Archive: Willie Nelson’s 2006 Fourth of Jul Picnic a family affair
June 17, 2015 - Picnic Time
It’s substantially bold to lay in Willie Nelson’s bus, demeanour him in a eye and ask: “How prolonged are we going to do this?”
But Willie isn’t vouchsafing on if he has any worries about mankind or infirmity. His answer is straightforward, delivered with a friendly grin: “I don’t know. It’s still fun.”
Jeffery Washington / Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Fun? By 10:30 a.m., anyone already on a Picnic drift — or lined adult during a gate, watchful to get in — was drizzling with sweat. By 3 p.m., a sleet was descending tough adequate to stop a show, withdrawal thousands to lay in murky silence.
The Picnic had a misfortune of both worlds: prohibited and humid, cold and soggy.
Fun? The Back 40 during a Stockyards is mostly mud and gravel, with rags of torn-up weed nearby a categorical stage. And it is ringed with cost merchandise; $35 for an central con- cert T-shirt, $6 for a beer, $3 for a bottle of water.
When Shooter Jennings strike a carol on “Fourth of July, ” during slightest one person’s hair stood on end. There were women on shoulders, guys fluttering beers, thousands pulpy adult opposite a South theatre or streaming that approach in a hurry.
“Happy to be with me, on a Fourth of July, ” Jennings sang. And about 10,000 people were.
Pam Minick, executive of media family for Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, pronounced they were awaiting about 12,000 people by night’s end, down from final year’s 18,000. But with no Bob Dylan and with a Picnic on a Tuesday, a smaller throng was expected.
Still, a Picnic is an continuation test. Why would anyone go by this some-more than once?
Ask any fan of Willie Nelson’s Fourth of Jul Picnic — heck, ask any performer — since a Picnic still survives after 33 years, and he’ll tell you: “Willie.”
And that would be loyal for any other uncover a Red-Headed Stranger performs. But a Picnic — what creates it special is a sum of a aging parts.
“It’s a family reunion, ” Billy Joe Shaver said. “People consider us artists get to see any other all a time, though we don’t. we don’t caring if we even play. we only wish to see everyone.”
It’s a reunion year after year. Check out a Picnic lineup, and you’ll see a same names: Shaver, Leon Russell, Ray Price, Johnny Bush, David Allan Coe, Ray Wylie Hubbard, a Geezinslaws.
“The rest of them are only fillers, ” Bush jokes of a other artists, though it’s during slightest partly true. The Picnic has survived since a many unchanging performers have, too.
And for a many part, a artists’ relations are as gentle as an aged span of jeans.
“There’s not a lot of ego during Willie’s Picnic, no genuine divas, ” Hubbard says. And it’s since a aged friends won’t put adult with it from any other, and a youngsters and lesser-known artists are only happy to be there.
This year’s Stockyards picnic, a third consecutive, kicked off right on time with a touching chronicle of a inhabitant anthem by 9-year-old Mario Macias.
Then came Heather Myles with a good cover of “Help Me Make It Through a Night”; Mike Graham, whose songwriting has changed over a elementary anthem “I Feel Like Drinking Today, ” though it’s still a fun song; and Jimmy Lee Jones, who spent many of his set display off his band’s musicianship, though came behind to form with “(My Baby’s) All Liquored Up.”
The concert-goers come in all shapes and ages. There are hippies, rednecks, families, college kids and bikers, some curiously overdressed for a Texas heat, others many undressed.
One integrate independently combined an shutter for their grass chairs with PVC siren and blue tarp. Another organisation corroborated itself opposite a blockade and used tent poles and cosmetic sheeting to emanate shade.
These days, a picnic is not only a Willie and Family event; it’s a Willie and family event, too.
“We got a Haggard, a Nelson and a Jennings, ” Allred points out. “But it’s Noel Haggard and Paula Nelson and Shooter Jennings.”
Jennings, son of a late Waylon, was creation his picnic entrance 10 years after his father final achieved during a picnic, an anniversary he hadn’t realized.
“For me, it’s kind of a full-circle thing. we came to Willie’s Picnic 4 years ago.” He finished adult essay a strain about his outing to a 2003 Picnic in Spicewood (“Fourth of July”) though couldn’t lapse until this year, as a performer. “I’m unapproachable to be here. I’m unapproachable to be relocating along quick adequate that we could get on and play.”
Haggard, sounding suggestive of his father, finished a many of his 15 minutes, bringing out an problematic Waylon song, “Ain’t No Good Chain Gang, ” and an aged Waylon tune, “Stop a World (And Let Me Off).”
So let us paraphrase that opening question: Why has a picnic survived?
“There’s other festivals where a song is only as good, though there’s something about it being Willie’s Picnic that creates we think, ‘man, we gotta go see that, ’ ” Hubbard says.
Bush agrees: “If nobody showed adult besides Willie and his guitar, we don’t consider nobody would leave.”
Willie, ever a guru, has his possess answer.
“After it’s all pronounced and done, it’s about a music, ” a 73-year-old says. “If a party’s function during a music, that’s good, too. But it’s all about a music.”