Archive for the ‘Venues’ Category

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at Austin360 Amphitheater (7/4/2017)

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Thanks, Janis Tillerson, for photos of the venue before the excitement begins in Austin today.  That’s a big place.

Texas Honkytonks: 75 Years of Floore’s Country Store

Monday, April 17th, 2017
by: C.J. Lotz

Of course, the boot-scuffed concrete floors, cinder-block walls, and corrugated ceilings of John T. Floore Country Store can’t actually talk, but they sure do tell some stories. “The rafters have all kinds of things hanging from them—cowboy hats and farm tools,” says managing partner Mark McKinney of the renowned café turned honky-tonk on the outskirts of San Antonio. “There is a legend that John Wayne hung his boots up here and never marked which pair so they wouldn’t get stolen.”

The Redheaded Stranger’s career launched here. Several circa-1960s hand-painted signs still announce WILLIE NELSON EVERY SAT. NITE. Another proclaims, WORLD’S BEST HOMEMADE TAMALES. Order one of them with an ice-cold Shiner Bock before taking a turn on the dance floor to celebrate the landmark’s seventy-fifth anniversary.

The party kicks off with a two-night set from Robert Earl Keen and the Randy Rogers Band (Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15). The rest of the 2017 lineup is filled with audience-favorite country, blues, and Americana acts. “Bands come here and tell me they’ve played venues all over the country and there’s no place like Floore’s,” McKinney says. “I don’t have an easy answer for what the magic is.” But even if he did, a magician never reveals his secrets.

Willie Nelson & Family at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay (April 26, 2017)

Monday, March 27th, 2017
by: George Varga

Last year was a bucket-list trifecta for Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Its 2016 season lineup included Bob Dylan and Tom Petty’s debut performances at the intimate Shelter Island venue, along with Jimmy Buffett’s first Humphrey’s show since 1984.

The 2017 lineup features Willie Nelson, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, the Doobie Brothers, the Gipsy Kings, Bill Maher and The Temptations.

The 2017 season will also feature more than a dozen newcomers to the venue. They include Father John Misty and BANKS — both of whom are also playing at the 2017 Coachella festival — along with Ziggy Marley, King Crimson, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Larry Graham, Blind Pilot, Il Divo, Carla Morrison, The Flirts, Aoife O’Donovan, Raury, Tim Heidecker and Ron Dante, the former lead singer in The Archies, The Cuff Links and The Detergents.


Wednesday, April 12: Father John Misty, with Tim Heidecker, $40 (general admission/standing room only)**

Thursday, April 13: BANKS, with Raury (general admission/standing room only), $45**

Monday/Tuesday, April 17-18: Steely Dan, $185**

Thursday, April 20: Lila Downs, 8 p.m.$48**

Sunday, April 23: David Crosby & Friends, $61**

Wednesday, April 26: Willie Nelson & Family, with Steve Moakler, $129.50**

Tuesday, May 23: Rodriguez, 8 p.m., $48**

Wednesday, May 24: Melissa Etheridge, with Celisse Henderson, $63

Friday, June 2: Dana Carvey, $67

Tuesday, June 6: Sheryl Crow, with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, $96.50


Willie Nelson & Family at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Thanks, Margie Lemons, for sharing photos husband Bobby Lemons sent from the sold-out Willie Nelson & Family show at the Rodeo in Houston.  77,000 fans gathered for the show, the Rodeo’s biggest ever.

And to Pat Wiley Keeney, for photos she took at the show.

Willie Nelson’s First New York Appearance: Max’s Kansas City (May 16 – 21, 1973)

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Willie Nelson and Family in Wilmington, NC (May 24, 2016)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

by:  Brian Mull

The legendary Willie Nelson will play a sold-out concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater on Tuesday, May 24th.

Over the last seven decades the American icon has written and recorded songs that transcend genres and generations. He’s influenced and inspired thousands of musicians on the ride and shared the tunes through perpetual touring with his family band. Nelson turned 83 last month and just keeps on playing.

In advance of such a highly anticipated concert at an idyllic venue, we asked area musicians to offer their thoughts on Willie.

Eric Miller is the lead singer and primary songwriter in Wilmington band L Shape Lot, which will open the show for Nelson. Miller was in high school and a self-described “hip-hop kid” when he first heard Nelson’s 1975 concept album “Red Headed Stranger.” Miller describes the opportunity to open this show as a career highlight.

“He’s my all-time hero,” Miller said. “He’s timeless and there’s a purity to who he is as an artist. For a blue-collar musician like myself this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Wilmington singer-songwriter Jim Ashley was one of Nelson’s lucky fans to snag tickets, which sold out in minutes when they went on sale online two months ago.

“I’ve been a big fan since the ’70s,” Ashley wrote in a Facebook message. “I saw him live for the first time in 2012 at Brunswick Community College. And I was blown away! I had heard all the songs, all the albums, I had seen him on ‘Austin City Limits’ and other TV shows. But seeing him live was amazing. His guitar playing especially, he is one of those players that it’s like the guitar is part of him.”

“I don’t play many of his songs,” Ashley added, “and I don’t sound anything like Willie. But I still consider him one of my biggest influences.”

Benji Smith plays stand up bass in Wilmington band No Dollar Shoes.

“For me, growing up, my father only had Willie Nelson tapes and that’s about all he listened to,” Smith said. “I remember blaring that in his old MG convertible driving through corn fields while he would let me steer at 5 years old. Good times.”

Smith’s bandmate, guitarist Jesse Jewell, is also planning to attend the show. He described Nelson as a national treasure who has inspired every musician he knows.

“I’ve always respected Willie for his ability to write serious/heartbreaking songs, all while maintaining the element of fun,” Jewell said. “Lots of songwriters seem to only be capable of either silly or depressing. Willie has always been able to find middle ground.”

Wilmington musician Big Al Hall recalled watching Nelson perform at Farm Aid IV in the late 1980s. There was a revolving stage as the main acts rotated. Nelson spent time there, of course, but also played on the side stage, where he entertained fans between sets. He must have played with 100 different musicians that day, Hall said.

“He’s been a huge inspiration,” Hall said. “I take pride in doing a weekly bluegrass jam (at the Satellite Bar & Lounge). He kept things local when he reinvented himself in Texas. He started a model where a lot of musicians do not have to leave the state of Texas to have a successful touring life. The heart of who he is always comes through in everything he does. His writing is so strong and he approaches music like it’s supposed to be played and shared.”

Wilmington musician and actor Zach Hanner grew up in a musical family in Pilot Mountain, N.C. His introduction to Nelson was also the “Red Headed Stranger” album.

“I just remember listening to it over and over,” Hanner said. “You hear that guitar (Trigger) with the giant hole in it and immediately you know who is playing.”

Hanner lived in New York City in the ’90s, when he saw Nelson play at a club called Tramp’s. Even though Nelson was in his 60s at the time, he played for over three hours.

If you think about it, it’s a phenomenal feat for one person to record songs with artists as diverse as Waylon Jennings, Snoop Dogg, Ray Charles, Keith Richards and Wynton Marsalis and deliver the goods each time.

“I think that Willie has been popular with musicians across the genres because he obviously feels a connection with them, through music,” Jewell said. “He’s such a genuine guy that they feel that connection as well.”

Willie Nelson at the Golden Nugget

Friday, April 22nd, 2016


Willie Nelson & Family @The Rose Center (Huber Heights, OH) (June 22, 2016)

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016


The Rose Music Center in Huber Heights announced  that Willie Nelson will be performing at the venue this summer.

The country music icon, along with The Mavericks, will play at the Rose Music Center on Wednesday, June 22.

The doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday at, the Rose Music Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800-745-3000.

Willie Nelson & Family (Whitewater Amphitheater) (April 15, 2016)

Sunday, April 17th, 2016


“Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke”

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

by: Joe Leydon

An entertaining celebration of an Austin mecca for boot-scooters and two-steppers.

Documentarians Brenda Greene Mitchell and Sam Wainwright Douglas share their unbridled affection for a decades-old Texas dance hall in “Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke.” This storied mecca for boot-scooters and two-steppers may not be much to look at it — truth to tell, it might require major renovation to qualify as ramshackle — but it has survived and thrived since 1964 on Austin’s South Lamar Boulevard, even as condo high-rises have, quite literally, sprung up all around it.

James White

Owner-operators James and Annetta White have plenty of stories to tell, as do frequent Broken Spoke performers like Willie Nelson and Dale Watson, adding to a tasty mix of music and memories that doubtless will make the playlist of many PBS stations, and should wind up a top-selling DVD/Blu-ray souvenir in what passes for a gift shop at the Austin honky-tonk.

James White freely admits that, back in the day, he wasn’t able to afford highly skilled labor to the build the Broken Spoke. Indeed, he says, at some time or another since the ’60s, “Every drunk in South Austin has worked on this place.” Over the years, the slipshod construction has necessitated some, ahem, imaginative patch-up work — including the installation of a tin roof beneath the original ceiling to shelter patrons from leakage during rainfall.

But neither the haphazard structure nor the relatively tiny stage has kept the Broken Spoke from attracting an impressing array of country music performers, ranging from Western Swing icon Bob Wills to living legend George Strait, and drawing international throngs to its well-trod dance floor during the past five decades.


Dancing is practically mandatory at the Broken Spoke, a place where, as one veteran performer explains, entertainers both famous and obscure are expected to “play music for men and women who want to touch each other in public.” Terri White, James and Annetta’s daughter, is on hand most evenings to teach anxious newcomers how to two-step. (Another daughter, Ginny White-Peacock, sews the rhinestone-bedecked outfits that James wears on stage while greeting customers, introducing musical acts and, occasionally, singing with the bands.) Usually, another interviewee notes, there is a marked difference between dance halls and honky-tonks — the former is where you take your wife, while the latter is where you take someone else’s wife. But the Broken Spoke prides itself on being the best of both worlds.

(Not incidentally, “Honky Tonk Heaven” celebrates Austin as a whole as the live music capital of the known universe, primarily because it is a place where people are encouraged to dance — unlike, say, Nashville. “They don’t dance in Tennessee,” claims a Broken Spoke regular. “I don’t know what the problem is. Maybe too much religion.”)

Clocking in at a trim but satisfying 75 minutes, “Honky Tonk Heaven” indicates the enduring and widespread appeal of the Austin institution it celebrates — look quickly, and you see photos of folks like Michael Caine and Dan Rather among the pictures of celebrity performers and patrons — even as it discreetly raises the question of whether such a no-frills, down-home venue can survive amid the explosive modernization of Austin.

James and Annetta White, whose long personal and professional union has been the driving force behind the Broken Spoke, appear determined to keep the family business going as long as possible. Will the day ever come when the last call is announced? Anyone who sees and enjoys this entertaining documentary certainly will hope that the song never ends.


(Documentary) A Wild Blue Yonder Films production. Produced by Brenda Greene Mitchell, Michelle Randolph Faires.  Executive producers, Maria J. McDonald, Scott Mitchell. Co-producers,  Jenny Holm, Alexandra “Ecky” Malick, Andrea Ogden, Cheree Hamblin Hayes.


Directed by Brenda Greene Mitchell, Sam Wainwright Douglas. Camera (color), David Layton, Lee Daniel; editor, Douglas; music supervisor, Andrew Halbreich; sound, Landry Gideon, Ginny Rowland, Matt Bryan, Justin Hennard, Isaac Hammons.


James White, Annetta White, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dale Watson, Alvin Crow, James Hand, Jesse Dayton, Joe Nick Patoski, Cornell Hurd, Ginny White-Peacock, Terri White.

Willie Nelson & Family at the Peabody Opera House, St. Louis (Sat. April 9, 2016)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016



Willie Nelson
7 p.m., $56.50-$122
Peabody Opera House
1400 Market St
St. Louis, Missouri

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Merle Haggard is canceling his April performances with Willie Nelson & Family.  He has received doctor’s orders to complete his recovery from double pneumonia by continuing to rest. 

Merle says “I want to thank my fans for their prayers and well wishes.  I hope to be back on the road in May, but I’m taking it one day at a time.”

The Willie Nelson & Family tour will continue in St. Louis on April 9th with Jamey Johnson and Ryan Bingham joining Willie Nelson.

With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger, and Stardust. Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force.

In the last five years alone he delivered nine new album releases (of which one resulted in a Grammy Award win), released a Top 10 New York Times’ bestsellers book, again headlined Farm Aid, an event he co-founded in 1985, received his 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, and graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

In 2013, Willie’s albums included Let’s Face The Music And Dance, an album of deep pop country repertoire classics performed with transformative patented ease by Nelson and Family, his long-time touring and recording ensemble; and To All The Girls… which features 18 duets with music’s top female singers. In 2014, he released Band of Brothers, a 14-track studio album of new recording that debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart and #1 on Billboard’s Country album chart, and December Day: Willie’s Stash Vol. 1, an eclectic album collaboration of intimate new recordings from Willie and Sister Bobbie Nelson.

This year he adds two more titles. On May 5, 2015, “It’s A Long Story: My Life,” the unvarnished and complete story of Willie, hit bookshelves and landed him on the New York Times’ bestsellers list. In June, a new album with Merle Haggard titled Django And Jimmie, debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Country album chart and #7 on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart.

Tickets may be purchased at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at There is a facility fee on all tickets purchased at all locations, including at the Scottrade Center Box Office. Additional Ticketmaster service charges and handling fees apply to all tickets purchased through Ticketmaster outlets, by phone or online. For disabled seating, call 314-622-5420.

Willie Nelson at the Red Neck Country Club (Mar. 11, 2016)

Saturday, March 12th, 2016



Seating at the Red Neck Country Club


Willie Nelson & Family in Nashville at Schermerhorn Symphony Center (Nashville) (February 11 and 12, 2016)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

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Willie Nelson & Family will perform at two shows Thursday night and Friday night in Nashville, at this amazing venue.

Named in honor of the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the GRAMMY Award-winning Nashville Symphony for 22 years, Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home of the Nashville Symphony. Located in downtown Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood, across from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the buidling hosts a wide range of musical events, including classical, pops, jazz, and world music.

Construction of Schermerhorn Symphony Center began in December 2003. Less than three years later, the building opened to the public on September 9, 2006. The design was inspired by some of the world’s great concert halls, many of which were built in Europe in the late 19th century. The building’s main venue, the 1,844-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall, is one of the few halls nationwide to feature natural interior light through 30 special soundproof windows. Seats are distributed over three levels, including a special choral loft behind the stage, which can seat up to 146 chorus members or audience members during non-choral performances. The stage can accommodate up to 115 musicians. The design of Laura Turner Concert Hall provides vivid acoustical clarity, warmth and reverberation specifically catering to the sound of natural instruments. An automated system of movable banners and panels located around the hall can adjust the acoustics to accommodate a variety of musical genres.

The hall also features a custom-built concert organ, crafted by Schoenstein & Co. of San Francisco, comprised of 47 voices, 64 ranks and 3,568 pipes with three 32-foot stops that create a lyrical sound with expressive range. For more information on the organ, click here.

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One of the most innovative features of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a convertible seating system designed to give the hall unique versatility. The orchestra level seating of Laura Turner Concert Hall can be transformed from rows of theater-style seating to a 5,700-square-foot hardwood ballroom floor, typically used for cabaret-style events such as pops and jazz concerts. A unique motorized system lowers rows of seats into a special storage space below the surface of the ballroom floor. This convertible system gives the concert hall great flexibility for numerous types of events throughout the year.


In addition to this state-of-the-art concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center houses the Mike Curb Family Music Education Hall, a 3,000-square-foot space designed to accommodate performances, educational events, meetings and other gatherings. The building regularly hosts concerts for schoolchildren and a wide variety of special events, including weddings, conferences, luncheons and corporate meetings. For information about renting Schermerhorn Symphony Center, click here.

The building also has a public garden enclosed by a colonnade. Facing Hall of Fame Park across Fourth Avenue South, the garden is open to the public throughout the day and during concerts. The adjacent Cherry Street {eatery & sweetery} serves breakfast and lunch, and is open on concert evenings as well.


Willie Nelson @Gruene Hall (November 16, 2014)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016



Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built. The 6,000 square foot dance hall with a high pitched tin roof still has the original layout with side flaps for open air dancing, a bar in the front, a small lighted stage in the back and a huge outdoor garden. Advertisement signs from the 1930s and 40s still hang in the old hall and around the stage.

In the 1800s, Gruene Hall held weekly dances and played host to everything from traveling salesmen to high school graduations to badger fights. Today, the Hall has continued to be a center for the Gruene and Central Texas social and entertainment scene, and the activities are just as varied. In any given week, locals hold court in the front bar after work talking over their day’s activities, a friend’s passing, the weather or the state of the economy. Possibly at the same time, the filming of a movie or commercial or preparation for a festival, fundraiser or a major corporation’s private party may be taking place in the main hall or beer garden.

Under the current ownership, Gruene Hall has become internationally recognized as a destination tourist attraction and major music venue for up-and-coming as well as established artists. Since 1975, the Hall has played host to hundreds of celebrities whose pictures adorn the walls. The owner’s focus on booking singer-songwriters and artists who play original material has provided a fertile proving ground for many former “new talents” such as George Strait, Hal Ketchum, and Lyle Lovett.
Gruene Hall has also become a place where working songwriters, such as John Hiatt or Rodney Crowell, Kevin Welch or Jim Lauderdale, can try out new material or just take a breather between tour dates; where music icons such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Merle Haggard or Kris Kristofferson can play in a more intimate venue; where former “up and comers” such as Garth Brooks, Chris Isaak or the Dixie Chicks can extend their tour; and where big names such as Willie Nelson and Aaron Neville have chosen to perform.

Willie Nelson Art, Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD

Monday, December 21st, 2015


Photo from Mitchell, South Dakota, of the Corn Palace, when mural of Willie Nelson is completed, as the final pieces of corn are nailed onto the wall. The theme for 2016 at the Corn Palace is “Rock of Ages,” and pays tribute to some of the biggest musical artists and genres. Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson are among some of the easily recognizable musicians featured.