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Willie Nelson Plays Secret MySpace Show, Releases New Standards Album

Willie Nelson

I tried, I really tried, but I couldn’t keep it a secret: Willie Nelson is doing a “secret show” tonight at 7 p.m. (EST) from a venue in Hawaii, for a MySpace broadcast. Personally, I can’t think of too many things less “secret” than MySpace, but Nelson will be performing songs from his new CD, along with a guest appearance by the indie-rock group Band of Horses. The show originates from Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon in Paia on the beautiful island of Maui. That’s on Hana Highway for fans lucky enough to reside on that island (or those with charter-jet capabilities). The press release describes Charley’s as Nelson’s hometown bar, but any serious Nelson fan knows that Willie’s real home is a smoke-filled tour bus.

Lest you wonder why us jazz snobs at JazzTimes would deign to plug the pony-tailed country legend, Nelson has just released yet another jazz-related project, called American Classic (Blue Note). It’s a collection of standards, his first since he released Stardust way back when I had hair as long as Nelson’s (that would be 1978). American Classic was produced by Tommy LiPuma (jazz hitmaker for Diana Krall, George Benson, Natalie Cole and many others), and features guest appearances by Krall and Norah Jones. Nelson’s collaboration last year with Wynton Marsalis-Two Men With the Blues-was a critical and commercial success. (Click here for Josef Woodard’s JT review.)

Of course, you have to be a MySpace user to take in the show. As a user, you must friend the Secret Shows profile page to get in on the action. You can also check out Willie on his Sirius/XM channel “Willie’s Place,” where he’ll be previewing the album and telling stories about his life and music.

Originally Published