Willie Nelson & Family in Montgomery, Alabama (November 14, 2018)

by:  Juli Thanki

He’s part singer, part activist, and a longtime face of “outlaw country.”

On Friday it was announced that Willie Nelson, 85, is “On The Road Again” to Montgomery for a Nov. 14 concert, 7 p.m. at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, with special guest Los Lonely Boys.

Presale begins Monday at 10 a.m. for MPAC members and VIP/Fan Club members. The general public can start buying them at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Tickets will range from $57-$132.

Some of Nelson’s biggest hits include “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Always On My Mind,” “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” “Whiskey River,” “Pancho & Lefty,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” among his hundreds of songs.

Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Phish perform “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” “Amazing Grace” and “Uncloudy Day” live at the Farm Aid concert in Tinley Park, Illinois on October 3rd, 1998. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001.

For more information about Farm Aid, visit: http://farmaid.org/youtube.

On Sept. 14, Nelson released his new album “My Way,” a salute to the late, legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.

Nelson has been a longtime Sinatra admirer. The two performed at Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget in 1984 and also filmed a public service announcement about space technology. On Sinatra’s 1994 release “Duets II,” they sang “A Foggy Day” together.

Nelson re-recorded “A Foggy Day” for “My Way.” The 11-song tracklisting also includes classics like “Fly Me To the Moon,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Night and Day” and “What Is This Thing Called Love,” a duet with Norah Jones.

“My Way” is Nelson’s second studio album of the year. “Last Man Standing” came out in late April, just days before he turned 85. The record was produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, who also produced 2016’s “Summertime,” Nelson’s Grammy-winning Gershwin tribute.

“I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank,” Willie said recently in an interview for AARP magazine. “He didn’t worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever-he could sing it either way, and that’s the feel you have to have.”

Earlier this month, Nelson debuted a new song “Vote ‘Em Out’  during the Turn Out for Texas rally in Austin.

“If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out,” he sang. “That’s what election day is all about, and the biggest gun we’ve got is called the ballot box. So if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out.”

– Juli Thanki of the Tennessean and Madlin Mekelburg of the El Paso Times contributed to this report

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