Willie Nelson plays storytelling country music reminiscent of guitars strummed over beer and Mexican blankets. During the past few years, the injection of lip-glossed pop music into the genre's veins by the likes of Shania Twain and the McGraw-Hill duo have caused the all-American image associated with such a grassroots movement to be blurred or repackaged in torn blue jeans and sold at the Gap. But some troubadours still roam the great American landscape like relics of our bison past, and certainly Willie Nelson is one of them. With a voice that's equal measures honesty and grit, Nelson (along with Waylon Jennings) is a founder of "outlaw country" music, known for going against the grain of the early-'70s Nashville scene.
Willie still rocks two perfect Indian braids speckled with red and white hair, is big on charity and excess (he purchased his own town, jet and golf course in the late '80s, owing millions in back taxes to the IRS), and was the man behind one of the greatest country hits ever written: "Crazy," performed by another country staple, Patsy Cline. He's also been sticking his weathered fingers in the lucrative Hollywood commercial cereal jar, acting in small roles in two very Willie-esque endeavors: Half-baked and the Dukes of Hazard.
Mamas, make sure your babies grow up to be cowboys instead of fluorescent-skinned suits at the closest we come to a homestyle affair in this 'ere county.
WILLIE NELSON AT THE GROVE OF ANAHEIM, 2200 E. KATELLA AVE., ANAHEIM, (714) 712-2700. TUES., 8 P.M. $70-$80. ALL AGES.
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