Waylon Jennings Tribute Reunites the Surviving Highwaymen - Rolling Stone
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Waylon Jennings Tribute Reunites the Surviving Highwaymen

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson will join Jessi Colter, Eric Church, Toby Keith and many more to sing the late legends’ tunes in Austin

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A concert honoring the late Waylon Jennings will be held in Austin this July.

Rob Verhorst/Redferns

The remaining two Highwaymen are reuniting to pay tribute to a bandmate they lost 13 years ago. Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson are part of an all-star lineup of country acts who will perform tunes by the late, great Waylon Jennings at a July 6th show in Austin. Toby Keith, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Bingham, Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton and Billy Joe Shaver will also take the stage, alongside Jennings’ widow, Jessi Colter, and son, Shooter. Billed Outlaw: Celebrating the Music of Waylon Jennings, the event will be held in the Texas capitol’s Moody Theatre.

“Waylon Jennings was my friend, brother and musical soul mate,” says Nelson, whose duets album with Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie just debuted at Number One on the Billboard Country Album charts. “Playing his songs with these incredible artists is going to be one hell of a concert event.”

Legendary producers Don Was and Buddy Cannon will serve as musical directors of the concert, which will be recorded and filmed for later distribution. For Shooter Jennings, the show will be a means of continuing his dad’s legacy and shedding light on his great love of all music.

“I was very close to my dad; we had a great relationship,” says the 36-year-old singer-songwriter. “There is a very large contingent of Waylon fans out there. I’ve heard from them all my life. Some of them have an image of him as sort of like Hank Williams Jr., though, and he really wasn’t like that. He liked hunting, movies and different kinds of music. . . He really liked Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Metallica, all different kinds of music I was into. He loved hearing the music that inspired me.”

Shooter and Waylon recorded songs together based on both their influences. After his father’s death, Shooter finished the music with his former band, the .357s, and in 2008 Waylon Forever was released. The album features the last songs the late outlaw country pioneer ever recorded.

Organizers of Outlaw: Celebrating the Music of Waylon Jennings, including Colter, report that all proceeds from the event’s after-party will be donated to the United Way and earmarked to help Central Texas residents most affected by the recent Memorial Day floods. Tickets for the main event go on sale at 10:00 a.m. CT on Monday, June 15th. For more information and tickets, click here or call (877) 987-6487.


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