Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Phil Lesh, Survivialists in Hartford

by: Jedd Ferris

Willie Nelson & Family welcomed the Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh to the stage on Sunday night to sing a set-closing medley of early country-gospel standards “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.” The performance took place at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, as part of the multi-artist Outlaw Music Festival Tour, which also included Lesh’s Friends project and Alison Krauss on the bill.

Fittingly on Father’s Day, the guest-heavy finale also featured Nelson’s son Lukas on guitar, as well as Lesh’s son and bandmate Grahame, joining his dad in a vocal congregation that also included members of New Orleans funk-rock outfit the Revivalists. Near the conclusion of “I’ll Fly Away,” Nelson turned his mic toward the crowd, making the show’s ending a jubilant, amphitheater-wide sing-along.

esh rejoins Nelson on the Outlaw Music Festival Tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 27th. Nelson next performs in Columbia, Maryland, at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 19th. The country legend, who was Rolling Stone‘s cover star in May, also just announced a six-night residency in Las Vegas. The fall run, dubbed Vegas on My Mind, will take place at the Venetian Theatre with shows on October 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 26th.

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