Willie Nelson

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We sure hope we don't have to tell you why you should go see Willie Nelson at this point, especially if you never have.

He only seems immortal, but the man will be 77 in April. And, in retrospect, maybe 2009 showed signs of Nelson slowing down: He only released two studio albums, standards set American Classic and Asleep at the Wheel collaboration Willie & the Wheel—but, then again, he also spearheaded Farm Aid for the 22nd time, ran his own Sirius/XM satellite radio station and kept to the usual relentless tour calendar that cycles him through Billy Bob's this weekend.

If you have seen him before, though, let your eyes wander from the Red Headed Stranger and focus on other musicians such as drummer/Willie's right arm Paul English (of "Me and Paul" semi-fame), unobtrusive-but-essential bassist Bee Spears or guitar-picker Jody Payne. And not even Willie would be Willie without the chromatic contributions of harmonica genius Mickey Raphael and Willie's sister Bobbie plunking her honky-tonk gospel piano. There's a reason he calls his band the Family, you know.


Willie Nelson

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