SPICEWOOD, Texas (AP) — Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic is going ahead this year, but to reduce concerns about the coronavirus the event will be virtual.
Fans can tune in to the nearly 50-year-old music bash Saturday via luck.stream and williepicnic.com. Tickets for the picnic are on sale at williepicnic.com.
Other performers expected to play include Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, Steve Earle and Nelson’s fellow Texas-based singers Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Kinky Friedman.
Some of the artists will perform at Nelson’s Luck Ranch in Spicewood, northwest of Austin. Others will stream live from elsewhere.
Nelson’s event started in 1972 and has been held most years since, moving around Texas and occasionally outside the Lone Star State. It typically draws thousands.
The 87-year-old Nelson’s 70th album was released Friday. “First Rose of Spring” features two new tunes plus Nelson’s take on songs by Toby Keith and Chris Stapleton.
Reps: Singers Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly file for divorce
NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce.
Representatives for both singers confirmed the news Friday to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly said “we’ve made this painful decision together.”
“With heavy but hopeful hearts we wanted to put our own thoughts into the air about what’s happening. These kinds of announcements are always met with scrutiny and speculation and we want to stop that before it even starts. We believe that we were put into each other’s lives for a divine reason and have both changed each other infinitely for the better. The love we have for each other goes far beyond the relationship we’ve shared as husband and wife. It’s a soul connection that can never be erased,” the emailed statement read.
“We’ve made this painful decision together — a healthy decision that comes after a very long period of trying the best we can. It simply just didn’t work. Though we are parting ways in marriage, we will remain true friends for the rest of our lives. We hold no blame, anger, or contempt for each other and we ask for privacy and positive wishes for us both as we learn how to navigate through this,” the statement continued.
Musgraves and Kelly, both 31, were married in 2017.
Musgraves has been a success since releasing her major-label debut album, “Same Trailer Different Park,” in 2013. It won her the best country album Grammy and one of its singles, “Merry Go ‘Round,” won best country song. At the 2019 Grammys, the superstar’s critically acclaimed pop-leaning country album, “Golden Hour,” won all four awards it was nominated for, including the coveted top prize, album of the year.
At the show, she thanked Kelly in her acceptance speech: “I really believe I wouldn’t have this album if I hadn’t met you and you didn’t open my heart like you did, so thank you so much.”
Musgraves and Kelly have worked together musically. In 2018 they appeared on the song “To June This Morning” from the album “Johnny Cash: Forever Words,” a compilation project created from Cash’s unknown poetry, lyrics and letters set to music. Musgraves also sang background vocals on Kelly’s 2018 full-length debut album, “Dying Star.”
Kelly will release a new album, “Shape & Destroy,” on Aug. 28, and it will include background vocals by Musgraves. Kelly’s father and sister are also featured on the album.
Kelly has also written songs for other artists, including Tim McGraw, Hayes Carll, Lucie Silvas and Josh Abbott Band. Musgraves co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s 2013 country hit, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” earning herself a Grammy nomination as a songwriter.
Christian Garrison, author, filmmaker, dies in NC at age 78
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Christian Garrison, an author and filmmaker who displayed an unfiltered slice of 1960s Mississippi hill country life in a short film about influential blues guitarist Fred McDowell, has died. He was 78.
Garrison’s sister, Gail McNeill, said her brother died Thursday at his home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Garrison had been fighting cancer for several months.
Garrison was working as a filmmaker for the University of Mississippi when he made “Blues Maker,” a black-and-white film released in 1969. Featuring just a small amount of dialogue, the short film used McDowell and his mesmerizing slide guitar as a backdrop for the gritty existence of residents near Como, Mississippi. McDowell was an inspiration for artists like Bonnie Raitt and The Rolling Stones.
Garrison also penned three children’s books, “The Dream Eater,” “Flim and Flam and the Big Cheese,” and “Little Pieces of the West Wind.” The books were illustrated by Diane Goode, who later became a Caldecott Honor Book winner.
“Christian’s children’s stories had a deceptive simplicity, they had charm and humor and his voice was true,” Goode said in an email.
Garrison wrote two crime novels, “Snake Doctor” and “Paragon Man.” Garrison also co-founded the Panola Playhouse in Sardis, Mississippi. The decades-old playhouse remains in operation.