Concerts

Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, and Alison Krauss help pack the Outlaw Fest at the Mann with a 7-hour music extravaganza

on September 14, 2019 No comments
by Dan DeLuca
Willie Nelson and his well-worn acoustic guitar Trigger had a lot of talent company for the Outlaw Music Tour at the Mann Center Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 © Steven M. Falk /Staff Photographer

Everybody loves Willie Nelson, and why wouldn’t they?

The pigtailed 86-year-old makes American music that weaves together country, gypsy jazz, Sinatrian saloon songs, and the blues. He’s a genius sui generis interpreter of other people’s songs, and has written some pretty good ones himself, from “Crazy” to “Night Life” to “Funny How Time Slips Away.”

Nelson didn’t find the time to do any of those in his set when this year’s Outlaw Music Tour, a wondrously good-hearted seven-hour extravaganza pulled in to the Mann Center on Friday.

But he did pack 21 others into his spirited headlining show, which opened up as always with Johnny Bush’s “Whiskey River” and the Texas state flag draped behind him.

It closed with a “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and ”I’ll Fly Away” gospel-flavored one-two punch, for which he was joined by a dozen or so musicians, including fellow redhead Bonnie Raitt and Warren Haynes, who had performed with his band, Gov’t Mule.

In between Nelson played his battered acoustic guitar Trigger backed by simpatico longtime touring companions including drummer Paul English, harmonica player Mickey Raphael, and his sister, Bobbie Nelson, on piano.

Nelson made quick work of staples like “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and a three-song Hank Williams medley. But he found his groove paying tribute to Django Reinhardt on the instrumental “Nuages,” and digging deep into Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia (On My Mind).”

He gave his fine new album, Ride Me Back Home, attention with Guy Clark’s “My Favorite Picture of You” and Buzz Rabin’s “Maybe I Should’ve Been Listening.” We all should be, to Willie, while we’ve got him.

After canceling shows this summer for health concerns, Nelson seemed in fine shape Friday, reluctant to leave the stage at night’s end, and his performance was more lively and nuanced than last September’s at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden.

“I’ve never smelled so much pot during my first song in my life.” Bonnie Raitt opening for Willie Nelson at the Outlaw Music Festival at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia – Sept. 13, 2019 © Dan DeLuca

Raitt preceded Nelson, and was fabulous. If the slide-guitar-spiced opener “No Business” from 1991’s Luck of the Draw wasn’t enough to remind the crowd how much they loved her, the quip that followed was: “I’ve never smelled so much pot during my first song in my life.”

She played the hits, pulling all the adult contemporary heartache out of “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” but really got going with the blues, ripping into the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ “I Believe I’m in Love With You” and bringing out Haynes on B.B. King’s “Never Make Your Move Too Soon.”

Warren Haynes and his band, Gov’t Mule, was also part of the seven-hour fest. © Steven M. Falk /Staff Photographer

It was a tough call as to what was the musical highlight of the evening. Raitt brought out Alison Krauss for a duet on John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” that was indeed angelic.

And after reminiscing about playing the Philadelphia Folk Festival and Second Fret in the late 1960s, Raitt played a solo version of Skip James‘ “Devil Got My Woman,” a song that she remembered performing for the Mississippi blues great in Philadelphia before he died here in 1969. Spine-tingling!

You’ve got a seriously stacked lineup when the singer who’s won more Grammys than any other woman in history is third on the bill. That would be Krauss, who fronted a seven-man band of sterling singers and musicians while sensibly dressed for the chilly evening in a buttoned-up overcoat.

The formidable bluegrass fiddler cut loose on “Sawing on the Strings” but otherwise turned in a gorgeously measured, finely calibrated performance.

Alison Krauss included two Willie Nelson songs in her stunning performance at the Outlaw Music Festival at the Mann Center – Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 © Steven M. Falk /Staff Photographer

She turned gender tables on Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing at All,” making it a song about a dude most eloquent when he keeps his mouth shut. Shenandoah’s “Ghost in This House” was spooky and an a cappella “Down to the River to Pay” from O Brother, Where Art Thou? even spookier.

And Krauss was careful to include not one but two Nelson songs, both his 1964 single “I Never Cared for You” — included on her 2017 album, Windy City — and the sorrowful “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” which she sang with all the dignity and grace it deserved.

Bonnie Raitt welcomed Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) performing B.B. King‘s “Never Make Your Move Too Soon”
© Rachel Faye

Setlist

  • No Business
  • Unintended Consequence of Love
  • Need You Tonight  
  • One Belief Away
  • I Believe I’m in Love With You  
  • Devil Got My Woman  
  • Something to Talk About
  • Have a Heart
  • Never Make Your Move Too Soon  (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Angel From Montgomery  (w/ Alison Krauss)
  • I Can’t Make You Love Me  
  • You Got the Love  
  • Love Sneakin’ Up on You
by Dan DeLuca
Dan DeLuca @delucadan | ddeluca@inquirer.com

Source: © Copyright The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Outlaw Music Festival features plenty of toe-tapping performances, stellar sets

Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss and Osborne Brothers shine during Saturday’s stop at Saratoga Performing Arts Center

on September 8, 2019 No comments
Kirsten Ferguson

Willie Nelson’s beat-up blonde guitar, a Martin classical acoustic named Trigger, has been on tour with the country icon since 1969. It shows. The guitar is battered, lined with scratches and grooves, and has a hole above the bridge.

Nelson, like Trigger, is remarkable for his longevity and weather-worn character. Still touring at the age of 86, the indefatigable country musician brought his Outlaw Music Festival to SPAC on Saturday, with special guests Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss and Brothers Osborne.

Although he cancelled much of his tour over the summer due to medical problems, Nelson seemed in fine form at SPAC, where he opened, as always, with the signature tune, “Whiskey River.” From there, Nelson’s headlining set just flowed, like the river of brown liquor in the song.

A Lonestar flag hung on the backdrop as the Texan rolled through classics: “Still Is Still Moving to Me,” “Beer for My Horses,” “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” “Good Hearted Woman” and “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time.”

“Give it up for Merle,” Nelson said before performing “It’s All Going to Pot,” a song he recorded with Merle Haggard before the country legend died in 2016. The toe-tapping tune has a cynical political message and is – as with all things Willie – unabashedly pro-marijuana.

Nelson’s catchy tune, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” had the levity of a joke but seemed just as likely to represent a true wish on his part. He rounded out his set with Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” and timeless songs like “On the Road Again,” “You Were Always on My Mind” and “Georgia on My Mind” before saying goodbye with the rousing spiritual “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

How lucky we were to see the 86-year-old Nelson – the poet laureate of American music in braids and a red headband – bring his charm and good-heartedness to Saratoga Springs on a beautiful early September night.

R&B legend Bonnie Raitt and bluegrass fiddler Alison Krauss – two consummate professionals, with unmatched talent and beautiful voices – opened with flawless performances.

Bonnie Raitt & Alison Krauss Cover “Angel From Montgomery” During Outlaw Music Festival At SPAC – Saratoga Springs, NY – September 7, 2019

Raitt’s set with her band revisited her nearly 50-year musical career and some of her biggest hits, including “Something to Talk About,” “Have a Heart,” “Love Letter,” “Nick of Time” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” There were also more recently recorded tunes, like sultry INXS cover “Need You Tonight” and “Unintended Consequence of Love” from her latest album.

Krauss joined Raitt onstage for a duet on John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” that was just stunning. “I got a little verklempt doing that,” Raitt said after the chill-inducing song ended. She held her hand to her heart, clearly moved, before giving Krauss a big hug.

Krauss’ stellar set with her band elicited hushed reverence from the crowd on Nelson tributes “I Never Cared for You” and “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” as well as fan-favorite “Stay,” her reinterpretation of 1960s song “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You,” and older tunes “The Lucky One” and “Ghost in This House.”

A walk around the festival’s Outlaw Village in between sets by performers offered everything from tie-dyes and top hats to t-shirts for Willie’s Reserve – Nelson’s brand of cannabis grown by independent farmers that was advertised prominently throughout the festival.

Fans could even pose with a life-size portrait of Willie while holding props, like a “Free Willie” sign or a wooden middle finger.

Brothers Osborne, a six-piece roots-rock band featuring brothers and Maryland natives T.J. Osborne and John Osborne, opened the festival at 4:15 p.m. with a well-received set of straight-ahead bar-room rock. They got the crowd clapping along to spirited tunes like “It Ain’t My Fault.”


Source: © Copyright The Daily Gazette But wait, there's more!

Bonnie Raitt brings flavor to Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest

on August 20, 2019 No comments
By Ty Davis

Old Town Fort Collins welcomed legendary blues/rock musician Bonnie Raitt Saturday night as part of the three day Bohemian Nights Festival presented by NewWestFest.

Blues and Rock singer Bonnie Raitt headlined the second night of the Bohemian Nights Festival after a full day of musical performances by artists such as Dubskin, Analog Son, Hound Heart and more. The performance took place on the Mountain Avenue stage, which was set up at the east end of mountain avenue near Propel Labs and Western Convenience Store, with simultaneous streams of the performance casted to Old Town Square and Library Park.

Raitt’s performance started at 8:30 p.m., and lines for the venue extended up through Mountain Avenue and Walnut Street.

Headliner Bonnie Raitt plays the Mountain Avenue Stage during the second day of Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest on Saturday, August 10, 2019, in Old Town Fort Collins, Colo. © Timothy Hurst /For The Coloradoan

Raitt opened with a quick story about how she enjoyed walking around ort Collins. Raitt opened with an older classic, “Something to Talk About,” from her eleventh album “Luck of The Draw.” From there, Raitt performed a number of songs from her catalog but also covered several songs from other blues and rock artists. 

The venue was divided into two parts, an area in front of the stage and back area with a large tv display that allowed the crowd near the back of the venue to get a directed view of the performance. During the middle part of the show, Raitt and her band slowed things down with a few calmer songs, but immediately following, Raitt kicked the mood up to bombastic levels. 

A toy monkey, the mascotte of the band, sits on amplifiers at the back of the Mountain Avenue Stage during the second day of Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest on Saturday, August 10, 2019, in Old Town Fort Collins, Colo. © Timothy Hurst /For The Coloradoan

The stage was awash in gentle blues and pinks which shifted dynamically to fit the tone of the performance, at times dark blue for somber moments before roaring back to pink to match to the more explosive songs. 

Raitt started her music career in the late ’60s when she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to study Social Relations and African Studies at Cambridge University. After playing at local coffee shops, Raitt landed a record deal after 3 years which lead to her debut titular album “Bonnie Raitt.” Raitt went on to release several hits like “Something, to Talk About,” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” along with 18 more albums over the course of her career with the most recent entry being “Dig in Deep.”

Ty Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or Twitter @tydavisACW


Source: © Copyright The Rocky Mountain Collegian But wait, there's more!