Willie Nelson is an artist who needs no introduction, being an American musical icon and something of a god in his native Lone Star State. After a stint in Nashville during the '60s penning some of country music's most enduring songs (Crazy being chief among them), Nelson returned to Texas, grew his hair out and ended up corralling the dopers and ropers into one big, happy cosmic cowboy family. That happening scene, coupled with the surprise nationwide success of his 1975 Red Headed Stranger album and the rising tide of the outlaw country movement, was Nelson's springboard to international fame. Nelson has since proven time and again to be one of the most adventurous yet reliable of country music innovators, taking the genre to places it has never been (witness his recent reggaie album, Country/man) while also both honoring and renewing its best traditions (as on this year's You Don't Know Me, his tribute to recently deceased songwriting genius Cindy Walker). This year marks Nelson's first official appearance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, though he was the first ever to tape a performance on the Austin City Limits TV show (the pilot episode, not to be confused with Season One openers Asleep at the Wheel). And of course he's no stranger to big festivals, either, having pioneered the modern Texas music festival with his legendary Fourth of July Picnics and co-founded Farm Aid. That means Nelson will be right at home when he takes the stage at Zilker Park -- and there's no doubt that hel'll make everyone in the audience, be they locals or from across the globe, feel right at home in the heart of Texas, too.
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