated for three Grammy Awards and won the International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist of the Year award as a member of The SteelDrivers.
His songwriting credits span all genres and artists from Adele to Jason Aldean and he’s recorded with everyone from Miranda Lambert to Don Williams.
Check out their album, and learn more about the band at: www.christStapleton.com