Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Willie Nelson and Friends - Live Kickin'|
Actors: Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Leon Russell, Steven Tyler, ZZ Top
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Studio: Uni Dist Corp (music) Release Date: 08/23/2005
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Fascinating bit of sociology
Ron Heck | 09/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a strange bird of a DVD. For one thing, it contrasts the problems with watered-down, blown-up, and talent-lacking country music industry of today, with the rich talents of yesterday's country music scene, as well as the wealth of talent in other genres of new and current music. And for another thing, it's very entertaining to see Wyclef Jean freestyle rapping in front of a room full of mortified country fans.
It starts off well enough, with Willie performing an adequate rendition of one of his standards. And one would think a duet with Shania Twain doing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" would be at least passable. But instead, Shania comes off sounding more like Celine Dion. Willie was completely unable to keep up, due to this very strange, overdone, and bland style of singing. Contrast that to Norah Jones who can sing with Willie incredibly beautifully and works with his style like a musical instrument in of itself. And she isn't even a country singer!
I would also like to know exactly how many Kenny Chesney fans will buy this DVD. The guy looks like a gay porn star. He actually makes me appreciate the originality of Garth Brooks. Sorry Garth, that was a bit cruel. In school one day, a couple of students said they liked country. Our teacher immediately asked "Willie Nelson?" They said "No, he's too old. We like Kenny Chesney!"
Notwithstanding, there are some great songs. When Ray Charles sang "A Song for You," I was crying right along with Willie. The Ray Price songs are fantastic and show Willie still has it after all these years. Paul Simon sings "Homeward Bound" in near perfect duet with Willie, not to mention a great guitar solo via Trigger. And although I may think Toby Keith has about as much charisma as Larry the Cable Guy, "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again," is thoroughly decent. But an up-beat country song in "Beer for My Horses" about terrorism is downright nauseating and horrifying. We certainly aren't all back at the saloon yet and probably never will be.
As far as the bonus tracks go, one can and cannot see why certain songs were cut. Willie's original opener of Whisky River was somewhat anemic. Kris Kristofferson can be an acquired taste. Sheryl Crow borderlines the same problem Shania has, but her song is pretty good. What was mindboggling was why they cut the other Norah Jones song which was just as outstanding as the one they kept in the show.
Now, finally the greatest specticle of them all. Leon Russell singing "Jumpin' Jack Flash." All the audience and Willie are very confused and don't know what to do. Even Leon seems a little surprised at what's coming out of him. And the biggest shock of all, the song is incredible. It burns the house down. But everybody stands around very uncomfortably. This alone, is worth the price of the DVD. I never thought I would hear a version of the song that would rival the Stones and then see everyone looking at their watches.
The same can be said of the Steven Tyler number. I wasn't even going to watch it, but I had to, just out of morbid curiosity. Going against all logic, reason, even physics, Steven makes a great country singer. He sounds very similar to Janis Joplin. It pains me to think of the missed opportunity of hearing him sing "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kristofferson. All I know now is that if Steven Tyler released a country album, I would certainly buy it and three copies for my friends.
So, all things considered this is a rather fascinating show. Sure, most country fans will give this one listen, complain about the chances it took, praise Twain and Keith, and forget it. But if you look and listen deeper you'll hear a completely original, strange, and satisfying showcase of talent doing what they do best, and sometimes trying something completely new and different."
Best DVD in My Collection
T Wertz | Oklahoma, USA | 10/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD after friends were raving about it from our Leon Russell yahoogroup. They guaranteed it to be well worth the investment and they were right!
To see Willie, Leon Russell and Ray Charles singing A SONG FOR YOU was priceless!!! Brought tears to my eyes!!
I was surprised over and over to see all my favorite country music artists and some rock n roll favorites come out to help Willie celebrate his birthday! Amazing DVD!! Great buy!!"
Ken M | Oxnard, CA United States | 08/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this mainly to see the bonus tracks. I already have the music CD.
Whiskey River - I get the feeling that this performance was the way Willie intended it to be. Not a drunken beer drinking song, but just some more classic Willie, singing the way he wants to sing.
Dreams Come True - With Norah Jones. Norah is an artist, a great voice, an excellent piano player. This may have been cut to avoid upstaging some of Willie's other guests, or maybe even Willie?. Excellent performance.
Do Right Woman - With Sheryl Crow. Sheryl is one of the few. A great artist with a great voice. Sheryl and Willie together, no matter what they may perform is well worth watching. I think one of the girls in the back missed a Que and sang a note at the wrong time. You all try to find it. Excellent performance.
Help Me Make It Through the Night - With Kris K. I will agree that Kris is one of those singers you either love or ?. Kris and Willie together, good stuff!
Jumpin' Jack Flash - Performed by Leon Russell. You could tell Leon had fun with this song. Another excellent performance by another great talent. The only minus was that the audience was not blind drunk and acting like fools, as some would expect an audience to act with a song like this, or Whiskey River.
I would have paid the price of this DVD just for these bonus tracks.
If you enjoy any of the above mentioned artists, you will be happy with this DVD.
Oh! And I forgot to mention that the other tracks are just great. Some of Willie's friends are different from the traditional country blah ...
That is why I like Willie and any performer that he may choose to bring on stage. They may be a little different, but they are great artists in their own field.
Willie's Birthday Party
JP | Hopatcong, NJ USA | 09/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ray Charles' performance of "A Song for You" was worth the price of the DVD."