(NOTE: If you’re looking for our article on Atmosphere, we’ve run into a slight technical difficulty and will post it tonight or tomorrow, so please check back!)
Country music legend Willie Nelson returns to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater tonight. Hippies, cowboys, stoners, punks, grandmas and teens alike love Willie, one of the most accomplished singers and songwriters of the past half-century, regardless of genre. Here he is talking about the songs on his new record “Country Music,” an album of country standards.
“You hear all kinds of ideas about country music: This is country, or this is, or that was and this ain’t. And it’s all a matter of opinion. But in my opinion, this is the original country music. So I’m really excited for people to hear it. There are so many great songs in every category — pop, country, bluegrass, whatever. There are a lot of great standards to choose from. Fortunately I’ve lived long enough to know them all, I think. I just love singing those songs.”
My colleague David Jasper wrote about Willie’s long and storied career. Click here to read it.
I spent my Sunday afternoon taking in the final day of the Sisters Folk Festival, where I saw Po’ Girl, Chris Kokesh & Brokentop, The Makepeace Brothers and the wonderful Slaid Cleaves. As is always the case at one of Central Oregon’s best events, I had a great time.
(Cleaves) wore a purple button-down shirt and dark slacks that I thought looked like church clothes, so I smiled when he knowingly began his Sunday set with a couple of gospel tunes, one by Woody Guthrie (“This Morning I Am Born Again”) and one original that covered the world of religions and sounded quite Hank Sr.-ish, a fact Cleaves acknowledged up front.
That one is so new, Cleaves flubbed several lines at the end, a mistake he blew off with characteristic wit. From there, though, it was smooth sailing as he played a set of frequently requested “workplace disaster songs,” including the devastatingly gorgeous “Lydia” (about coalminers’ deaths) and “Breakfast in Hell,” an epic, true story with a brawny audience-participation part.
I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy plays two shows, one in Redmond and one in La Pine, crossover thrash pioneers D.R.I. visit the Domino Room, rockabilly artist Ruby Dee brings her Snakehandlers to Bend, McMenamins Old St. Francis School plans a busy week of live music, and the Bend Roots Revival kicks off Thursday night with shows at five different venues around town. (Look for lots more on Bend Roots in next week’s GO!)
Can’t find anything above that interests you? Check out The Bulletin’s complete music listings.