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Willie Nelson, an appreciation

DigiTrad:
BLUE EYES CRYING IN THE RAIN
BLUE HAIRS DRIVIN' IN MY LANE
RED-HEADED STRANGER
REMEMBER ME (WHEN THE CANDLE LIGHTS ARE GLEAMING)
SEVEN SPANISH ANGELS


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Steve Latimer 17 Jun 99 - 01:45 PM
Bert 17 Jun 99 - 01:52 PM
Neil Lowe 17 Jun 99 - 02:09 PM
DougR 17 Jun 99 - 03:03 PM
Captain Swing 17 Jun 99 - 03:52 PM
SeanM 17 Jun 99 - 04:16 PM
Steve Latimer 17 Jun 99 - 04:49 PM
LEJ 17 Jun 99 - 04:56 PM
Peter T. 17 Jun 99 - 04:57 PM
LEJ 17 Jun 99 - 05:04 PM
catspaw49 17 Jun 99 - 05:36 PM
Banjer 17 Jun 99 - 06:08 PM
katlaughing 17 Jun 99 - 09:09 PM
DonMeixner 17 Jun 99 - 11:24 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Jun 99 - 11:29 PM
catspaw49 18 Jun 99 - 12:33 AM
Big Mick 18 Jun 99 - 12:38 AM
Gene 18 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM
Roger in Baltimore 18 Jun 99 - 06:18 AM
Peter T. 18 Jun 99 - 08:59 AM
catspaw49 18 Jun 99 - 09:17 AM
hank 18 Jun 99 - 09:26 AM
bob schwarer 18 Jun 99 - 09:32 AM
Steve Latimer 18 Jun 99 - 10:11 AM
Rick Fielding 18 Jun 99 - 12:02 PM
Steve Latimer 18 Jun 99 - 01:04 PM
catspaw49 18 Jun 99 - 01:47 PM
Peter T. 19 Jun 99 - 12:02 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Jun 99 - 02:18 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 20 Jun 99 - 02:37 AM
Rick Fielding 20 Jun 99 - 11:48 AM
Peter T. 20 Jun 99 - 12:00 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Jun 99 - 12:06 PM
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Subject: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 01:45 PM

I know that I'll take some heat for this one but here goes. Inspired by the Doc Watson thread I was reminded of my feelings for 'The Red Headed Stranger.'

Willie is an individual. Having been raised in Texas he was exposed to a variety of musical styles including Bob Wills' Texas Swing, Texas Blues, Mexican, Straight ahead country, Bluegrass and his first paying job was in a Polka Band when he was seven years old. Willie has blended these musical forms to create a sound all his own.

As a songwriter he has written loads of great material. Crazy, Night Life, The Red Headed Stranger album to name just a few. His lyrics are concise, he's a wonderful story teller. As a guitar player he has a beautiful clarity and wonderful timing and phrasing. Although his singing can be somewhat nasal, the man can sing a song, once again with wonderful timing and phrasing. As a performer, he is professional, his band is rock solid and they play for hours, hardly stopping between songs, no idle chatter, just plays for hours in order to perform as much of his vast library as possible. You get a sense that there is nothing that he would rather be doing than standing on stage playing for people, always smiling and gracious. As a humanitarian, his devotion to the plight of the American Farmer is to be admired. He has always gone out of his way to help out those who helped him on his way to the top, Ray Price, Faron Young as examples. As a businessman, well I guess I should have quit while I was ahead.

I've had my say. Willie is the real deal. Okay, start slinging those arrows.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Bert
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 01:52 PM

Yeah, He's pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 02:09 PM

I agree....I admire a la Frank Sinatra's My Way anyone who succeeds on their own terms without compromising their artistic integrity. Willie was virtually banned from the Mecca of country music (Nashville) when he wouldn't make records or conform in appearance and style according to the whims of staid record executives. He went back to Texas and started his own label and attracted other non-conformist talent like Waylon Jennings and when he started making money hand over fist guess what town was then willing to welcome him back with open arms?


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: DougR
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 03:03 PM

You won't get any barbs from me! Willie is a fine performer. I wouldn't classify him as a folk singer, but he's sure a good country singer/songwriter. Another good country vocalist who lived not too far from Willie when he was growing up in Abbott, Texas, was Tommy Duncan who was vocalist for the Bob Wills band and was raised in Whitney, Texas. I don't think Tommy Duncan has been given as much credit as is due him for the success of Bob Wills.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Captain Swing
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 03:52 PM

Now I don't want to offend anyone but Vin Garbutt once said that he knows so little about country music that he thought Willie Nelson was an illegal wrestling hold.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: SeanM
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 04:16 PM

This is expanding the topic a bit, but I've always been a closet Johnny Cash fan. I've seen him play once or twice, but he's always been consistent and good.

I'll go hide now.

M


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 04:49 PM

I'm not a country fan, but I like Johnny Cash too. Like Willie I believe his music is deeply rooted in folk music.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: LEJ
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 04:56 PM

I always thought the one real redeeming factor in Willie's career was the fact that he wrote Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain . Then I found out he didn't write it.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 04:57 PM

You are all such sensitive plants. Have you come from other sites where people have been so brutal to you that even separated from slings and arrows by distance and computer servers, you feel compelled to duck behind the rocks? Here at Mudcat, all is sweetness and light, and we are bathed in compassion and camaraderie. Come stay, bring your bruised spirits here!! (birds twitter, trees give up their fruit spontaneously, Reg, Reg, and Reg hide their clubs temporarily behind the gazebo).
Repeat after me: Saint Willie, ora pro nobis!!
Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: LEJ
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 05:04 PM

Well, Pete T, I opened the door- start those barbs flying!


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 05:36 PM

HMMM...INCOMING!!!!!!!!!

I've always found Willie to be a fine musician and generally a neat kind of individual. But staying away from all that........Did anyone else see the program where Willie sang Paul Simon's "American Tune" and Paul played guitar (as usual,beautifully and tastefully)? Just Willie's voice and Simon's guitar doing a song that was "made" for Willie. Wish I could remember what that was on or that I had a tape. Damn, it was great.......

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Banjer
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 06:08 PM

I like Willie for the same reason I like a lot of folk singer types, although as has been pointed out Willie is not a true folk singer. I like them because they are not afraid to be individuals. As was mentioned Willie decided not to conform to the wants of Nashvillism and started his own thing. To be able to remain an individual and not be part of the "In Crowd" often takes a lot of intestinal fortitude, and I think Willie has shown a lot of that, as have many other performers.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 09:09 PM

Well, he's always melted my heart, darlings, and he's got those great braids!

B'sides....what is a real folksinger? His music is about his roots, heartache, etc. I think a lot of country gets its heart from folk.

I saw a great show, think it was Austin City Limits, where it really was, like the song, "Waylon, Willie, and the boys". I could've sat up all night listening to Willie, esp.

I have a great deal of respect for him and love his voice, even the singing through the nose, at times.

katlaughing and melting......help!


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: DonMeixner
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 11:24 PM

I've always said that Wylie Nielson was pretty OK. He just plays an odd guitar for a cowboy singer who wears his hair like an Indian.

Don


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 11:29 PM

There are VERY few guitarists who have completely unique ways of playing. Willie is one of them.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 12:33 AM

Between the last three posts, Kat, Rick, and Don have hit the true beauty of Willie......He defies being pigeonholed ( the great American pastime ) and he is unique in damn near everything he does. As Banj said, a kinda' my way attitude, but never mean about it....just bein' Willie. And talk about wantin' to be a fly on the wall, a few nites in a bar with Cash, Husky, Willie, Harlan Howard...............

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 12:38 AM

Whew!!!!! When I saw the name of this thread, I thought I would get me arse kicked. I really like Willy's way with a phrase. "Pancho and Lefty", "Seven Spanish Angels", "My Hero's Have always been Cowboys" and others are just great yarns set to music. His interpretation, both musically and vocally, are his alone. And I just enjoy it for the most part.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Gene
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM

As in the case of BLUE EYES CRYING IN THE RAIN
Willie wrote none of the above 3 songs
Pancho & Lefty
Seven Spanish Angels
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

Though one could realistically say
They became SIGNATURE SONGS of WILLIE NELSON!


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 06:18 AM

One theme that comes through is Willie's uniqueness. I understand they are now making a "signature" Willie Nelson guitar although they promise not to have a hole where the pick guard would be on most guitars.

Willie's phrasing drives me crazy. Have you ever tried to sing a song like Willie? The most difficult part for me is his tendency to withhold starting a phrase until the music is almost on the next bar. I just can't do it. I finally figured I might need to smoke a large quantity of marijuana to succeed.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 08:59 AM

Dear catspaw, There is a version of the Nelson/Simon collaboration on Willie's "Across The Borderline" album. Willie does "Graceland" as well. He gave an interview somewhere where he said that he had no interest in Paul Simon's songs until after the IRS mess, and one day he heard "Graceland" again and somehow it spoke right to him.
Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 09:17 AM

Thanks for the info Peter...didn't know. That's an interesting comment by Willie.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: hank
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 09:26 AM

My dad was on a buisness trip a few years back, and saw Willie and Jonny Cash. Willie was having problems with his old guitar (I think he broke a string), and Jonny Cash told him: here, use mine. After willie started playing it Jonny commented "I think thats the first time that guitar has ever been played".


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: bob schwarer
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 09:32 AM

One more for Willie


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 10:11 AM

I found it interesting that although Willie is a prolific songwriter, some of my favourite songs by him were written by other people. I think that Willie just loves music and if he hears a song that he thinks he would like to do, he just does it, always crediting the artist who wrote it. There is no question that Willie makes it his own though.

I have had far fewer arrows aimed at me for starting this thread than I expected and I think it's because the Mudcat is filled with many people who are more concerned about music than musical categorizing.

If you have never seen Willie live, go the very next time you get a chance, especially in a small venue. I first saw him at Toronto's Skydome and enjoyed it even though the sound was terrible and I could barely see him. I have since seen him twice at The Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, West Virginia, a beautiful old 2500 seat hall with great acoustics. It was absoulutely magical both times, like a big kitchen party. I believe that you can't begin to appreciate Willie until you've seen him in a setting like this.

Wow I almost have the confidence to start my next thread, Barry Manilow, an appreciation. (Kidding)


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 12:02 PM

Steve. The first time I saw Willie was at the Horeshoe Tavern in Toronto. He wore a shiny business mens' suit, played a green Baldwin electric guitar (don't remember the model) had shortish greasy hair and sang a lot of Hank Williams. He was fine, but not as exciting as the guy in the previous week: White suit - white Tele - REALLY greasy jet black hair, and a hit country song that used a 1-b7-4-5 chord pattern, and modulated 3(!) times. The song was "Mental Revenge". Do you know who the artist was?

The next time I saw Willie was at the C.N.E. with about 20,000 others. The show was astonishing. Grady Martin, Mickey Raphael, Bobby Nelson, Bea Spears, THE Paul English! Hoo Boy! They kicked off with "Whiskey River" and just tore it to shreds. Oh man, Willie, with his Martin classical, Baldwin ceramic pickup, and Baldwin blue and silver amp(I had one, but couldn't make it sound like that!) just totally kicked ass for two hours.

One footnote to that show: My lady of 5 years,Pam, told me during the third song that she'd fallen in love with a married guy from Winnipeg, and that our relationship was over. We were both in shock, but Willie's music helped ease it. Lesson: if you're gonna split from someone, tell 'em during a Willie show. 12 years later, I still remember it as a great night!!


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 01:04 PM

Rick,

Willie at the Horseshoe? I just don't need to know that he ever played there, I'm jealous as hell. Although based on the description I'd guess that this was about 1967, I doubt my mom would have let me go as I was eight. If she knew what Willie would come to mean to me she probably would have taken me.

I'm guessing Roy Orbison as the other artist. I'm no really that familiar with country, keep it to Willie, Waylon (who I'd have guessed but I think he has brown hair), Johnny Cash who would never be caught in a white suit, Hank who I believe was no longer with us at the time and I don't think ever played an electric and Merle Haggard.

I know what you mean about breaking up at a Willie show. He sort of puts everything in focus, it's really no big deal, let's get on with life and have fun.

The first time I saw Willie in Wheeling I was there on a golf trip and he happened to be in town. It was magical. I raved about it to my sister Susan for about three years. When I saw that he was going to be there again last September I told Sue that I was there was no way she wasn't going with me. She had heard me rave about Willie for years, had heard a bit of him and thought he was okay, but didn't get what I was going on about.

I just loved watching Susan's face during the show. Having been trained classically she is not easily impressed with guitar players, but she leaned over to me while Jody Payne was playing a solo and said 'this guy is a super player I'd like him on his own, but then Willie plays and you almost forget about him.' She was mesmerized by Willie's playing, singing and his songs. And the band was rock solid, taking time to showcase everyone's considerable talent.

After the show we bumped into Jody Payne at a bar near our hotel. We sat and gabbed for a couple of hours and made the fatal mistake of trying to drink tequila with Bud Chasers with a guy who has been on the road his whole life. He and Susan had a great chat about music, he and I talked about golf and banjo's. It was a wonderful night. I'll go see Willie and Family anytime they're in a small venue within a day's drive of Toronto. Back to the Horseshoe. I was in High School during my Rock years. One day a buddy of mine asked me if I wanted to go to see April Wine at the El Mo that night. Having seen them a few times prior to that I told him no. Of course when I saw the paper the next day The Rolling Stones were on the cover, playing live at the El Mo. Just how many o's do put in Looooser for that one? My buddy might be a bigger loser as he decided no to go because I wasn't going.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 01:47 PM

Hey Rick......Howzabout Waylon?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 12:02 PM

Flying Burrito Bros. (Gram Parsons et al), maybe, yes?
Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 02:18 PM

Yah, guys, Waylon was a sharp dresser in those days at the Horshoe Tavern. I was going to art School and never missed an opportunity to head down there on a Friday night. On Saturday I'd go to Jack McGann's apartment on Yorkville ave. (the hippie folk section) and we'd sit on the floor under a black light (remember those) and play folk music. On Saturday afternoon I'd head to the Edison Hotel on Yonge st. for the matinee. Saw Tammy Wynette (with thigh high white vinyl boots), Mel Tillis, Jack Green, Roy Drusky, Leroy Van Dyke, and Hank Williams' back up band (with fiddler Jerry Rivers). Also at the Horshoe I saw The Stoneman Family, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters and Ray Price. The only REAL disappointment I can remember was a guy with very greasy short hair, who sang constantly sharp, played horrid banjo, equally amateurish guitar, and MURDERED Hank Williams' songs, while his mother sat in the corner haranguing Jack Starr, the owner. A huge Canadian "congrats" to anyone who can identify the nervous young (19 or so) man, with the domineering mom.
Rick (filled with memories)


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 02:37 AM

Rick--Bob Dylan? --seed


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 11:48 AM

Nope Seed, it wasn't Bob Dylan. (I don't think Mrs. Zimmerman approved of Bob's career) A hint though, the guy became VERY famous and (almost) cleared up his pitch problem. His hair is a LOT longer today.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 12:00 PM

Scott Young's baby boy?
Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Willie Nelson, an appreciation
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 12:06 PM

Nope. Since this is becoming a long thread, I'll tell you. T'was Hank Williams jr.


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