Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson has had quite the 75th birthday year. He's been feted in print — Joe Nick Patoski's deluxe biography Willie — and on Columbia/Legacy's outstanding four-CD anthology One Hell of a Ride. And he shows no signs of letting up — must be all that, um, yoga. First came Moment of Forever (Lost Highway), featuring his heart-peeling "Over You Again" alongside songs by Big & Rich's Big Kenny, Randy Newman and a simmering Stax-style rendition of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody." Then on this summer's Two Men with the Blues (Blue Note), Willie and harp-virtuoso sidekick Mickey Raphael joined the Wynton Marsalis Quartet live at Lincoln Center for a master class in jump, jive and wail. Nelson's newer songs rarely make his live sets, but even so, Halloween night with the Red Headed Stranger (Saturday is sold out) should be a high priority.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray