You’d be hard-pressed to find a country artist or songwriter working today who hasn’t been personally affected by Willie Nelson’s music. In honor of the legendary outlaw’s 87th birthday, Edie Brickell has shared her own musical tribute, “Sing to Me, Willie.”
The song captures just how personal Brickell’s relationship is to Nelson’s work, right from the get-go: “We played your music at my daddy’s funeral/And the pastor was amused.” Nelson himself then joins Brickell in a duet, crooning about the untamed beauty of Texas. It’s a touching homage to Nelson, his home state, and his legacy of storytelling that artists like Brickell carry on.
“On Christmas Day, 2018, Willie asked me to write a song for us to sing together,” Brickell said. “What a gift! My father and Texas are my biggest connections to Willie. I never hear his voice without loving memories of people and places back home. If only my dad could have heard this song.”
“Sing to Me, Willie” was recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin, and features members of Brickell’s band the New Bohemians, including John Bush (percussion), Brad Houser (bass), and Kenny Withrow (electric guitar), as well as Kyle Crusham on acoustic guitar and Matt Hubbard on keyboards. All proceeds from the song will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund.