Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Heartbreaker Banquet at Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas (3/19/15)

Friday, March 20th, 2015

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photo:  Gary Miller

www.austinchronicle.com
by: Doug Freeman

Micah Nelson’s experimental jazz-grass outfit Insects vs Robots led off, but Lukas Nelson’s Promise of the Real proved the scion’s quartet has progressed into legitimate powerhouse, evolving beyond guitar fireworks to showcase his own songwriting talent, as his father sat smiling side stage.

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Willie’s set kept close to familiar favorites, but backed by his sons and sister Bobbie Nelson, presented a much looser and casual atmosphere, especially in closing the night by bringing friends and extended family onstage for “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

The Heartbreaker Banquet has become something of Willie’s Picnic 2.0, a singular experience of top talent and a unique setting that draws a similarly eclectic audience that only the headliner could round up.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/45431112@N00/16877675152″ title=”garymiller4 by Linda Banks, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8687/16877675152_bdd4c5fc8f.jpg” width=”333″ height=”500″ alt=”garymiller4″></a>
Annie and Bobbie Nelson
photo:  Gary Miller

Read the entire article, and see lots more great photos:

http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/music/2015-03-20/sxsw-live-shot-willie-nelsons-heartbreaker-banquet/

Willie Nelson and Family at the 2015 Austin Rodeo (March 15, 2015)

Monday, March 16th, 2015

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Janis from Texas never lets us down! Enjoy her photos from this year’s Austin Rodeo, from last night’s show. Thanks, Janis. You’re the best!

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Willie Nelson Art

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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Thanks, Stewart Patton

See Folk Uke at the Hole in the Wall in Austin (Sat. Mar. 21, 2015) (starring Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, alive and in person)

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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Saturday, March 21st, 2015
Austin, TX, 2015
The Hole In the Wall
2538 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX

Willie Nelson wows in Birmingham, Alabama (3/8/15)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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photo: Christine Prichard

www.al.com
by: Jeremy Burgess

For better or for worse, there are many older musicians – some great ones, even some legendary ones – whose live shows aren’t much more than nostalgia and shared experience, being able to say “I was there.”

Father Time is undefeated and everything gets harder when you get older; those are the facts of life, and we can’t really blame those artists when their skills begin to slip.

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photo: Christine Prichard

Willie Nelson, however, is not one of those artists.

At 81 years young, the Texas outlaw country legend sold out Iron City well in advance and showed that he’s still got it Sunday night.

The show kicked off at 8:50, and Willie brought the hits early and often – “Whiskey River,” “Still Is Still Moving To Me” and the newer “Beer For My Horses” before the first of a handful of covers in Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman.”

Willie may not be in his prime anymore, but he showed he can still play. With only one backup guitarist (and an electric at that), he handled all the main acoustic licks with no help from anybody, moving through riffs and solos with ease.

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The show was billed as “Willie Nelson & Family,” though, so he brought his kin into the fold pretty quickly.

About 20 minutes in, Willie turned it over to his sister, Bobbie, for an instrumental piano number before his son, Lukas, played his own “It’s Floodin’ Down In Texas.”

After another string of hits, including “On The Road Again” and “Always On My Mind,” and a cover of Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind,” Willie played to his crowd and strung together a trio of Hank Williams tunes in “Jambalaya (On The Bayou),” “Hey Good Lookin'” and “Move It On Over.”

The crowd loved Willie’s three-song tribute to the Alabama legend, but audience participation increased even more when he took ‘em to church with a couple of country spirituals in “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away” before adding “a new gospel song” of his own in “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die.”

Given the audience’s energy, Willie ended the show about as appropriately as he could’ve with “I Saw The Light,” both a Hank Williams song and a gospel tune.

Once the set was over, the band played on for about five minutes as Willie signed some autographs from the stage and threw a few pre-rolled bandanas into the audience (a trick he employed throughout the set that drove the ladies wild every time).

The set was only 75 minutes, which wasn’t quite what the ticket price might’ve called for. But Willie played hit after hit with plenty of appropriate covers and traditionals mixed in, so it was a loaded set free of filler.

And let’s be real – for those of us lucky to make it to 81, we’ll be fortunate to be able to just stand up for 75 minutes straight, let alone tour and sing and play guitar.

Yes, Willie’s still got it. And hopefully he brings it back around Birmingham a time or two before calling it quits.

Famous Guitars

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

http://blogs.wsj.com

Wall Street Journal
by:  Michael Driscoll

Willie Nelson has been playing an increasingly beat-up guitar he calls Trigger since 1969, around the time he abandoned Nashville. A documentary
out recently from Rolling Stone tracks the history of the instrument, which wasn’t originally designed for performance or amplification.

“You’re not supposed to play with a pick, these classical guitars,” Nelson says in the video. One consequence of that is the hollow scar that developed beneath the guitar’s sound hole, which means the instrument needs regular repairs to keep it going. Trigger is among a number of well-known guitars and other six-string quirks in popular music.

Neil Young’s Old Black

Singer and songwriter Neil Young has played many instruments in his 50-plus years of performing, but he favors a modified Gibson known as Old Black he got in 1969. The Les Paul is outfitted with a custom tailpiece that allows him to bend notes with his right hand in a way standard versions of the Les Paul don’t.

Read about Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Vedder and other guitars:

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/02/20/the-ax-man-strummeth-willies-trigger-and-other-quirky-guitars/

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Red Headed Stranger” Movie Premiere (Feb. 19, 1987)

Thursday, February 19th, 2015


On February 19, 1987, Willie Nelson’s movie, the “Red Headed Stranger” premieres in Austin, Texas. Among those attending: Morgan Fairchild, Floyd Tillman and coach Darrell Royal.

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Willie Nelson was asked about the violence in the movie, and about his character killing two women:

“If you like the song, the violence is there,” he says. “You can’t take out violence anymore than you can take evil out of books. It’s all part of life.” Adds Nelson, “This movie covers a lot of territory — from spiritualism to lust — and takes a man all the way to the bottom and back to the top. It does it to a preacher — which is a little bit unusual.”

Life Magazine August 1987 article by: Cheryl McCall

Making a movie of Red Headed Stranger, his 1975 chart-topping country album, was a powerful obsession that wouldn’t let go. From the beginning, its story of love and violence in the Old West was unfolding as a movie in his mind, says Willie Nelson. He dreamed of portraying the preacher-turned-killer on-screen. Universal Studios optioned Red Headed Stranger but eventually let it slip into “turnaround” — Hollywood limbo. So Nelson acquired the rights and spent the next five years shopping for financing. With fellow Texan Bill Wittliff – screenwriter and co producer of Country, Raggedy Man and Barbarossa — Nelson plunged into the risky business of doing their own producing.

Despite the pleading of his wife, Connie, Nelson stubbornly mortgaged property to raise $1 million for the 1879-style wardrobe, props and three Western sets. Friends and neighbors pitched in. Towns were built on land adjoining his private golf course outside Austin, turning the place into a studio back lot. Wittliff virtually ignored his book publishing business, Encino Press, to take on the chore of writing, co-producing and directing. Together, Wittliff and Nelson assembled a crew and pruned more than $11 million from Universal’s original $13.5 million budget.

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Willie Nelson sprays on a little water as he and Morgan Farichild head west. Says the TV acress, “My character just doesn’t have the pioneer spirit.”

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As preacher Julian Shay, Willie Nelson sobers up a besotted sheriff, played by R. G. Armstrong in a scene that both enjoyed in the scorching Texas heat.

They signed a native Texas, Morgan Fairchild, to play the preacher’s faithless wife and Katharine Ross (star of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), 43, as his salvation. The actresses agreed to defer half of their fees. As the cameras rolled, LIFE went on location with Red Headed Stranger.

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“If Willie Nelson is going to kill a woman, anyone in America would forgive him for killing Morgan Fairchild in this movie,” — Morgan Fairchild

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“In a funny kind of way, I just simply stepped into Willie’s dream,” says director Bill Wittliff. “It’s become an obsession for me, too. I couldn’t walk away from it.” The writer fleshed out the record album’s story of stern frontier morality with a script that explores the theme of love lost and regained against a backdrop of sin and redemption. The preacher saves a derelict town from spiritual squalor but pays a terrible price — everything he cherishes in life. By the time his rage is spent, a dozen people are dead. Nelson says he’s not the least contrite about killing two women in this film. Stranger” premieres in Austin, Texas. Among those attending: Morgan Fairchild, Floyd Tillman and coach Darrell Royal.

 

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“If you like the song, the violence is there,” he says. “You can’t take out violence anymore than you can take evil out of books. It’s all part of life.” Adds Nelson, “This movie covers a lot of territory — from spiritualism to lust — and takes a man all the way to the bottom and back to the top. It does it to a preacher — which is a little bit unusual.”

Also unorthodox is the casting of Nelson’s grandson, his band’s drummer, the bass player and a bodyguard in speaking roles. Says Wittliff, “It’s really a homegrown deal. We pulled people off the sidewalk, from restaurants, stores or wherever we spotted them for this.” His Encino Press assistant, Connie Todd, put aside her publishing duties to audition more than 350 local folks. “When we found someone with a spark, we’d work with him or her for several hours,” says Wittliff. The creative gamble has paid off with lively performances from an Austin security guard, a waitress and a computer programmer.

It’s a measure of the loyalty Nelson inspires that his cast and crew are willing to endure 14-hour days on a location as hot and fly-ridden as Calcutta. What’s more, they are remarkably cheerful about it. Explains bit player Bo Franks, a cohort and gun collector, “I’m doing this for free. Everybody is here because they want to be part of Willie’s dream. We’re busting our butts because we wouldn’t think of letting him down.” From the Austin hatter who made and donated dozens of period hats to the realtor who lent a 19th century water drilling rig, friends contributed what they could. img029

Says his daughter Lana, ‘Daddy has set such a good example for everyone that you don’t want to be the one to goof it up.”

As the end of the shooting approaches, day drags into night and exhaustion and tension mount. Mistakes are made, lines misbelieved, and the horses — spooked by gunfire — are edgy.

The only uncooperative member of the cast during the whole 39 days of shooting was a balky pony. “Willie, we got a problem here,” crackled a walkie-talkie. “The horse wants to know what his motivation is for pulling the plow.”

Nelson drinks cups of coffee and cracks jokes. Scenes are repeated until all the angles have been filmed. At 5:30 a.m., they break. Twelve hours later, after filming the preacher and the wife traveling west in a covered wagon, Wittliff and Nelson say the magic words, “That’s a wrap!”

The film opens next month, with Willie Nelson singing Red-Headed Stranger songs throughout his movie.

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Willie Nelson Glasses

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

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www.WillieNelson.com

$14.99

Maleable Silipints that can handle any drink. Make sure to pick up these special silipints before it’s too late!
• 100% Food-Grade Silicone
• BPA Free
• Unbreakable
• Microwave Safe
• Dishwasher Safe
• Freezer Safe
• Insulates Hot & Cold

Ain’t That America: Farm Aid

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

 

http://raleighco.com

by:  Jen Baker

The Patchwork quilt of humanity stretched as far as the eye could see, an ocean of cowboy boots, camo, tattoos, tie-dye, overalls, rhinestone jeans, biker graphics, bare feet, skin-tight yoga pants, oversize sweaters, sports bras, sundresses, plaid shirts, flip flops, all black. Even a guy wearing a Day-Glo green t-shirt proclaiming “Put a little South in yer Mouth.” The far ends of the political spectrum and thousands in the middle seemed to agree for a day, coexisting peacefully side-by-side, happily celebrating one of the most red-white-and-blue things of all: outdoor live music, for a cause.

“Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me

Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby

Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah

Little pink houses for you and me, oh for you and me”


AsI sat cross-legged on the Walnut Creek Amphitheater lawn, listening to John Mellencamp belt out these lyrics from a song much older than many of the people in the audience who were singing along at the tops of their lungs, it struck me that Farm Aid is really about as much America as you can get in one place.

It’s not only the musicians from the myriad genres who donated their talents, or the 20,000-some people from all walks of life who spent 12-ish hours enjoying the performances. It’s not just about the freedom to drink a locally crafted draft beer, washing down an NC BBQ pork sandwich with coleslaw and grilled corn on the cob. Mostly, it’s America because the day is really about the farmers just down the road who make that all possible.

Farming truly is the core of America’s history, starting with the Pilgrims who celebrated our first Thanksgiving with their bountiful harvest and continuing with the pilgrimage out west and the settlers who made their own “patchwork quilts” out of farmed land along the way. Of course agriculture isn’t just an American story, it’s an ancient one told as humans found a way to survive without hunting and gathering, but I would argue that we uniquely embrace it as part of our shared history.

Myfamily was a part of that history. My dad and grandfather farmed just over 300 acres in the Midwest, raising pigs, hay, corn and soybeans to sell for what life required that they couldn’t provide for themselves. Cows gave milk and made the barn cats happy with a few drops squirted their way. Chickens were a staple, with eggs always in ample supply. They grew wheat to grind into flour, and my mom and grandmother planted huge gardens for fresh vegetables, canning the rest since freezing it wasn’t an option — they didn’t even have electricity until 1951. The garden harvest included a half-acre of potatoes to stock up for the long, cold winter. Can you imagine just how many potatoes they would have unearthed from a space larger than most Raleigh-sized residential lots? Today it’s a commitment for me to buy a five-pound bag at Harris Teeter.

Farming then was a way of life, simple and straightforward, with 12-14 hour days of hard labor mixed in with fishing and hunting for entertainment and variety on our plates.

Although it wasn’t a financial struggle that ended our family’s farming heritage — it was the 1960s-era dam the Army Corps of Engineers built to manage flooding that flooded our land with its rising lake waters — that struggle was very real for many of our friends and our community.

Neil Young, Willie Nelson, “Long May You Run” (Farm Aid 1997)

Monday, February 9th, 2015

17th Annual Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert (Feb. 5, 2015)

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

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http://music.blog.ajc.com

by: Melissa Ruggieri

LOS ANGELES – The days leading up to Sunday’s Grammy Awards are always stuffed with special concerts, benefits and chances to debut a new product and attach a random celebrity’s name to it.

Thursday night brought the trifecta of the Essence Black Women in Music event at Avalon Hollywood with Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Brandy and many others, while at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, Childish Gambino and The Weekend were the musical guests at the Google Play/Rolling Stone event.

I wasn’t invited to either of those.

But that’s totally cool, because I was invited to the 17th Annual Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert at the charming Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

With a lineup spanning Aloe Blacc to Melissa Etheridge to Willie Nelson to John Mellencamp to Walk the Moon to Robin Thicke, the concert was a feel-good soiree with a message.

This “Celebration of Music and Philanthropy” focused on the theme of the collaborative power and paid tribute, in a way, to some of the most effective charity concerts in music history, from George Harrison’s groundbreaking “Concert for Bangladesh” to now 30 years of “Farm Aid” to the continent-spanning “Live Aid.”

Singer Rozzi Crane led the opening number designed to set the tone – “Ooh Child” and The Youngbloods’ “Get Together.” The powerful singer is opening for Maroon 5 on their tour that comes to Philips Arena on Feb. 19. A suggestion: Get thee to the venue in time to catch her set.

Aloe Blacc was smoothness personified on “We Shall Overcome,” and later sang “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” as Melissa Etheridge burned up her guitar strings with a solo that was every bit as potent as Eric Clapton’s original.

To recognize the 30th anniversary of “Farm Aid,” a video about its inception played. Prominently featured in the clip was Atlanta-based entertainment lawyer Joel Katz, who recalled Willie Nelson giving him a call – Nelson’s pet name for Katz was “little buddy” – because he wanted to know how “Farm Aid” could be financed. Katz worked his magic on a deal initially sketched out on a napkin, and the rest really is history.

While Neil Young, a major member of the “Farm Aid” team wasn’t there, Mellencamp and Nelson took the stage separately. In a black suit, Mellencamp performed with his acoustic guitar the pensive ballad “Longest Days,” from his 2008 album, “Life, Death, Love and Freedom.”

Mellencamp and Nelson, also clad in black, including a cowboy hat, embraced as they crossed each other on the stage before Nelson and some members of his band – along with the house band for the show – romped through “We Don’t Run” and “On the Road Again.”

While Cyndi Lauper was initially billed as one of the guests, an “unforeseen family emergency” prevented her from attending and talking about her work with her True Colors Foundation.

The Plain White T’s gamely filled in and presented a fist-pumping version of “True Colors,” which was memorable for its unique approach.

The surprising highlight of the show, though, was the emerging Ohio pop-rock quartet Walk the Moon. They’re currently garnering attention for the insanely catchy “Shut Up and Dance with Me,” but on this night, the band opted for a robust cover of The Killers’ “All These Things I’ve Done” – an apt choice given there is more than a hint of the Killers’ sound in Walk’s retro-pop.

The band also churned out a respectable cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” but was especially impressive with their faithful rendition of The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.” Of course, they had a major assist from guitar legend Waddy Wachtel and R&B songstress Deborah Cox, who filled in a few more lines than Merry Clayton. But Walk the Moon singer Nicholas Petricca ably handled Mick Jagger’s slithering lyrics.

Toward the end of the concert, Kristen Madsen, senior vice president of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares, reminded the audience of the impact of both – for music in general and the musicians who create it.

Friday night brings the annual MusiCares concert . This year’s honoree is Bob Dylan, who will be feted by Bruce Springsteen, Derek Trucks, Alanis Morissette, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt and Mellencamp, among many others.

Stay tuned.

chris pizzello
by: Chris Pizzello

Spring NORML Fundraiser at Pedernales Cut and Putt (Saturday, March 28, 2015)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

DSC_0764 by you.

Join us, 419 Events (Chris and Rebecca Thomas and Kathy Crawford) for the Spring NORML Fundraiser at our favorite Hill Country course! For the golf tournament particpants, the day starts with a coffee and breakfast with registration at 8:00 am sharp followed by a 9:00 am tee time and 9 holes of golf. Price will be 75.00 per person and includes a cart. Registration for the afternoon group will start at 12:00 and will include lunch and carts for the 75.00 fee with a tee off time of 1:00. Hole sponsorships are 100.00 per sponsor and booth fees for vendors are 40.00. Contact 419 Events at 419eventstx@gmail.com to get on the list!

Vendors set up at 10:00 and live music starts at 11:00 am! Even if you don’t play golf, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to shop among local artists and vendors while listening to our favorite bands that want to help support the movement of legalizing marijuana for medical and life saving purposes.

Call Fran at the Cut and Putt 512.264.1489 to sign your team up for the tournament!

https://www.facebook.com/events/422196121263215

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Willie Nelson and Family on Tour

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

January 29, 2015 Emerald Queen Casino  Tacoma, WA
January 30, 31, 2015 Chinook Winds Casino  Lincoln City, OR
February 2, 2015 Wells Fargo Center for Arts  Santa Rosa, CA
February 3, 2015 Bob Hope Theater  Stockton, CA
February 4, 2015 Majestic Ventura Theater  Ventura, CA
February 27, 2015 The Tabernacle  Atlanta, GA
February 28, 2015 Harrah’s Cherokee  Cherokee, NC
March 1, 2015 Johnny Mercer Theater  Savannah, GA
March 3, 4, 2015 Ryman Auditorium  Nashville, TN
March  6,7, 2015 IP casino  Biloxi, MS
March 8, 2015 Iron City  Birmingham, AL
March 14, 2015 IAustin Rodeo  Austin, TX
March 26,27, 28, 2015 Whitewater Amphitheater (with Merle Haggard)  New Braunfels, TX
March 30, 2015 Missouri Theater  Columbia, MO
March 31, 2015 Shrine Auditorium  Springfield, MO
April 2, 2015 L Scheldegger  Resort
April 3, 2015 First Council Casino  New Kirk, OK
April 4, 2015 Winstar Casino (with
Merle Haggard
Thackerville, OK

It’s Shoeshine Friday! Come on, get out on the floor, everyone’s going to dance to this one

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Willie Nelson & Family Live in Tucson (review and photos, by Mary Francis Andrews)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

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photo: Mary Francis Andrews

http://www.examiner.com

by: Mary Francis Andrews

Willie Nelson brought his “Family” to a sold out show at the Desert Diamond Casino Theatre Saturday, January 3, 2015 to start the concert season off with a bang! This was one of many sold out shows that Willie has headlined in Tucson. It seems that Tucsonans can’t get enough of Willie Nelson.

This review must be prefaced with a statement that it is impossible to write an impartial review of a Willie Nelson concert when his music in some shape or form has been in the background of our lives since childhood. Country fan or not, the soundtrack probably started with Patsy Cline’s rendition of “Crazy” from the early sixties of the last century. Mr. Nelson wrote the song during his tenure as a Nashville songwriter for ten years. Throngs of fans have those same memories and come out in droves to see the aging legend when his bus rolls into town. Willie Nelson does not disappoint the fans. He still travels approximately 150 tour dates per year. That’s in addition to playing his Farm Aid charity event and his 4th of July annual concert event. Willie has released no less than one album a year.

The “Honeysuckle Rose,” Willie’s bus, rolled into town earlier in the day. The bus is probably Willie’s most comfortable home since he has spent so much time there. One can imagine that Willie napped prior to the show until someone woke him for show time. A face wash, a hair slick-down, a tee-shirt change, a quick massage and Willie was ready for Tucson. He quietly walked on stage and picked up “Trigger,” the most famous Martin guitar in the world and led the band in the first notes of “Whiskey River.” The fans were up on their feet cheering for their hero!

Willie played what seemed like non-stop from one song to the next. There was the traditional “Hello, Tucson” and “thank you’s” between the songs. What made this show special were several factors. First, the set list was all the Willie Nelson classics. The audience knew every song by heart and they were the biggest choral group Willie could have dreamed of having! The newest song was “Band of Brothers” from this year’s album release of new music in June. Willie managed to seamlessly weave the song in to the set as if he had played it for years. Willie’s voice may not be the same as years gone by, but his classic ‘phrasing’ is spot on classic Willie.

Willie’s guitar picking was on par with the best. Willie has been very candid about his admiration for Django Reinhardt’s guitar style. Willie delivered a rousing rendition of Django’s “Nuages.” Willie played guitar solos on “Georgia On My Mind,” “Beer For My Horses,” and he actually played more than he sang. Willie was supported by his long-standing, “Family,” band. His sister, Bobbie Nelson, played piano. Harmonica virtuoso, Mickey Raphael played many solos throughout the show. Paul English played percussion and, his brother, Billy English, played drums. Kevin Smith rounded out the band, expertly played both electric bass guitar and acoustic stand-up bass. Willie’s daughter, Amy Nelson, was also on hand to sing harmony during “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” One must take note that Willie has had a longer relationship with his band members than any of his four marriages. That can also be said about Willie’s relationship with his audience.

Willie finished the 70-minute set by traveling across the front of the stage shaking hands, signing memorabilia, and talking to the fans. This was when he seemed to be the happiest. He left the stage as quietly as his entrance and returned to the bus and left for the next show tomorrow night in Phoenix.

At the age of 81, Willie had seen the bulk of his best buddies and collaborators pass on. He has managed to augment his life with young family and new friends. His music, touring, fans and band remain a stable entity in his busy life. We are all the better for having some Willie Nelson in our life!

For a complete set list, click here. For an ongoing commentary of Willie’s past and present career visit stillisstillmoving.com.

Read entire article here and see more great photos taken by Mary Francis Andrews:

http://www.examiner.com/review/willie-nelson-and-family-brings-the-2015-concert-season-to-tucson