”Jesus and Hank are watching,” it says on one of the visitors ' shirts. It is possible, but now we are in Luck, Texas and it is Willie Nelson who is god.
more specifically, are we on Willie Nelson's big ranch outside Spicewood, Texas. His house is half a mile further down the road; we are now in the westernstad that was built up before the film adaptation of Willie ”Red Headed Stranger” in 1980. Here are a saloon, a chapel, and a few bars, not more than that.
the festival's Luck Reunion, which is now implemented for the eighth year in a row.
It is no ordinary festival, more an exceptionally good barbecue, with five scenes where close to 50 artists perform during the Texas spring sun.
The special thing about it is how intimate it is. Not just the fact that we de facto are at the home of Willie Nelson, but that it is not allowed to grow. It released 2000 tickets, point, most of them seem to go to the locals around Austin. The ticket price should also be kept low, by american standards: this is the Willie gift back to the nearest fans, and then you should not be greedy.
a unique open festival. The artists go, and with few exceptions, freely out there on the festival grounds. There are almost no guards: two police officers from the Travis County sheriff strolling around but has the most nothing to do – despite the fact that all the (sponsored) beverage, from beer to bourbon, and tequila, is free and unlimited. You don't even see someone throw a beer can on the ground: instead all go to the garbage cans. We are the home of Willie, then shows the man respect.
the Music follows the same pattern. Most of the americana-the elite are here, from Nathaniel Ratelliff, Nicole Atkins, Courtney Marie Andrews, Shakey Graves and Matthew Logan Vasquez to specially invited guests souldrottningen Mavis Staples. And so the family, of course: Willie, his sister Bobbi, and children, Lukas, Micah and Paula. Everyone jumps in with each other, jamming, and making unannounced gigs. Mavis Staples makes a manifestation and take in all of the female artists at the festival on the stage to help her do ”The Weight” – and she beams of joy.Luck Reunion, 2019. Photo: Martin Jönsson
. He is in impressive form for his 86 years: the voice carries and he is playing masterfully on his acoustic guitar, Trigger, as always. He refuses to stop being creative: in the last year came two new, striking, strong, album, and already on 7 June, it is time for the next, ”Ride me back home”.
Some invited by us may be listening and it sounds just as good as we have learned to expect of countryscenens last living legend.
When he steps off the stage and end the twelve-hour long festival, he does it usual with a Carter Family song and an invitation to come back next year. To The Luck.
Learn more texts by Martin Jönsson . Among other things, on the medietrenderna that dominated this year's SXSW festival.