Lifestyle

Whiskey River: A Taste of the Sound & Spirit from Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic Lineup

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Having booked Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, and Steve Earle (to name a few,) for his 4th of July Picnic here in the Texas Hill Country, Willie Nelson’s annual holiday event drew thousands as expected for its 44th edition, bringing fans, young and old, to their feet to celebrate the man, the music, and America.

In its third year at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack just outside Austin, Texas, the 4th of July lineup drew on many of the artists that have joined Nelson on his recent Outlaw Music Festival Tour. Hayes Carll, Margo Price, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real performed at the Picnic, with Price and Johnson being return acts from last year’s event. Musgraves, who has collaborated on projects with Nelson previously, made her Picnic debut at this year’s event. Texas singers and musicians were well represented at the event as well, featuring such country icons as Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Johnny Bush. Red Dirt group, the Turnpike Troubadours, also made an appearance, as well as Folk Uke, Insects Vs. Robots (Micah Nelson’s band), and the star’s own granddaughter, Raelyn Nelson together with her band, rounding out the bill.

Having long been recognized as one who spearheaded the “outlaw” country music trend, leaving Nashville to write, sing, and produce his music in Austin, Texas, Nelson has continued performing well into his 80s, collaborating with friends, industry greats, and many a Texas singer starting out. His live recording of “Whiskey River,” filmed here in Austin, and shared on the Folk & Country on MV YouTube Channel is simply a taste of the tunes, sounds, and spirit which pervaded the set lists of the much-anticipated Independence Day event. This Texas-sized troubadour has led many a country music fan through their days and nights with his prolific style and mesmerizing capabilities, and those hoping he can continue (God and good health willing) number in the hundreds of thousands around the world.

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