Pancho & Lefty kick Randy’s sorry ass

What in the hell is wrong with that boy? This is more than just too long out in the sun and forgetting his medicine, I swear. Thinks he’s bigger, smarter and funny now, like he’s the only one in the family ever read a book? All that’s got bigger is his dumb head and you know that ain’t need no help. He was running down Willie at that Glastonbury and now it’s Merle. What’s a worried brother to do in a situation like that? I know I myself had my head turned by some crazy ideas at that festival there but it’ll be Elvis hisself before you know it and I just won’t be able to help myself. I just pray it don’t go too far with him.

Willie at Glastonbury

For the record here, Willie’s set started out well. Randy wouldn’t know about this on account he went to see some second rate hardcore band pretending theys Mariachi. No really, he did. Meantime Willie is romping through ‘Pistol Packin’ Mama’ and a beautiful ‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain’. I said ‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain’ people! Shotgun Willie! the Red Headed Stranger! The man who gave us ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’!Hot damn! His voice was sounding good and his guitar playing, what he never does get enough credit for, was great. The low-key band  had a great harmonica player with ’em who was almost like having an accordion or fiddle at times. During ‘Always On My Mind’ he was joined enthusiastically by the Glastonbury choir for the choruses which seemed to hit home, causing him to look a little tearful, although it was hard to tell if he was more confused or happy. Followin’ on with a few spiritual numbers including a real sweet ‘Nobody’s Fault But My Own’ it looked there like the set was going to take off.

Willie's message for Randy

sadly it wasn’t really to be, the momentum ebbed away I have to confess and they seemed to be racing to fit as much in as they could ‘fore the hour was up (30 tunes in total, stat fans). He wound up ‘City Of New Orleans’ after just one verse, why bother? Great tune, but the wrong time for it, maybe he sensed that. At least the closing ‘Bloody Mary Morning’ was good. Not a showstopping finale though. Anyways here’s a tune or two to be going on with… Snoop Dogg followed Willie on stage but they didn’t duet as many had hoped or expected, maybe later on in Snoop’s set but I ain’t heards nothing about it. Now Brother Randy was more upset than he would care to admit about U2 pullin’ their slot on the Friday so here’s a tune they did with Willie (no, seriously now – it’s good)

Slow Dancing – U2 & Willie Nelson

Don’t Mess With Texas

I can’t decide what else to put up for Willie, maybe in a day or two come on back and we’ll see eh?

So, onto this business with Haggard and the Dixie Chicks. Randy ‘Dixie’ Hickey’s right that Haggard writes better tunes, I mean The Dixie Chicks? How anyone ever came to care that they said something not especially controversial is beyond my thinkin’. It’s up there with all that yellow ribbon, ‘freedom’ fries non sense and it’s certainly the most interesting thing about ’em. Haggard was also an opponent of the Iraq war, feeling as many others did that it was just about oil

“I don’t even know the Dixie Chicks, but I find it an insult for all the men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching.”

" you gotta problem there son?"

So, yeah I don’t exactly go with the Fighting Side Of Me either, life’s a complex thing you know here’s a nice lil’ Merle story about his friendship with johnny Cash while we’re here

“Cash was… I just liked him. We just liked each other and we liked each other’s music. Our families were both from Middle America, his being from Arkansas and mine being from Oklahoma. And we had several different things that were similar in our lives. He once said to me, “You know Haggard, you’re everything that people think I am.” And one time I told him, I said, “You know, you did the dumbest thing I‘ve ever heard you doin’.” And he said, “What was that?” And I said, “When you hired that piano player!” I said, “Johnny Cash with a piano player makes no sense at all.” I said, “What in the Hell do you need with a piano player?” And he took a long pause and looked at me and said to me, “Haggard, you’re the only man in country music uglier than me.”

Merle’s New Album

As luck would have it the ornery old feller has a new album out called appropriately enough I Am What I Am (can you imagine Hag doin’ a little popeye style chuckle after the title? no. me neither) It’s a gentle thing of beauty, there’s a lot of space in it, you can see the dust motes in the light. It sounds like a great soundtrack to few quiet drinks in the booth of a dark shady bar looking out on the scorching day. It’s like sitting in that same bar with a resigned old guy looking back on his life. The increasingly common touches of jazz in his music step up to the mic a little more but it’s not like there’s any noticeable change, everything just seems to roll out effortlessly each note in it’s right place.

It’s a great album, you should get yourselves one, here’s a couple of tunes. Mexican Bands  seemed appropriate considering Randy’s choices at Glastonbury and I had trouble choosing another but I guess the lead off track I’ve Seen It Go Away is the most immediate and has that grouchy ol’ feller type vibe that me an Randy were feelin’ a little too much at glastonbury too, so here you goes...

I’ve Seen It Go Away

Mexican Bands

Haggard’s Website

~ by stagger lee on July 7, 2010.

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