On the cover of his 1965 album Country Willie, short-haired, clean-shaven Nashville songwriter Willie Nelson can be seen scrawling his name on the side of a barn. Fitting that for his latest album, the T-Bone Burnett-helmed Country Music, a similar graffiti gets deployed, but over a cathedral-sized barn. Williein his ponytailed, bearded incarnationhas become a country music institution and religion (see book The Tao of Willie). And while there have been past digressions (including reggae and Kid Rock), Country Music finds the gray-headed stranger reaching back to his own roots, from his own "Man with the Blues" to spirituals to standards from Merle Travis and Ernest Tubb. Expect the night to be both sacred and profane.
Thu., May 6, 7 p.m., 2010