Billy Strings And Willie Nelson Collab For “California Sober” Ahead Of Willie’s 90th Birthday

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Willie Strings. Billy Nelson. Whatever you wanna call this duo, they kick ass.

The legend himself Willie Nelson and bluegrass phenom Billy Strings have a new song out today called “California Sober,” which comes on the eve of the red headed stranger’s 90th birthday.

Written by William Apostol (Billy Strings), Aaron Allen and Jon Weisberger, it finds the narrator looking back on all their years of partying and trying different vices and hard drugs, ultimately deciding Willie Nelson’s favorite herb is the way to go:

“Well I used to like to ramble with my good-time friends and neighbors,
Now I find I’d rather lie awake in bed,
And I don’t get to acting mean when I keep my buzzes clean,
And keep the hard stuff and the whiskey from my head…
I can’t stay out and party like I did back in the da,
So I’m California sober as they say.”

And of course, working with one of the all-time great artists of our time was an absolute dream come true for Billy, who shared a lengthy post on Instagram about just how much it means to him to have a song with the legendary Willie Nelson:

“I’m so honored to have made this song with Willie Nelson. We’re gearing up to celebrate this living legend’s 90th birthday this weekend in L.A. and he’s still out here kicking ass. What an absolute treasure and inspiration to us all.

I can’t really find the right words to describe how much this means to me.. Like most of us, I grew up exposed to Willie’s music.. a little boy hearing my dad sing ‘blue eyes crying in the rain’ at the request of grandpa Bill sitting there with a cold beer in one hand and one of his lil’ pinner joints in the other with a big smile through the whiskers on his red face.

I wish grandpa was still alive. We’d be kicking up a fuss!! Willie’s music has helped shape so many of our lives, even if we don’t know it. It’s there. It’s woven into the fabric of our nation. I feel almost patriotic when I think of Willie Nelson.

I will cherish this song for the rest of my life. I love you all.. And Willie …. Thank you ❤️ #CaliforniaSober”

Billy will be playing this weekend at the two-day concert dubbed: Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90, A Star-Studded Concert Celebrating Willie’s 90th Birthday at the iconic Hollywood Bowl, so maybe if we’re really, really lucky, they’ll team up for an in-person performance, too.

“California Sober” is also the first release for Billy since partnering with his new label, Reprise Records, and if you look closely in the music video, you might recognize Willie’s longtime band member Mickey Raphael joining in on harmonica, which is awesome that they got him to join in on it, as well.

One of country music’s most legendary artists teaming up with one of the brightest young stars in the genre… you just love to see it. An honorable passing of the torch, so to speak, indeed.

Check it out:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock