Willie Nelson performs at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at NRG Stadium in Houston. — Photos can only be used by the Houston Chronicle for review of this show only. — Photo: Jon Shapley/Staff photographer
Willie Nelson will celebrate his 90th birthday far from Texas but in good company. The legendary singer, songwriter, guitarist and Texan will be honored on April 29, his actual birthday, and April 30 with a pair of concerts in Los Angeles.
The guest list for Long Story Short — as the shows are being called — is formidable and befitting a musician whose work has reached far and wide: Allison Russell, Beck, Billy Strings, Bob Weir, Charlie Crockett, Chris Stapleton, Edie Brickell, Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges, Lukas Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Margo Price, Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff, Neil Young, Norah Jones, Orville Peck, Particle Kid, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg, Sturgill Simpson, the Avett Brothers, the Chicks, the Lumineers, Tom Jones, Tyler Childers, Warren Haynes and Ziggy Marley.
Additional artists are likely to be added. The performances will be held at the Hollywood Bowl. Details available here. The choice of location — two time zones away from his Hill Country base of operations — is likely attributable to the availability of the guests as well as access to grander film/TV infrastructure than is found in Spicewood.
As 90 approaches, Nelson shows few signs of curbing his legendary proclivity for making music. He will release a new album on March 3. “I Don’t Know a Thing About Love,” his 99th album, finds Nelson singing 10 songs by the late Nashville songwriting dean Harlan Howard. While his shows have scaled back from the three-hour days, he remains active on the road. In fact, Nelson will play a pair of shows in New Braunfels with fellow Texans ZZ Top two weeks before he turns 90.
No commentary could cover Nelson’s activity better than he did himself 30 years ago when he sang, “Still is still moving to me.”