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— Willie Nelson, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin – No. 40 — Music legend Willie Nelson extends his multi-genre chart history, as his new album, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, debuts at No. 1 on both the Traditional Jazz Albums and overall Jazz Albums charts.

The set, which sold 13,000 copies in the week ending March 3, according to Nielsen Music, also enters at No. 14 on Top Album Sales. It launches at No. 40 on the Billboard 200 — his 19th top 40-charting album on the list (with 13,000 equivalent album units).

Willie Nelson Says Frank Sinatra Is His Vocal Inspiration

The new album is a tribute to the songwriting duo George and Ira Gershwin. It gives Nelson his third No. 1 on the Traditional Jazz Albums chart, following two collaborations with Wynton Marsalis: Two Men With the Blues (2008) and Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles (with Norah Jones, 2011). While Nelson is most certainly an icon of country music — and has 14 No. 1s on the Top Country Albums chart to prove it — he’s also notched top 10s on the Blues Albums (Milk Cow Blues, No. 2 in 2000), Kid Albums (Rainbow Connection, No. 7 in 2001) and Holiday Albums (Pretty Paper, No. 9 in 1983) charts. He’s even claimed a No. 1 on the Reggae Albums chart (Countryman, in 2009).

The new Gershwin album does not add to Nelson’s voluminous history on the Top Country Albums chart, however, as the set is a decidedly jazz affair. That follows such titles as his top 10 Blues Albums effort Milk Cow Blues (2000) and his two earlier No. 1s on the Traditional Jazz Albums list, all of which skipped the Top Country Albums tally.

Review: Saturday’s Mystic Lake casino concert was short and sweet, but far from rote.


If Saturday’s sold-out Mystic Showroom audience needed any reassurance Willie Nelson is still worth the $60-$70 ticket, it came just a few songs into the rudimentary concert when Texas’ Gandalf-like lord of the smoke rings lit into “Night Life.”

Yes, “Night Life” is a song ol’ Willie has played so often he could do it with one hand tied behind his ponytails. But it’s one of many Willie Nelson classics famously rerecorded by other American music icons, in this case B.B. King, who died two days earlier.

“Night Life” thus served as a reminder to see these giants while they still walk among us — although, if his New Balance shoes were any indicator, Willie still jogs among us at 82.

Like King, Nelson’s set lists have become routine since he entered his 80s. Saturday’s concert was shorter than usual, too, clocking in at 75 minutes on the dot. Unlike B.B., though, Willie hasn’t resorted to personality-driven shtick and canned humor to prop up his shows. He still lets the music do the talking. And boy oh boy, did it scream at times on Saturday.

Look no further than “Night Life,” during which he ripped out a lengthy, bluesy solo on his haggard-looking acoustic guitar Trigger that would have bedazzled King himself.

Not only were his picking skills exemplary — they’ve never slipped, actually — but his singing stood strong, too. Only a few shows into his latest tour leg, he was able to deliver a heartbreaking version of “Always on My Mind” and an elegant “Georgia on My Mind,” standards he famously reinterpreted on record. It still means something when Willie sings the songs that meant a lot to him. He also threw in his usual spirited batch of Hank Williams tunes (“Jambalaya,” “Move It on Over” and “I Saw the Light”), and paid tribute to a couple of his favorite songwriters, Tom T. Hall (“Shoeshine Man”) and Kris Kristofferson (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”).

As always, Nelson improvised vocally like a more bloodshot-eyed Frank Sinatra to give his own tunes a special, sometimes mystical flavor, including “Crazy,” “On the Road Again,” “Funny How Time Slips Away” and an especially slow-stirring take on “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.” He even put a playful rhythmic twist on his newest song, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” which he introduced after “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” as “another gospel tune.”

Willie’s Family band hasn’t been as resilient as its leader, but the mere presence of its surviving members added sentimental value Saturday.

His older sister, Bobbie Nelson, was back on piano and able to strut her stuff in “Down Yonder.” Drummer Paul English mostly left the timekeeping to his brother Billy but did return to the snare during “Me and Paul.” And harmonica player Mickey Raphael — who literally grew up in the Family — was integral throughout, with the same kind of uniquely identifiable sound as Willie’s guitar.

“Leave me if you need to / I will still remember,” Willie sang beside his bandmates in “Angel Flying,” still doing justice to their unforgettable legacy.

In July 2013, Willie Nelson and Family played the Weesner Family Amphitheater, Apple Valley, MN, at the Minnesota Zoo Tuesday night to a sold-out crowd braving the 90 plus heat. ] TOM WALLACE ASSIGNMENT #20029772A SLUG/SAXO# 557073 willie 071713 EXTRA INFORMATION: review of Willie Nelson, 80, in his debut at MN Zoo — Tom Wallace, Star Tribune file

In July 2013, Willie Nelson and Family played the Weesner Family Amphitheater, Apple Valley, MN, at the Minnesota Zoo Tuesday night to a sold-out crowd braving the 90 plus heat. ] TOM WALLACE ASSIGNMENT #20029772A SLUG/SAXO# 557073 willie 071713 EXTRA INFORMATION: review of Willie Nelson, 80, in his debut at MN Zoo — Tom Wallace, Star Tribune file



SAN ANTONIO – As he reflected on his life on the road, Ben Dorcy said, “I love the road … the road is my life.”

Dorcy, who will turn 90 Monday, still travels often with country music legend Willie Nelson. In addition to Nelson, Dorcy has worked for other entertainment legends including the late Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash.

“I’ve worked with some pretty nice people,” Dorcy said.

Nelson considers Dorcy more than just a roadie.

“He’s family,” Nelson said. “A good, hard-working man.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Nelson’s youngest daughter, Amy Nelson.

“Ben is the oldest of our tribe,” she said. “We respect him and want to preserve his legacy.”

To that end, Amy Nelson and her cousin, Trevor Nelson, are producing a documentary on Dorcy’s life called “King of the Roadies.”

“The man is a legend among legends yet most people have no idea who he is,” Amy Nelson said.

Dorcy is not totally comfortable with the term “legend.”

“I’m simply a roadie .. somebody who takes care of the equipment and makes sure the show goes on,” Dorcy said.

He said that he’s finally ready to slow down.

“I’ve had a good life and I love the road,” Dorcy said. “I guess it’s as they say, the road is my life.”

Wendy’s On the Road Again

45press —  September 8, 2014 — 9 Comments

Wendy, always insist that the world keep turning your way. Have fun from here on out.

With love,

Willie Nelson and Family.


Joy ride ticked off bucket list

Wendy Pettifer


RIDE OF HER LIFE: Bob Hastie takes Wendy Pettifer for a ride in a Ford Mustang.

With wind in her hair, Willie Nelson playing on the tape deck and the roar of the V8-powered Ford Mustang as it charged down the road, Wendy Pettifer has had another dream come true.

The terminally ill Huntly woman beamed with joy as Bob Hastie, owner of 1969 Mach 1 Mustang, sank his foot deeper into his steed as they rumbled around the Waikato.

A ride in a pre-1972 Mustang was on Pettifer’s bucket list before cancer eventually takes her, and the Saturday morning ride was just the ticket.

“It was just amazing,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Hospice Waikato nurses visit Pettifer daily and they were at the top of her mind as she told the Waikato Times how Hastie and his wife Deidre Hastie pulled up the driveway.

“We heard it coming because that was one of the things I love about Mustangs is the noise of it.

“They have a blue Mustang and a red one, but the one I always wanted to go for a ride in was a red one. It’s just amazing.”

Pettifer uses a wheelchair these days so she was helped into the driver’s seat for a few photos and then the passenger side before they took off.

Her husband Doug Pettifer went along for the ride and sat in the back with Deidre Hastie and they all found a love for muscle cars translated into a fondness for American country music.

“The four of us have the same sense of humour as well because as we we’re rolling out the drive, we turned the tape deck up very loud which had Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again, which was just amazing. Often time, we used to hang out after classes and used to watch WWE wrestling with a fervent passion.”

They drove to Hamilton and cruised the main street before tearing down the expressway to Ngaruawahia and home again. She couldn’t thank them enough.

“Ever since I was a child, there was just something – maybe it was born into me, I don’t know – I’ve just always loved Mustangs.”

Bob Hastie read about Pettifer’s wish to ride in a Mustang in the Waikato Times when she was visited by New Zealand Warriors player Jerome Ropati.

Members of the Waikato Mustang Owners’ Club put their heads together and Hastie made the Saturday morning jaunt happen.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Hastie. “She just sat there and laughed the whole time.”

“Because of the predicament she’s in and because she is a Mustang fan, you’ve got to look after them.”

Hastie didn’t know Pettifer before yesterday but said club members loved to do good turns, but more importantly, she was a part of the community and memories of yesterday’s ride would stick with him for a while.

“She particularly wanted the type of car that I had and I actually live close to Huntly as well,” said Hastie.

“It’s a pretty sad time of your life and to make the last part of your life really happy was unreal.”



ARRINGTON – Soulful spirituals drifted through a sparsely wooded concert area at Lockn’ Sunday, drawing drowsy festivalgoers through a row of vendors to a late morning service.

Tents rustled and camp conversations turned from solos and musical transitions from the previous night’s shows, including Widespread Panic with Steve Winwood, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, to deciding to walk a few campground blocks to watch Keller Williams Grateful Gospel.

These gospel-style Grateful Dead covers provided an opportunity for a form of Sunday worship setting an old-style tone for the Nelson County festival’s final day that included country legend Willie Nelson and Southern blues-rock pioneer The Allman Brothers Band. The Allman Brothers are said to be toward the tail end of their final tour.

The band’s retirement foreshadows a nearing end to the era that birthed large music festivals in the 1970s. Large festivals such as Lockn’ are common among many genres.

The Allman Brothers are a bluesy example of the improvisational style of musicianship known as jamming exhibited by artists throughout the weekend. While a band starts with a particular song, musicians adjust and interpret the melodies and harmonies, sometimes transitioning seamlessly into other tunes. The method is common to jazz.

Peter Horwitt, who visited Nelson County from Canada, said he came this far south to make sure he saw the band before they hung up their guitars.

“It means a lot to me,” said Horwitt, of Calgary, Alberta. “I’m not religious but it’s almost like a spiritual experience.”

Ron Butler, who came from Ontario with two friends, didn’t know the Allmans were calling it quits until after he bought a ticket.

“It’s an incredible experience to see something you grew up with and you love before it’s done,” Butler said.

The festival, which drew between 25,000 to 30,000 people, had been going logistically well, according to Lockn’ media representative Stacie Griffin. She focused mainly on the entrance issues that caused backups on U.S. 29 last year.

One change from early Saturday to early Sunday was an increase in searches of backpacks and folded blankets for alcohol in the main stage area.

Patrons were allowed to bring alcohol into the festival grounds, but not the main stage area where beer vendors bookended the field.

“I don’t think it’s a reaction to something,” Griffin said.

She said she believed the more meticulous search method was to deal with more day patrons coming to see Nelson and the Allmans.

Alcohol Beverage Control has come down on Lockn’ on accusations of violations in last year’s initial festival. Lockn’s ABC permit could be at risk next year.

One complaint by patrons was an extended wait in water lines around the car camping area toward the back of the venue. Only two of the fountain’s six spouts were working on the scorching Saturday and lines backed up further than previous days. The problem continued into Sunday. The fountain was near pay showers. The free water fountains generally worked at the festival.

Griffin said Sunday she hadn’t heard of the problem but said she would check on it immediately.

“It might just be a matter of nobody has reported it,” she said.

Most of the portable toilets were out of hand sanitizer by the festival’s second day. Extra portable toilets were brought in mid-festival.

At each night’s end, the dimming stage lights reflect off the plastic bottles and cups and aluminum cans littered throughout the main stage area. Griffin said Lockn’ started a trash for cash program this year in which volunteers can sign up to pick up trash for $3 a bag at a venue with $3 apples and $8 beers.

“You’re here, you fill up three trash bags, and there’s your dinner money,” Griffin said.

Patrons spoke highly of the festival, in particular the lineup. They also noted the higher number of vendors comparatively.

Griffin was also positive, saying negotiations for next year have already begun.

“We hope to be here for a long time,” she said.

View the original article here.

Contact Alex Rohr at Find him on Twitter: @arohr_reporter. Facebook: The News & Advance Bedford County Beat.