Judy and I went to Galveston to see Willie Nelson in concert last night. As you may be aware, he's been around for a while. Seventy-three years, in fact. He'll be 74 next month. All he has to do to get a standing ovation in Texas is walk out on the stage.
He seems to be in great physical condition, his voice is still strong, and he still has the longest braid around. He did a full two-hour show without taking a break. There's no patter, just Willie playing and singing (with that family band back-up, of course).
His playing is outstanding. His acoustic guitar looks as if it might have come over on the Mayflower, and he picks the heck out of it. He uses nylon strings, and the guitar is amped. There's some great guitar work in any Willie Nelson concert. I first saw him about 30 years ago, and the guitar appears to be the same one he was using then.
Some of the songs he did were old ones, like "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" and "Whiskey River." Some were pop standards like "Stardust" and "Georgia on my Mind." Some seemed tossed off, and some were knockouts. He did a couple from his new Songbird CD, and three or four from a CD to be released in July or August. At the end of the show when he did "I Saw the Light," the audience was up on its feet, singing and shouting along.
Nelson obviously loves performing, and he's so good at it, so confident, that he might just go on forever. I for one hope he does.