Willie Nelson & Family on Coney Island (September 13, 2016)

September 13th, 2021

Willie Nelson Art

September 13th, 2021

Farm Aid (Sept. 25, 2021) In Person or Streaming

September 12th, 2021
May be an image of text that says 'FARM AIP 2021 SEPTEMBER 25 HARTFORD CT Three ways to watch Farm Aid 2021 ive live performances & hear from family farmers and artists: Stream the Farm Aid 2021 webcast at FarmAid.org starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Tune into SiriusXM's Willie's Roadhouse (channel 59), or Dave Matthews Band Radio (channel 30) starting at 12:00 p.m. ET. Watch Circle Network's live on-air broadcast of "Farm Aid 2021" beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.'


Willie Nelson and Tom Petty

September 12th, 2021

“That’s Life,” — Willie Nelson

September 12th, 2021

Willie Nelson and Family, Outlaw Music Festival in Philadelphia (9.11.21)

September 12th, 2021
Willie Nelson & Family perform at the Outlaw Music Festival at the Mann Music Center on Sept. 11, 2021.  (These photos are not allowed to be sold, republished, or made available to wire services.)

photo: Charles Fox

by: Dan DeLuca

The lineup for the Outlaw Music Festival tour at the Mann Center on Saturday was formidable.

The make-sure-you-get-there-early opener was Nashville songwriter Margo Price, finally out on the road again to spread the word about last year’s exemplary That’s How Rumors Get Started.

Price was followed first by guitarist Warren Haynes’ Southern rock band Gov’t Mule, and then by full-of-surprises country tough guy Sturgill Simpson, backed by a dazzling band of bluegrass musicians.

And, oh yeah, the last act to hit the stage: some guy named Willie Nelson.

Fans could be forgiven for tempering expectations for Nelson’s closing set. Sure, the “Red Headed Stranger” is the essential embodiment of the Outlaw brand, dating to when he and Waylon Jennings flipped the bird to Nashville and planted a nonconformist flag in Texas in the 1970s.

Willie Nelson and son Micah Nelson perform a duet at the Outlaw Music Festival at the Mann Music Center Saturday.

But on Saturday night at the nearly sold-out Mann — where proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test was required for entry, and mask compliance was better than at last week’s Made In America festival — Nelson was allotted only an hour of stage time, 15 minutes less than both Simpson and Gov’t Mule. Touring with his Family band, he was seated with pianist sister, Bobbi, on his right and guitarist son, Micah, on his left.

Micah eased the load for his father by taking lead vocals on four songs, including the country gospel standard “Keep on the Sunnyside” and the brand new “If I Die When I’m High I’ll Be Halfway to Heaven,” which Micah said he wrote after his father suggested the title.

Opening as always with “Whiskey River,” as an American flag backdrop was revealed — replacing an Outlaw tableau featuring a tour bus trailed by clouds of smoke disappearing into a tree — Willie took a little while to warm up.

He set the mood with the Zen koan “Still Is Still Moving to Me,” then eased into wistful, melancholy standards, some of which he wrote himself, such as “Crazy” and “Night Life,” and others, such as “Always on My Mind,” that he has made so indelible you just assume he wrote them.

Like an aging athlete finding his footing, Nelson got stronger as the show went on, his vocals more robust, the gypsy-jazz leads he squeezed out of his acoustic guitar Trigger friskier. The pairing of Hoagy Carmichael’s (by way of Ray Charles) “Georgia on My Mind” and Billy Jo Shaver’s “Georgia on a Fast Train” was particularly winning.

And by the time the encores rolled around, with all the evening’s featured performers joining him for the country gospel sing-alongs on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and “I’ll Fly Away,” Nelson was commanding the stage from his seated position.

So much so that he decided to throw Mac Davis’ mock boastful “It’s Hard to Be Humble” as a closer on what was an evening of 5½ hours of performances. “To know me is to love me,” Nelson sang playfully. Indeed it is, and all the more so now, considering how vital and indomitable of an artist he remains at age 88.

Read entire review here.

Billboard Top Country Albums

September 12th, 2021

Willie Nelson in San Antonio (Jan. 22, 1977)

September 11th, 2021

September 10th, 2021

Willie Nelson & Family on Tour

September 9th, 2021
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Buy tickets at www.WillieNelson.com

September 10
Outlaw Music Festival, Gilford, NH
with Sturgis Simpson, Margo Price, Gov’t Mule
September 11
Outlaw Music Festival, Philadelphia, PA
with Sturgis Simpson, Margo Price, Gov’t Mule
September 12
Outlaw Music Festival, Saratoga Springs, MD
with Sturgis Simpson, Margo Price, Gov’t Mule
September 14
Morristown, NJ
September 17
Outlaw Music Festival, Virginia Beach, VA
with Sturgis Simpson, Margo Price, Gov’t Mule
September 18
Outlaw Music Festival, Raleigh, NC
with Sturgis Simpson, Margo Price, Gov’t Mule
September 19
Outlaw Music Festival, Charlotte, NC
with Sturgis Simpson, Margo Price, Gov’t Mule
September 22
Outlaw Music Festival, Alpharetta, GA
with Sturgis Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats,
Kathleen Edwards
September 24
Outlaw Music Festival, Columbia, MD
with Sturgis Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats,
Gov’t Mule, Kathleen Edwards
September 25
Farm Aid, Hartford, CT
October 2
2021 National Soccer Hall of Fame, Frisco, TX
October 8,9
Whitewater Amphitheater,New Braunfels, TX
with Pat Green
October 15
Outlaw Music Festival, Phoenix, AZ
with Avett Brothers, Lucinda Williams, Gov’t Mule, Ida Mae
October 16
Outlaw Music Festival, Irvine, CA
with Avett Brothers, Lucinda Williams, Govt Mule, Ida Mae
October 17
Outlaw Music Festival, San Diego, CA
with the Avett Brothers, Ida Mae
October 20
Fresno, CA
With the Avett Brothers
October 21
Santa Barbara, CA
with Lucinda Williams
October 23
Outlaw Music Festival, Mountain View, CA
with the Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Lucinda Williams, Ida Mae
October 24,
Wheatland, CA
Outlaw Music Festival
with the Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Lucinda Williams,
November 12,13,
Nashville, TN
November 16
New Orleans, LA
November 17
Houston, TX
With Peytan Porter
November 20
Fort Worth, TX
November 26
Norman, OK
March 17, 2022, Luck, TX
Luck Reunion ____________________________________________________________________
April 23, 2022
Chris Stapleton Concert for Kentucky (An Outlaw State of Mind)
Lexington, Kentucky
with Sheryl Crow and Yola
April 25, 2022
Nashville, IN

“Whiskey for My Men (and beer for my horses)” — Willie Nelson

September 9th, 2021

Willie Nelson – the Top Balladeer (New York Times) (September 9, 1981)

September 9th, 2021

WHY is Willie Nelson, who wears his long, graying hair in braids, dresses like a hippie and was singing honky tonk music in Texas roadhouses as long ago as the l950’s, America’s most admired pop balladeer?

Kenny Rogers sells more records with his saccharine love songs and stagey whisky-rasp, and Frank Sinatra is certainly still a force to be reckoned with, but it is Willie Nelson who has turned chestnuts like ”Georgia on My Mind,” ”Stardust” and ”Mona Lisa” into recent pop hits, and Mr. Nelson draws a more diverse audience than either Mr. Rogers or Mr. Sinatra. The last time he performed in New York, pot-smoking rock fans were sitting next to middle-aged businessmen and their wives and a few grandmothers, and all of them were hanging on to Willie Nelson’s every word.

The release this week of ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” (Columbia records) offers some clues, both in the music it includes and in what it omits. On first hearing, Mr. Nelson’s dry, reedy tenor can sound deceptively thin, but listening to his hits back to back, one soon notices a sinewy strength that’s barely hidden behind his apparently vulnerable sound and casual delivery. One also notices that most of his hit records have used a sound, a kind of musical formula, that refers to several traditions, including country music, rock, folk and middle-of-the-road pop, without really belonging to any of them. Their most characteristic sound is a softly strummed acoustic guitar, a wailing harmonica played by his band’s most prominent soloist, Mickey Raphael, and Mr. Nelson singing, straightforwardly and with just a hint of melancholy, about faded loves, rejection in love, and men who are drawn to the open road and can’t seem to help themselves, men who live like cowboys not because they want to but because that’s what they are. A Land of Cowboys

Cowboys – there’s a clue. America needs its cowboys. There’s a cowboy in the White House, a cowboy who likes living on his ranch and gives press conferences with his boots on. There were latter-day cowboys in ”Urban Cowboy,” one of the most successful films and record-album soundtracks last year. There are more and more countryand-western clubs opening, and more and more city slickers in western shirts and boots to go to them, even in Manhattan. And Willie Nelson is a cowboy.

He’s still a convincing cowboy at the age of 48. He crisscrossed Texas for years, playing in roadside honky tonks. He peddled his songs in Nashville, and some of them, most notably ”Crazy” and ”Funny (How Time Slips Away),” became country standards. But record producers in Nashville didn’t think he could sing, and when he did get a chance to record, he was saddled with string orchestras and inappropriate material. By the time he finally became a full-fledged country star, in the mid-70’s, he had been branded an ”outlaw” by Nashville’s conservative country-music establishment, and although he has long since become a pop star, with a fistful of platinum albums and singles and several film roles to his credit, he still projects that outlaw image.

This is a curious thing. What one sees is an outlaw – a cowboy gone wrong. What one hears, especially on Mr. Nelson’s recordings of ”Stardust” and other standards, is a weathe red but reassuring voicesinging the old songs as if they really matte r to him, against a simple, folksy musical backdrop. Apparently, American pop consumers won’t buy records of songs like ”Stardust” when they are performed by entertainers who project an old-fashioned, sophisticated showbusiness image, but they will buy them wh en the singer is a longhaired, pot-smoking rebel.

The counterculture of the 60’s has become the mainstream culture of the 80’s, an d Mr. Nelson is the one American popular singer who gives the impress ion of being part of both the counterculture and the mainstream at the same time. Back to Honky Tonk

Interestingly, ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits,” a double album that includes two previously unreleased performances, has only one of his performances of pop evergreens on it -his hit version of ”Georgia on My Mind.” The rest of the album concentrates on hits that are clos er to country music and to country rock. There are several live performances recorded with his wonderfully idiosyncraticband, which l ayers electric guitars and back-country church-style piano over he avy bass and the two-beat cowboy drumming of Mr. Nelson’s long time sidekick, Paul English. There are tributes to Mr. Nelson’s honk y-tonk roots, including a fine reworking of Lefty Frizzell’s ” If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time” and two numbers, ”Fa ded Love” and ”Stay a Little Longer,” that were associated wi th the late Bob Wills, ”King of Western Swing” and probably the most popular Southwestern entertainer or all time. Mr. Nelson’s most celebrated duet with his fellow country ”Outlaw” Waylon Jennin gs, ”Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” is here, too.

So ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” is really the best of Willie Nelson, country singer, an album for his hard-core fans. Perhaps he feels that with his albums of pre-World War II pop standards and his movie appearances, he has been neglecting the people who made his reputation in the first place. At any rate, he is still a winning country stylist.

And it is somehow reassuring, at a time when most country entertainers can’t wait to get that first pop hit and start wearing tuxedos and playing Las Vegas, to find one who knows who he is and what he comes from. Maybe that’s why his fans accept the long hair and the rumpled clothes; they are outward indications that no matter how successful he becomes, the inner Willie Nelson is not about to change.

Country Rhythms (September 1981) (UK)

September 8th, 2021

[Thanks so much to Phil Weisman for gifting me this great magazine from the UK. The country music magazines always have the best photos.]

Country Rhythms
September 1981

It takes three buses and two trucks to move Willie Nelson and his band and crew around the country for the over 250 performances that Willie gives each year. But for all it grueling aspects, life on the road never loses that sense of freedom and adventure so important to country musicians like Willie Nelson, who spent much of their early lives yearning to escape from backgrounds of poverty and rural isolation.

These photographs by Michael Abramson, courtesy of Columbia Records, tell the story of Willie’s magic caravan better than worlds could ever do.

Willie Nelson, Connie Nelson and daughters Amy and Paula


As unspoiled by his fantastic success as any one could possibly be, Willie Nelson is always available t his fans after a show. Although he values his privacy, Willie knows how important it is to maintain personal contact with the people to whom he means so much.


Willie Nelson and Paula Nelson, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

September 8th, 2021

September 6th, 2021