I just wanted to pop on here and tell everyone about my time this summer at The Outlaw Music Festival, which culminated from an entire week of my right arm Joshua Wallace coming up from Georgia, to enjoy an entire week of different concerts each night of the week. Now, next year we are choosing to do the entire week of Americanafest, so watch for that in 2024.
Basically, what the Outlaw Festival is, is Willie Nelson’s tour that changes opening bands each couple of nights, and is held at amphitheaters all over America. Now, this particular one was held at The FirstBank Amphitheater in Franklin Tennessee in the late summer. It featured Joshua Quimby outside the venue in the beer garden, and inside it featured Waylon Payne, Los Lobos, Rob Weir from The Grateful Dead and Willie featuring his son Lucas Nelson.
This time I really went to the festival and many of the other shows that week as a fan, I didn’t take many notes or an insane amount of pics to essentially make a huge article. I basically took a bunch of mental notes to make a nice article here for you to enjoy. If you remember my article I recently made for Muddy Roots, you will remember me mentioning this young man, Joshua Quimby.
I had no idea he was going to be there, and I apologize that I wasn’t more prepared for his set tonight but we did get to stop and listen to a few of his songs like I think he played “Long Green Cigarette” but mostly he played a lot of covers ( which is usually what they’re hired to do) and what the target audience is in that situation.
The amphitheater itself is gorgeous and this is a splendid place to see a show at, and you can damn sure bet I will return one day soon. The only initial complaint I had was there are nowhere near enough bathrooms for one. But once the show began and I got to hear the sound quality, I can easily tell you that this is a top notch place to see a show.
The staff here is overall helpful and hospitable is every way, I was overly impressed with many of them when it came to different experiences throughout the day. The first to perform tonight was Waylon Payne son of Waylon Payne and Sammi Smith, both of whom have had a influential past with Willie Nelson.
In the last few years Waylon Payne has forged his own path through the world of music with an album in 2020 called “Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher And Me”, which earned a spot on my TOP 50 of the year. I have had a few brief meetings with him in the past and I enjoy his music a lot.
He played a few songs in a solo set before joining Willie Nelson for his own set, as he recently joined Willie’s band on a permanent basis. The other bands on the bill here I do respect historically but I’m just not into them that much. Now, there is no way that I would ever lambast someone for liking these artists, I am just not into them myself. But if you think I didn’t enjoy this show…you are dead wrong.
I did very much enjoy the multi instrumentals of both of these bands here, Both coming out of the same era while at the same time possessing their own style and weaving a path through different genres throughout the years. Los Lobos still remains active with many of their original members, and they have a long list of influential albums like the 2021 “Native Sons” album.
As night fell, I was enamored with all of the beauty of the area that they kept because I knew someone who lived on the property they built this on. The lights and the sound accompanied Bob Weir VERY WELL tonight, and like I said I’m really not into his solo stuff and I am Grateful Dead fan. I know that makes 0 sense, but it’s true.
He vigorously went through some recognizable songs, as his solo catalog isn’t that large like the length of some of the songs they played. I just sat back and enjoyed all of the instruments and notes that filled my head with love. I just love the language of music…it speaks to me.
I mean, what can be said about Willie Nelson that hasn’t already been said? He just released his one millionth album this month in a Bluegrass fashion. He has written and recorded more hits than anyone in music today, and his collaborations on other albums span decades of time and every genre you can imagine.
He celebrated his 90th birthday with such hits as “On The Road Again” and “Me And Paul” a song that refers his dearly departed band mate Paul English. Many of the staple members of his Family band have passed on now from time, so as a result of that he has striven to create a new regime of Family band the likes of his son Lucas and Waylon Payne.
I mean, it’s Willie, what more do I need to say? He could sit there for 12 hours and still lack songs to play. But to be honest I thought he did an amazing bang up job of playing some songs from all different periods of his career in life, while focusing on his 70’s most well known Outlaw era material, he did indeed play some songs pulled from his 80s and 90s albums as well.
One of the songs he played tonight, that I have never heard live was “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me” when I die from his Friends collaboration album. He still played quite a few songs from his “Red headed Stranger” album, which I regard as the greatest Country album of all time.
He played a few songs off his new Bluegrass album, which is basically the same format that Strugill Simpson followed. He basically took his existing hits and rerecorded them in a Bluegrass format. There were two or three of the songs he did in that fashion and actually I have never heard those either.
He did MANY of the classics that we all know and love like “Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies” and many of those other songs from Country’s Golden Era of songs when he would pal around with Waylon and others. To be honest I will be doing a few more articles from this venue in the future and I fully plan to have more fun here in the future.