Only Willie Nelson could get “On The Road Again” with Willie Nelson and Family’s “Old Farts and Jackass Tour.” Nelson is pushing 80 and still packs concert venues from Claremont, Calif. to Rochester, New York. On Feb. 7, he sold out Seminole Hard Rock Live with opening act Merle Haggard.
The mixed ages crowd demonstrated there’s still a hankering for classic honky tonk music even in a challenged economy. Haggard opened the show with a bevy of hits including “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” and his 1987 single “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star.” At 75, he’s one of the few remaining country music outlaws. “This one’s for all the drunks out there!” Haggard shouted as he ripped into “Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down.” He dedicated his song “Mama Tried,” which was inspired by his own incarceration at San Quentin to “all the mothers out in the crowd” and later addressed false rumors that he and Nelson were having health issues. “They tend to blow things out of proportion. Both Willie and I are fine,” Haggard said on stage. “The last time I heard Willie even complain about having a headache was around 35 years ago. It’s good to be here.” His cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” was another crowd pleaser and nod to his musical roots.
There was a 30 minute intermission and then Nelson returned with his Family band and a huge backdrop of the Texas flag. His sisterBobbie Nelson, whose nickname is ironically “Little Sister” (even though she’s older than him) can still play a mean piano at 82. His son Lukas Nelson has some equally impressive musical chops. Lukas tore into Steve Ray Vaughn’s blues anthem “Texas Flood” with vicious riffs and a strong blues voice with a southern growl. Nelson’s Family band is a solid group of musicians who provide an essential foundation for the show with percussion, harp, bass and keys.
FULL ARTICLE: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/citylink/sfl-willie-nelson-and-merle-haggard-perform-at-seminole-hard-rock-live-20130208,0,68657.story