Willie Nelson is a global icon recognized instantly for his bandana and braids, not to mention his penchant for marijuana consumption and tax dodging. His music has almost become secondary to his outspoken outlaw personality, but the fact is that Nelson remains one of country music’s most prolific and successful songwriters of all-time. Before finally achieving super stardom on his own terms in the 1970s, Nelson spent many years in Nashville and on the road, penning hit songs for the likes of Ray Price, Faron Young, and Patsy Cline (including “Crazy”) and working to make a name for himself.
Anchored by house band Take The Wheel, over a dozen area performers will join together August 17 at Isis Music Hall for ‘Alive, Willie, and Able: a local tribute to Willie Nelson.’ The cast includes many of Asheville’s favorite artists as well as newer and lesser-known faces in our town’s country music scene. Similarly, our show will feature songs that everyone identifies with Willie in addition to some of the more obscure gems buried deep in the Nelson songbook.
Take The Wheel has become a honky-tonk institution in Asheville in just over a year, hosting the region’s only live band country karaoke every Monday night with an all-star assortment of local and world-renowned members. Led by local writer Jonathan Ammons and steel guitarist R Scott Murray, Take The Wheel also includes area guitar legend Marty Lewis of Sons Of Ralph, bassist Stu Cole (formerly of Squirrel Nut Zippers), and drummer Claude Coleman Jr. of rock gods Ween. The band will be augmented by the supremely soulful CaroMia on keyboards and harmonica wizard Jim Aaron for August’s Nelson tribute.