Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Dave Matthews & More Join Willie Nelson At Nashville Tribute

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An all-star lineup of musicians honored Willie Nelson at the Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw concert on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The evening mainly featured performances of songs by Willie, paying tribute to Nelson or popularized by the Red Headed Stranger. Willie joined in the festivities by teaming with a number of musicians on the bill at various points of the show.

Chris Stapleton led the house band on “Whiskey River” to begin, which is the way many of Willie’s concerts start. Members of the house band included Don Was, Nicki Bluhm, Amanda Shires, Mickey Raphael, Jamey Johnson and Audley Freed. Next up was Lee Ann Womack on “Three Days” and Margo Price for “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” and “Sister’s Coming Home.” Bobby Bare lent Margo a hand on the former while Steve Earle joined Price for the latter. Willie’s sons, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, then led the house band on a medley that included “Just As I Am,” “Hands On The Wheel” and more.

Jason Isbell‘s chance in the spotlight came with a cover of Sleepy John Estes’ “Milk Cow Blues” before Nathaniel Rateliff led “A Song For You” by Leon Russell. Lyle Lovett then performed “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” and joined Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel for “Shotgun Willie.” From there, Alison Krauss sang “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground,” Vince Gill performed “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” and Jamey Johnson put his all into an emotional “Georgia On My Mind.” Willie made his first appearance of the night by joining Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi for “City Of New Orleans.”

The Avett Brothers took the stage by themselves for “Bloody Mary Morning” and the fitting “Willie Got There First.” Then, Norah Jones fronted Little Willies for “Remember Me” and “I Got Drunk.” A run of Jack Johnson delivering “Willie Got Me Stoned,” Sturgill Simpson performing “Red Headed Rounder,” Eric Church singing “Me & Paul” and John Mellencamp leading “Night Life” led into Dave Matthews‘ “Funny How Time Slips Away.”

Willie Nelson was on hand for the final portion of the evening. He dueted with Dave Matthews on “Crazy,” Sheryl Crow on “After The Fire Is Gone” and Emmylou Harris on “Pancho & Lefty” and “Til’ I Gain Control Again.” Nelson then shared the stage with Eric Church and Kris Kristofferson on “Me & Bobby McGee,” Jimmy Buffett on “The Harder They Come” and Derek Trucks and Chris Stapleton for “Always On My Mind.” Country music legend George Strait paired up with Willie on “Sing One With Willie” and “Good Hearted Woman” before the entire cast took the stage for a medley of “On The Road Again,” “May The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away” as well as the beloved “Roll Me Up & Smoke Me.” A concert film documenting the evening will air on A&E later this year.

Fan-Shot Videos | Captured by Taylor Hendrix

Sing One With Willie

Willie Got Me Stoned

Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

Me & Bobby McGee

Crazy

Always On My Mind

Good Hearted Woman

Setlist

Willie Nelson at Bridgestone Arena

Set 1
  • Whiskey River  
  • Three Days
  • Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys  
  • Sister's Coming Home / Down at the Corner Beer Joint  
  • I Thought About You, Lord / Just as I Am / Time of the Preacher / Bandera / Hands on the Wheel  
  • Milk Cow Blues  
  • A Song for You  
  • My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
  • Shotgun Willie  
  • Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
  • Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain  
  • Georgia (On My Mind)  
  • Somebody Pick Up My Pieces  
  • City of New Orleans  
Set 2
  • Bloody Mary Morning
  • Willie Got There First
  • Remember Me  
  • I Gotta Get Drunk  
  • Willie Got Me Stoned
  • Red Headed Rounder
  • Me and Paul
  • Night Life
  • Funny How Time Slips Away
  • Crazy
  • After the Fire Is Gone  
  • Pancho & Lefty  
  • 'Til I Gain Control Again  
  • Me and Bobby McGee  
  • The Harder They Come  
  • You Were Always on My Mind  
  • Sing One With Willie
  • Good Hearted Woman  
Encore
  • On the Road Again / Will the Circle Be Unbroken? / I'll Fly Away
  • Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die