Willie Nelson ‘On the Road again’

Willie Nelson and son Luke
Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

Willie Nelson is a Country Music Star, Actor, Activist, Songwriter and award winner. He has written over 2500 songs and made over 300 albums in his six decade career. He is considered a living legend and called the troubadour of country music. He just turned 80 years old in April and still continues to perform. He does 200 to 250 concerts a year and has no plans to stop and retire. He is known for his long hair that he mostly wears in a long braid and wears a colorful bandana on his head under his cowboy hat. The guitar he uses a lot has a hole in it from years of strumming it and it still has this incredible sound. He started Farm Aid back in 1985 to help Farmers who were in trouble of keeping their farms.

Willie Nelson’s son Luke who looks and plays guitar like his dad started the concert. Luke plays more of a country rock type music with a lot of guitar playing. He sang some of the songs he wrote along with his sister Amy and brother Jacob Micah, Willie’s other children. The audience really enjoyed this trio of Nelsons. Luke’s final song was when he played the guitar with his teeth to the astonishment of the audience.

Willie Nelson came on stage after the intermission and his first song was his hit, Whiskey River. His children stayed on stage to accompany him for the whole evening. Willie and Luke had many Guitar solos. The audience is usually pretty subdued but not when Willie is on the stage. Clapping, yelling and whistling were the norm when he sang so many of his hit songs.

Willie is known also for staying on stage after his concert to shake hands and sign autographs after his performances. Willie started at one end of the stage and worked his way shaking hands and posing for photos to the other end where he left and headed for his bus that was parked at the side of McCallum Theatre. He must have had another gig as they left immediately after the concert.