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Willie Nelson plans to record for his own label, signs sons

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 – Willie Nelson, who will formally announce the formation of his own record label Friday during South by Southwest, will record for Perdanales Recors once his obligations to Lost Highway Records are completed.

Nelson also signed his sons,guitarist and singer Lukas Nelson and drummer Micah Nelson, to the label as 40 Points.

Partnering with Nelson in the Austin-based venture are his longtime manager Mark Rothbaum and noted producer James Stroud, whose credits include work with such star acts as Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Neil Diamond, The Neville Brothers, Hank Williams Jr. and Nelson. He also was instrumental in getting the late DreamWorks Nashville off the ground.

"The label is an extension of Willie's philosophy on music, which is that there are no boundaries," says Stroud. "One of the things that makes him such an icon is that he has always been open to any genre of music that's done well and with passion. So the label will be an extension of that vision and those feelings, which he will now bring to Pedernales Records."

The label will also reflect Nelson's career long commitment to nurturing and supporting new talent, which goes as far back as his financing the first Nashville recordings by his friend and now country legend Johnny Bush in the 1960s up to, most recently, his strong early support for Los Lonely Boys.

40 Points will also perform at the press conference Friday announcing the label. The Nelson boys played with Willie on the summer 2005 Nelson/Bob Dylan tour. The group, whose sound is a unique blend of rock, reggae, blues and funk, has also opened shows for Willie Nelson and Family as well as Dylan, Los Lonely Boys, UB40, The Doobie Brothers and Jack Johnson and appeared at such festivals as Willie's annual Fourth of July Picnic. The debut album by 40 Points includes a guest appearance by the elder Nelson with his sons and is produced by Stroud. The disc is slated to be out this summer.

Nelson will record for the label following his stint with Lost Highway Records. His latest release, out March 20, is "Last of the Breed," a two-disc album with Merle Haggard and Ray Price, with whom he will be touring from March 9 to March 25, backed by Asleep at the Wheel.

Pedernales Records takes its name from the river that flows by Nelson's home and headquarters outside of Austin, where he also owns Pedernales Country Club and founded Pedernales Studios (now owned by his nephew Freddy Fletcher). He and Fletcher are also partners in another new entertainment venture, the Austin City Limits Theater in downtown Austin that will be the TV studio of the long-running PBS concert show as well as a world-class live music venue.

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Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile warms hearts with empathetic thoughts – Brandi Carlile, dressed festively with a Santa hat, began her mid-week concert set with Joni Mitchell's "River" and closed with the carol "O Holy Night." In between, she sang about an equal measure of old and new songs. And on this first night of a short acoustic tour, Carlile was both in fine spirits and voice.... »»»
Concert Review: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures – After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set. As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
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