Archive for the ‘Willie Nelson covers’ Category

Another Willie Nelson cover

Saturday, February 10th, 2018


Judy Johnson Dixon

“Gabriel wanted to match his dad so Jerry changed his shirt to match. Then of course they sang On the Road Again. They’re awesome!”

Patsy Cline sing’s Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” on Grand Ole Opry debut (Feb 7, 1962)

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Another Willie Nelson cover and tribute: Raul Malo, ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson Cover: Pretty Paper, by Roy Orbison

Friday, December 15th, 2017

“Pretty Paper” is a song written by country music singer-songwriter Willie Nelson in 1963. After being signed to Monument Records, Nelson played the song for producer Fred Foster. Foster pitched the song to Roy Orbison, who turned it into a hit. Nelson recorded his own version of the song in November 1964.

Written by Willie Nelson, the song tells the story of a street vendor who, during the holiday season, sells pencils and paper on the streets.   In October 1963, while walking in his farm in Ridgetop, Tennessee, Nelson was inspired to write the song after he remembered a man he often saw while he lived in Fort Worth, Texas. The man had his legs amputated and moved with rollers, selling paper and pencils in front of Leonard’s Department Store. To attract the attention of the people, the man announced, “Pretty paper! Pretty paper!”

In 2013, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram identified the man as Frankie Brierton, of Santo, Texas. Brierton refused to use a wheelchair, choosing instead to crawl, as he learned to move while growing up after his legs were affected by a spinal disorder. Brierton sold pencils in Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston.

Willie Nelson, along with David Ruiz, incorporated the song’s story into a book.

Santa Willie Delivers a "Pretty" Holiday Tale

Blue Rider Press

Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale

By Willie Nelson with David Ritz
Blue Rider Press, 304 pp., $23

Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Wrap your presents to your darling from you
Pretty pencils to write “I love you”
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue


Another Willie Nelson cover, “I Never Cared for You”, by Alison Krauss

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson cover — Brandi Carlisle and Amos Lee, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson cover: Alison Krauss, “I Never Cared For You”

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson cover, “Ain’t it Funny, how time slips away”, by Jim James

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James is releasing a sequel to his 2009 EP, Tribute To, which featured six George Harrison covers. Tribute To 2 is another covers album, but this time to a variety of artists, including The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, WIllie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and more. His cover of The Beach Boys’ “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” is out now, and it stays pretty true to the original but throws in some new tricks. It’s got orchestral backing, triumphant horns, and Jim James doing a nice impression of Brian Wilson’s vocal style.

The album will be out December 8 via ATO, and that same day he’ll also reissue Tribute To, which features another Bob Dylan cover as a bonus track. You can see the tracklists for both releases below.

Meanwhile, My Morning Jacket have upcoming shows, including a New Year’s Eve run in Colorado and One Big Holiday in the Dominican Republic.

Tribute To 2 – Track Listing
1. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times —- by The Beach Boys
2. Baby Don’t Go —- by Sonny & Cher
3. Wild Honey —- by Diane Izzo
4. Midnight, the Stars and You —- by Ray Noble & Al Bowlly
5. Crying in the Chapel —- by The Orioles
6. Funny How Time Slips Away —- by Willie Nelson
7. Love is the Sweetest Thing —- by Ray Noble & Al Bowlly
8. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight —- by Bob Dylan
9. Lucky Man —- by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
10. The World is Falling Down —- by Abbey Lincoln
11. Blue Skies —- by Irving Berlin
Tribute To – Reissue Track Listing
1. Long, Long, Long —- by George Harrison
2. Behind That Locked Door —- by George Harrison
3. Love You To —- by George Harrison
4. My Sweet Lord —- by George Harrison
5. Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) —- by George Harrison
6. All Things Must Pass —- by George Harrison
7. If Not For You [Bonus Track] —- by Bob Dylan

Another Willie Nelson cover: Kenny Neal, “Ain’t it Funny, How Time Slips Away”

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Jazzy Willie Nelson covers, by Gabrielle Stravelli

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017
by: Shari Lifland

Why would an Italian jazz singer from Staten Island and New Jersey create a show that celebrates the music of a country legend from Texas? Gabrielle Stravelli shared the story behind her love for Willie Nelson’s music during her recent show at New York City’s Birdland Jazz Club: It all started yers ago when her sister took her to hear Nelson at the Garden State Arts center in Holmdel, New Jersey. They were sitting in the cheap seats, way up on the hill. Willie sang “Always on My Mind,” she began crying, and a lifelong fan girl was born.

Stravelli’s Birdland performance on September 24 marked the debut of her salute to Nelson, aptly titled “City Girl, Country Boy.” Each of the 14 songs in the set was written, co-written and/or recorded by the legendary artist. From the moment she first burst on to the stage with an up tempo medley of “Lady Luck” and “If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time,” Stravelli, a petite dynamo in a chic black pantsuit accented by a large silver and turquoise statement necklace, engaged and enthralled the audience with her clear, self-assured voice and warm, infectious smile. Above all, Stravelli is a singer who honors the lyrics. Willie Nelson once described country music as “Three chords and the truth.” Stravelli gets that and she brilliantly conveys the emotional truth—whether joy, or in the case of so many country tunes, heartbreak—behind each song.

Stravelli’s second number was “Butterfly,” a ballad from Nelson’s 72nd studio album, the 2017 God’s Problem Child, and it was a show highlight. Her rendition was slow, twangy, and poignant, conveying the wistfulness of the lyrics: “Butterfly, do you ever get to stay? Or do you always fly away? Pretty butterfly. I have held you with tender, gentle hands. But you’re complicated, and I don’t understand.” Accompanied by Scott Robinson’s lilting flute, the song created a sweet, moving moment.

The song choices in “City Girl, Country Girl” spanned over five decades of Nelson’s work, with the above-mentioned “Butterfly” as the most recent, back to one of his earliest, lesser-known tunes, “Three Days” (released in 1962). Stravelli’s version, underscored by terrific solos on the drums (Eric Halvorson) and sax (Scott Robinson), was as bluesy as it gets, the perfect choice for the tune’s “I got it bad”-type lyrics: “Three days that I hate to see arrive; Three days that I dread to be alive; Three days filled with tears and sorrow; Yesterday today and tomorrow.”

Two additional highlights of the Birdland show were a pair of Nelson’s best known, most popular songs, the beloved Hoagy Carmichael standard “Stardust” and the honky tonky favorite “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys.” Stravelli’’s “Stardust” was a pivotal moment in “City Girl, Country Boy.” It began with her singing in a slow, bluesy, a cappella, accompanied only by her luminous smile and almost rhapsodic facial expression. Then Robinson joined in with a gorgeous, audience-pleasing sax solo. “Stardust,” one of Willie Nelson’s most celebrated performances, provided the title song for the quintuple platinum 1978 crossover album of jazz standards that launched him to genre-defying superstardom. Later in the show, Stravelli put a very personal spin on “Mamas…”—a very fast, upbeat, jazzy version that included extensive, joyful scatting and a inging sax solo that got the audience on its feet. The band seemed to enjoy playing the number as much as the audience enjoyed bopping along.

Stravelli closed the show with the tune that brought her to tears years before as a young girl in New Jersey—Nelson’s most recorded song, “Always on My Mind” (written by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson). Accompanied only by Joshua Richman on piano, Stravelli once again showcased her ability to honor the lyrics, artfully conveying the sentiment behind the words, as many audience members quietly sang along:

“Maybe I didn’t hold you All those lonely, lonely times I guess I never told you I’m so happy that you’re mine

Little things I should have said and done I just never took the time But you were always on my mind You were always on my mind”

R&B legend Otis Redding once gave the following advice to his fellow singers: “Always think different from the next person. Don’t ever do a song as you heard somebody else do it.” Performing works closely identified with as legendary an artist as Willie Nelson comes with a great risk of trying (and perhaps failing) to recreate the popular originals. However, for a true artist, the challenge is to use the original work as a starting point, as a canvas on which to paint one’s own creative vision. In “City Girl, Country Boy,” Gabrielle Stravelli, a brilliantly talented artist in her own right, succeeds in creating completely new works of art while honoring Nelson’s achievements.

Musicians accompanying Stravelli in “City Girl, Country Boy” were: Joshua Richman (piano), Pat O’Leary (bass/musical director/arranger), Eric Halvorson (drums), and Scott Robinson (Woodwinds).

Gabrielle Stravelli’s most recent album is Dream Ago, featuring her original songs, available on the Big Modern Music label. For more information:

Birdland Jazz Club is located at 315 West 44th Street in New York.

Another Willie Nelson cover, The Spinners, “Ain’t it Funny How Time Slips Away”

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson Cover: Jesse Dalton, “Sad Songs and Waltzes”

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Another Willie Nelson cover, “On the Road Again” (Tony Lucca, Jay Nash and Matt Duke)

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Tony Lucca partners with his friends — and frequent musical partners — Jay Nash and Matt Duke for May’s installment of The Boot’s Guest Room Sessions. Together, the three covered Willie Nelson’s beloved country classic “On the Road Again;” readers can watch above.

Lucca, Nash and Duke are all solo artists, but they also record and perform together as TFDI. For their Guest Room Sessions video, they perched themselves on the couch in Nash’s living room; their version of “On the Road Again” feels fairly autobiographical, given that the trio has spent years on the road together.

“”On the Road Again” is a song that the three of us have been fond of covering for some time now,” Lucca tells The Boot. “This was shot during a rehearsal for our current tour, in Jay’s living room, just before we literally got on the road (again) to head to Boston to kick off the tour.”

Together, Lucca, Nash and Duke released their self-titled debut EP as TFDI in 2009; they released both the TFDI II EP and their When I Stop Running album in 2011. Their most recent album, Beggars and Ballers, came out in April, and, as their Guest Room Sessions song choice indicates, they’ve spent plenty of time touring across the country. Fans can visit for upcoming show details.


Another Willie Nelson cover, Sturgill Simpson, “I’d Have to Be Crazy” (Farm Aid 2016)

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017