Willie Nelson Opens Up About Live Music and Concert Tours: ‘I Know It’ll Come Back’

by Suzanne Halliburton
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In Willie Nelson’s world view, his last 66 years are a gift. That’s because one of the quirkiest characters in country music thought he’d be dead by 21.

“Well, when I was young, I was pretty dumb,” Nelson told Slate this month. “And now that I’m older, I’m pretty f—ing dumb. I don’t know everything, and I think I do. So there’s the problem.

“I didn’t ever think I’d get this old, Nelson says, then pauses to laugh.I always thought I was lucky to make it past 21.

Maybe God decided to keep Nelson around for all those glorious bonus years because his music is so timeless. No matter our age, Willie can get us into the mood to party or be casual with friends. He soothes our hearts, let’s us celebrate love and seeing new sights. Or, he let’s us tell people good bye.

Trust Us, There’s A Willie Nelson Song For Every Mood

There’s a Willie Nelson song for every mood. And, at 87, he plans on touring again as soon as the world gets a handle on the Covid-19 pandemic. The new coronavirus shut down the music world in March. The country music world is sending out green shoots — there still is a lot of life. But it needs live music shows to thrive.

“Well, it’s been crazy,” Nelson said. “It’s the longest time off the road that I can think of, we’ve ever had to go through before. We’ve always been able to play to some audience somewhere.”

Nelson is optimistic the world will reopen and return to some sort of normalcy.

“I know it’ll come back,” he said. “It may be a while, it may be next year sometime. But this will pass and we’ll get back to our normal thing.”

The pandemic delayed one of Nelson’s new albums. He announced the release of his new album “First Rose of Spring” in July. It was his 70th. Three of the songs on the album are Nelson’s reinterpretations of tracks written by Chris Stapleton (“Our Song”), Toby Keith (“Don’t Let the Old Man In”), and Billy Joe Shaver (“We Are The Cowboys”).

Nelson’s 87th birthday was at the end of April. He celebrated it at home. He’s also participated in several live stream concerts and wrote his memoir with sibling Bobbie Nelson.

Nelson, whose ranch is in Spicewood, outside Austin, also is working on a new tribute album to Frank Sinatra. It piggybacks off his previous tribute to “Ol Blue Eyes” from 2018.

Nelson’s new album is set for release in February. Hopefully, he’ll be able to sing all those songs in front of a live, loving audience, age be damned. That’s because Nelson will get another bonus year older in April.

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