Photo Credit: Kathleene Cochrane

Willie Nelson and Family performed for a full capacity crowd at “The Backyard,” designated the Official Venue of the State of Texas by Governor Rick Perry on April 28th. University of Texas Coach Mack Brown was on hand to present Nelson with another official proclamation, “The Best and Longest Ambassador” of the state. The crowd roared their appreciation as the legendary troubadour, who actually celebrated his real birthday two days later, accepted the award.

The performance was originally intended as a dual tribute to Nelson’s 80th birthday and the 20th anniversary of The Backyard, but when Nelson heard of the Fertilizer plant explosion in West, it struck a little too close to home.

The festivities started with Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson, also known as Folk Uke, performing their tongue in cheek “Shit Makes the Flowers Grow.” Amy was joined on stage by brother Micah Nelson, who is a musician, visual artist and videographer. Sister Paula Nelson took the stage next, and performed a beautiful rendition of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” before her brother Lukas Nelson and band opened for their father. The crowd supported the West Fire department by snapping up the shirts and hats made for the occasion. All proceeds from the event were donated to the West Fire Department.

Willie Nelson and family show no signs of stopping, as this video was circulated a few days later showing Willie and his son Micah in a fake Gandalf audition for The Hobbit 2 on Conan O’Brien’s website.

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