On the Road Again: Mapping All the Cities in Willie Nelson's Songs
Over the course of his career—a five-decade ramblin' run that spans recordings as far back as 1962 and as recent as last year—Willie has written endlessly about his affection for (and occasional vexation with) cities across the land. These are all of those places. Well, a whole hell of a lot of them, anyway.
All Roads Lead to [still-living country music legend*] Willie Nelson: "In a time when America is more divided than ever, Nelson could be the one thing that everybody agrees on." [more inside]
Here's a song I didn't know existed until summer 2007, when Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin released an impeccably curated three-CD mix (full 4 hours on Mixcloud). Halfway through the first disc, the music slipped into an easy, loping groove, sunburned and hungover, and a regretful voice offered Otis Blackwell's lonesome lyric: "You know I can be found/ Sitting home all alone …" [Billy Swan's version of "Don't Be Cruel" is] a beautiful record, though, and utterly different from Elvis's 1956 recording. And it opens a fantastic collection of country funk songs, collected and remastered by Zach Cowie of Light in the Attic Records. More sounds below the break. [more inside]
Pete Seeger made a rare and surprise appearance at Farm Aid 2013, and brought a sharp new verse for an old classic. (SLYT)
Country legend Willie Nelson turned 80 yesterday and in celebration, he has released his audition tape for The Hobbit 2.
Under everything, just another human being, I don't wanna hurt, there's so much in this world to make me bleed
Willie Nelson covering Pearl Jam's Just Breathe for his upcoming covers/collaboration album Heroes. [more inside]
A remarkably diverse group of legendary musicians have graced the stage of Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom over the years: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sex Pistols (one of seven stops on their one and only 1978 U.S. tour…the hole in the drywall left by Sid Vicious’ fist is still backstage), the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Blondie, The Talking Heads, U2, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Morrissey, Beck, Wilco, to name a few. A documentary featuring Costello and several other artists who’ve played there is in the works, with proceeds supporting music education in Oklahoma and the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom Museum. Cain’s was recently named one of the top 10 live music venues in the U.S. From 1935 to 1942, Cain’s was home to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who popularized western swing music with weekly dances and a national radio show.
Friends, why don'tcha take your boots off and jes' kick back for a coupla minutes while Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson and Snoop Dogg lay down a little bit of up-tempo, feel-good country music? Go on, take a hit! It won't kill ya! Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.
How many arms have held you, and hated to let you go, how many, how many, I wonder, but I really don't want to know.
"Attention, industrial farmers. Willie Nelson wants you to stop drugging your pigs and smashing them into compact, easily shippable pork cubes. So does Chipotle." Farm Aid organizer Willie Nelson covers Coldplay's "The Scientist" for a pseudo PSA for burrito chain Chipotle's foundation to support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.
Many people here in the U.S. have heard Willie Nelson's Christmas song, Pretty Paper (first made famous by Roy Orbison). But few know that it was based on a disabled man who sold pencils and paper in front of Leonard's Department Store (the one with its own subway). Or was it a blind couple? His name has been lost to history even as he is immortalized in song.
Some guy named Spence Peppard takes a flying shot at Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline's Crazy.
Willie Nelson "Superman" featuring Snoop, Snoop Dogg "My Medicine" featuring Willie Nelson, live at Melkweg.
Let The Fun Begin! U.S. uploads anti-drug videos to YouTube, hilarity sure to ensue. [look who they popped]
"The early bird may get the worm. But the second mouse gets the cheese." Willie Nelson in New York. An Adam Gopnik profile.
Bacon, eggs and less marijuana: a weed watchers diet for Willie "Even honky-tonk heroes and country legends have to watch what they put in their bodies these days. And for Austin's Willie Nelson, staying fit also means giving the lungs a breather by cutting back on those marijuana cigarettes now and then."