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Willie Nelson becomes 2009 Texas State Musician

Thursday, May 21, 2009 – Willie Nelson's interaction with government has not always been so positive, but he received an honor from the Texas state legislature Wednesday naming him the 2009 State Musician.

The bill said, "Honorees are chosen for the exceptional quality of their work and for their outstanding commitment to the arts in Texas; nominees must either be native Texans or have resided in the state for at least five years; in addition, they must have received critical recognition from state, regional, and national publications, and they must have attained the highest levels of excellence in their respective disciplines."

"Willie Nelson is the 2009 Texas State Musician; this legendary Texas performer was playing the guitar at the age of 6 and performing at 10; after establishing himself in Nashville as a hit songwriter, he returned to Texas and soon became world-famous as an interpreter of his own songs and as an icon of the outlaw country music movement; he has further distinguished himself as a film and television actor and entrepreneur, as well as an ever-popular touring concert artist who has been involved in numerous charity events such as FarmAid."

Nelson said, "I consider it a great honor, and I want to thank everyone who helped make it happen."

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Willie Nelson has been routinely busy since 1996 with touring, recording, writing books and more touring. Yet his latest offering is a rarity of sorts in that it's his first true studio album of primarily new material since 1996. And like so much of his material beforehand, Nelson mines very little new ground with this record. That doesn't mean it's not stellar however! The first song "Bring It On" contains all the hallmarks of a classic Nelson tune, from the »»»
To All the Girls... CD review - To All the Girls...
At 80, it would be easy for Willie Nelson to take a step back and rest on his laurels a bit. Instead, the country legend just released his third studio album in only a 16-month period, a new 18-song collection of duets. You might think it would be hard to get motivated to hit the studio at his age, but when you consider the talented group of female vocalists with whom Nelson collaborated on this album, how could he not be excited? The brilliant list of collaborators is a veritable who's »»»
Let's Face the Music and Dance CD review - Let's Face the Music and Dance
Willie Nelson celebrated his 80th birthday in April by releasing this collection of classics. There is 1 Nelson original here, an acoustic version of the relatively obscure track Is the Better Part Over from Nelson's 1989 album "A Horse Called Music," but for the most part, Nelson puts his unique stamp on pop, jazz and country standards. The '50s pop/rock era is represented by an effective rendition of The Platters' hit Twilight Time and a rocking version of Carl »»»
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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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