I try to see the old time country greats whenever they get near Oregon, but there aren’t many left. Merle Haggard just canceled his tour through this area because of health problems and Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Buck Owens are all now gone. But Willie Nelson is still at it and played the state fair in Salem, Oregon this summer. His lead guitar player recently retired, his drummer is so old he can only play a few songs at a time, and Willie was just back from carpel tunnel surgery. I didn’t know what to expect, but with his hands free of pain the 75 year old played guitar like an acid cowboy Django Reinhardt for over two hours. He carries the band on his back and brings together hippies and punk rockers and rednecks and musos and old people. They’re all there just to see him, and they all leave saying the same thing. “I didn’t know he was that good of a guitar player.” Willie Nelson is the last of the old greats, please go see him while you can ‘cause even Willie can’t live forever.
Willy Vlautin Site