A tribute to the 1973 album Shotgun Willie.
Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday celebration looked like a hell of a time. For two nights in the Hollywood Bowl, musicians of all kinds are coming together to celebrate the country music icon.
With appearances from Billy Strings, Charley Crockett, Chris Stapleton, Leon Bridges, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg, Sturgill Simpson, and many more, this lineup is one of the most stacked bills this year.
Billy Strings opened the show and laid down a phenomenal performance featuring some classics from Shotgun Willie.
A change of pace for Strings taking a step back from his jam session style performances, but he nailed his selection of “Whiskey River,” which flowed into “Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer).”
The crowd goes wild as Strings tees up the band and hits the opening line of “Whiskey River.” Strings adds some of his signature guitar pickin’ flare in between the two songs, making for a seamless transition.
The addition of the full band and backup singers gives this performance so much dimension, and Strings is having a ball on stage with the band.
There is nothing better than seeing artists you love paying tribute to those who paved the way before them, and I can’t wait to see what transpires during night two.
For fun, check out the latest collaboration between Nelson and Strings if you haven’t already.
Written by Billy, along with 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:
Needless to say, 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”