Willie Nelson at Billy Bob’s, Fort Worth, Texas January 2010
Willie struck the chord, that booming chord, that one that kicks off “Whiskey River” and then the Honky Tonk filled with Willie’s nasally voice “Whiskey River take my mind….” The old man still rocks. He is a kid at heart, a smiling little kid that loves to play music. He’s got it! He’s got soul. Some think Willie is a country music singer. No not really. Willie is a soul singer and flamenco guitar picker. If Texas were its own country (which some Texans think it should be) Willie would be on the one dollar bill. The red-headed stranger may have grayed over the years, but he is still full of youth. The family band, Sister Bobbie on piano, Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Paul the drummer, and the rest of the musicians, are in tip-top form providing that classic Willie sound.
As Willie broke into “Whiskey River” the crowd surged attempting to get a glimpse of the man himself. Old men with cowboy hats, long-haired hippies, young bandana-clad Willie hoochie mamas, bikers, and frat boys all gathered together to hear a Texan legend in Fort Worth. Willie played some of his greatest hits including “Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy,” “Night Life,” “On the Road Again,” “Always on my Mind,” “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” He also played some newer favorites like “Still Is Still Moving To Me” and “Beer for my Horses” and some old favorites like Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans” and Hank Williams’s “Jambalaya on Bayou.” And of course the band jammed out some gospel favorites, including “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and “I Saw the Light.”
Below is a rough set list…
Set List: Whiskey River, Still Is Still Moving To Me, Beer for my Horses, Shoe Shine Man, Funny How Time Slips Away, Crazy, Night Life, Sister Bobbie Piano, Me and Paul, Superman, You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore, Good Hearted Woman, Georgia on my Mind, All of Me, Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, On the Road Again, Always on My Mind, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, I’ll Fly Away, Willie Guitar Solo, Milkcow Blues, City of New Orleans, To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Jambalaya (On The Bayou), Move It Over, I Saw The Light