Out west at the annual Stagecoach Festival in the California desert, Willie Nelson celebrated his 84th birthday Saturday night with a show that included an all-star jam at the end featuring the likes of Neil Young, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price and X’s John Doe. But his birthday didn’t go unacknowledged back here.
Playing to a packed house on the outdoor stage at Stubb’s, Trey Anastasio — frontman for jam-band-deluxe Phish and recent Grateful Dead recruit — worked a familiar tune into his set. Willie may have been on the road, but if you were at Stubb’s, you still got to hear “On the Road Again”:
Over at Antone’s, songwriter Bruce Robison had just the right tune for the occasion. He wrote “What Would Willie Do?” more than a decade ago as a salute to the Red Headed Stranger, and at the release party for his new record, he played it, leading directly into “Whiskey River.” (Thanks to Bryan Noteboom for the heads-up.)
Did you hear an Austin musician play a Willie song last night in his honor? If so, let us know in the comments. In the meantime, check out our extended review of Nelson’s latest record, “God’s Problem Child,” which came out Friday: