photo: Rob Grabowski
by: John Adamian
Just pretend that Willie Nelson couldn’t sing with so much soul and grit, or that he couldn’t play that busted-up guitar like some kind of Texas Django Reinhardt, or that he wasn’t so cool with the beard, the braids and the New Balance sneakers, or that he wasn’t a walking advertisement for the creative and life-prolonging benefits of regular marijuana use.
If none of that were true, Willie would still be one of the greatest American songwriters ever. Even if he had only written, say, “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away” and “Hello Walls,” he would be a monumental figure.
But he also wrote “Bloody Mary Morning,” “Whiskey River,” “Night Life,” “The Party’s Over,” “On the Road Again,” “Time of the Preacher,” “Three Days” and dozens and dozens of seriously timeless songs. One day his face will certainly be on a stamp. He really is a national treasure. He’s 83. It seems like he plays in the area every couple months, because he’s a road warrior.
Willie Nelson and Family plays Saturday, Sept. 3 at College Street Music Hall, 238 College St., New Haven, $63 to $175. collegestreetmusichall.com.