One of the most beloved and respected artists in American music, superstar Willie Nelson makes a welcome return to The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa on May 18 with his full band, Willie Nelson & Family.
With a six-decade career and 200-plus albums, the Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of “Crazy,” “Red Headed Stranger,” and “Stardust.” Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist.
He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. In recent years, he has delivered more than a dozen new album releases; published the book It’s A Long Story: My Life, the unvarnished and complete story of his life that landed him on the New York Times’ bestsellers list; again headlined Farm Aid, an event he co-founded in 1985; received his 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul; headlined the annual Luck Reunion food and music festival at his ranch in Luck, TX during SXSW; launched his cannabis companies Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy; and graced the covers of Rolling Stone and AARP The Magazine.
In November 2015 the Library of Congress honored Nelson with their Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for his contributions to popular music. He is the first country artist to receive the distinguished award. That year he released a new studio album with Merle Haggard titled Django And Jimmie, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country album chart and No. 7 on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart. The following year began with the release of Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, a collection of 11 newly recorded Gershwin classics.
The album debuted at No. 1 on both the Top Current Jazz chart and the Top Traditional Jazz chart, as well as earning him a Grammy Award for the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In September 2016, came For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, an album of newly recorded interpretations of 12 Ray Price songs. In 2017, he released two albums of newly recorded performances: God’s Problem Child, with 13 new songs, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country album chart and No. 10 on the Billboard 200, and Willie Nelson and The Boys (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2), that includes 11 country classics and one brand new song performed by Nelson and his sons Lukas and Micah.
In April 2018, he released Last Man Standing to celebrate his 85th birthday, comprised entirely of songs newly-penned by Nelson (and longtime collaborator and producer Buddy Cannon).
And September saw the release of My Way, a collection of newly recorded standards and classic originally made famous by Nelson’s close friend and musical colleague Frank Sinatra. These new songs and performances add to his classic catalog, and find Nelson rolling at a creative peak, writing and singing and playing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that comes from the road, which he still travels along performing for fans.
Willie Nelson, 8 p.m. May 18 at Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, 888-999-1995; hotwatercasino.com.