Lots Happening in the Willie Nelson World
Willie Nelson may have turned 90 last month, but he remains one of the most active and prolific artists in country music. Just this week, numerous bits of important news crossed the wires about Willie, so let’s break it all down.
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Speaking of Willie’s 90th Birthday, for everyone that couldn’t be there celebrating on April 29th and 30th at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, portions of the two-day concert are being compiled, and will be released as Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90. The limited theatrical release will premier in theaters on June 11th, with tickets on sale now at willienelson90experience.com.
There were so many performers and performances, it would be impossible to fit them all in, but some of the names that will be featured on the 2+ hour presentation include Willie Nelson himself, Keith Richards, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Billy Strings, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, The Lumineers, Snoop Dogg, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, and Jack Johnson.
The concert was captured in 5.1 Surround Sound specifically for theatrical release as an immersive experience. Encore presentations will also take place on June 13th and 14th in select theaters.
This is beyond a five-part film series called Willie Nelson and Family that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film spans Willie’s entire life and career. It currently does not have a release date.
Speaking of reliving old memories of Willie Nelson, to celebrate Willie Nelson turning 90, four of his iconic albums are being released on vinyl, including two that have never been issued on vinyl before, and two more that are returning to vinyl due to popular demand.
Willie’s 2002 collaborative album The Great Divide will be released on vinyl on June 23rd. Willie is joined by Lee Ann Womack, Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Bernie Taupin, and more on the album. That will be followed by a Teatro reissue on August 4th. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois, and was recorded live in a theater in Oxnard, California with Emmylou Harris collaborating with Willie on 11 of the 14 tracks. It was originally released in 1998.
Next will come the double album Milk Cow Blues on September 15th. This was Willie’s ode to the blues recorded with the Antone’s House Band in Austin along with Mickey Raphael. Other guests include B.B. King, Dr. John, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Susan Tedeschi. And finally on October 20th, Willie Nelson’s 1996 album Spirit will be re-released on vinyl. A stripped back album featuring the late Jody Payne on guitar and sister Bobbie on piano, along with Johnny Gimble on fiddle, it was one of the Willie’s most critically-acclaimed albums of the era.
All four of the vinyl reissues are now available for pre-order.
Last but not least, on October 31st, Willie Nelson will publish what will now be his tenth book called Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs. Written as a memoir, but with a breakdown of the origins and ideas behind 160 of his most iconic tracks, it was co-written with David Ritz and harmonica player Mickey Raphael.
The book also talks about Willie’s family, along with his friendships and working relationships with Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Dolly Parton and more. The book is being released by HarperCollins and is priced at $50—the price he sold his song “Family Bible” for. But it’s an expansive 384-page work. It is now available for pre-order.
Willie big fan
May 20, 2023 @ 9:08 am
Willie is an American legend, it goes without saying. I hope joe rogan can get him on the podcast to talk about his amazing life, and maybe smoke that stuff toby keith warned everyone about. Can you imagine that? Id watch it annually.
May 20, 2023 @ 9:39 am
I don’t believe he smokes anything these days, especially after nearly dying from Covid. I bet he’s on edibles and other methods though.
May 20, 2023 @ 10:27 am
I guarantee you Willie would never, ever go on Joe Rogan’s podcast … ever.
May 20, 2023 @ 10:48 am
Why’s that? Is it because of their politics? I am a little ignorant of both of them.
May 20, 2023 @ 11:01 am
Not pure political lines. Willie would go on a conservative podcast and does for Farm Aid.
But Willie’s buddy and co-Farm Aid board member, Neil Young, left Spotify over Rogan’s misinformation he was spreading about COVID on his podcast (if it was misinformation or not, Young perceived it as dangerous).
Although many artists didn’t pull their music from Spotify in solidarity with Young, there are a lot of artists that won’t go on his show. Willie is one of them.
May 20, 2023 @ 5:23 pm
In the middle of the pandemic, the Director of the CDC told Willie and everyone else that if they got vaccinated they could not spread the virus, and would not get sick. We all know what happened to Willie after he acted on that bit of “information”. Ironically disseminated by the Center for “Disease Control”.
May 20, 2023 @ 5:37 pm
I can’t tell you how awesome it would be if an article about some cool stuff Willie Nelson is involved in didn’t turn into an argument about COVID-19.
May 20, 2023 @ 6:49 pm
Fair enough, Trig. I just personally don’t see why in mid 2023 Willie would have a principled reason to not go on the most popular podcast in the world, which also happens to be run by a huge fellow stoner, and who, apparently, also enjoys some country music (and is based in Austin) Not that he needs to. I’ll say no more. Hope Rogan has Joshua Ray Walker or Charley Crockett on – that would be amazing.
May 21, 2023 @ 3:10 pm
Neil Young is an uninformed self-centered capitalist Hippie blowhard. Nothing Joe Rogan said around Covid was wrong. He was demonized for not rolling the dice on myocarditis for the financial benefit of Big Pharma and the DNC. Opposing Joe Rogan on anything is the stupidist most uninformed grandstanding and virtue signalling I have ever seen.
May 21, 2023 @ 6:07 pm
Hoptowntiger made an informed, salient point as to why it is unlikely that Willie Nelson will go on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and said specifically it wasn’t purely on political lines. You may disagree with that opinion, but launching into name calling and ad hominem political attacks is the very thing I have specifically asked everyone to avoid in these comments sections, and I specifically asked everyone in this specific comments section to avoid.
May 20, 2023 @ 11:42 am
Because Willie isn’t brave enough to buck the system.
Willie big fan
May 20, 2023 @ 11:02 am
I thought itd be a stretch but wow I didn’t think itd be a never ever, ever!
May 20, 2023 @ 5:14 pm
@WBF–I would not assume that Willie has the capability or desire to go on a show and “talk about his amazing life” for half an hour, with or without smoking.
May 20, 2023 @ 9:09 am
When George Jones sang whose gonna fill their shoes, I think when it comes to Willie, George, Dolly, Loretta, and Johnny Cash, and so many other legends , no one can fill their shoes, artists today will just have to carry on and keep the torch burning that so many of these legends started in the first place, I hope Willie makes it to 100, and keeps making great music and live life to its fullest.
May 20, 2023 @ 6:48 pm
Interestingly in that song, Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes, the writers (Seals/Barnes) never once refer to a female “radio hero” whose shoes would need filled. Go ahead. Read the lyrics.
May 21, 2023 @ 12:30 am
I was sure he sang about the Coal Miner’s Daughter and Tammy, the First Lady of a Country song, but that was in “No Show Jones.”
You are correct “Who’s Gonna Fill their Shoes” was about the male heroes of country music.
And Thom Schuler wrote “God bless the boys who make the noise on16th Avenue.” But when she sings it live, Lacy J. Dalton “ad libs” “and God bless all the girls who make the noise down on 16th Avenue” in a spoken outro.
May 20, 2023 @ 9:42 am
It’d be amazing if Willie could do all — or at least some — of the audiobook version of “Energy Follows Thought”.
The audiobook of “Me and Sister Bobbie” had both Willie and Bobbie doing the narration and it was exquisite.
May 20, 2023 @ 11:15 am
He is just amazing……hopefully still touring in 10 years time……a true legend in his own lifetime
May 20, 2023 @ 12:38 pm
Willie is amazing. The man has lived a life that most of us could only dream of, he truly is one of a kind hope he is around for another 20 years. Favorite album’s of his is Red Headed Stranger, Shotgun Willie, & The Highwaymen I have listened to those albums countless amount of times & they never get old.
May 21, 2023 @ 9:06 am
Willie’s songs are so concise and well-crafted it would be cool to read about some of the sweat behind them.Though, it might be over 100 cases of “I got the idea, and twenty minutes later I had the song.”
May 21, 2023 @ 11:09 am
It’s so good to see all of this coming out! I highly recommend Theatro for its moody ambiance. The song “I Never Cared For You” with Emmylou Harris just strikes such a great paring and great sound. Here’s to a true living legend!
May 21, 2023 @ 3:05 pm
Fuck you Trigger for continuing to censor comments. You are a little bitch.
May 21, 2023 @ 6:09 pm
Really sucks I have to close down the comments section on a simple article running down Willie Nelson news. But here we are.