Essentia Health presents the Bluestem Summer Concert Series
With a seven-decade career, Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. In recent years, he has delivered more than a dozen new albums, released a Top 10 New York Times’ bestsellers book, again headlined Farm Aid (an event he co-founded in 1985) and his annual Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic, been honored by the Library of Congress with their Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, received his 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, headlined the annual Luck Reunion food and music festival during SXSW, launched his cannabis companies Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy, and graced the covers of Rolling Stone and AARP The Magazine. Nelson started this decade by releasing four albums of newly recorded music—First Rose of Spring (2020), That’s Life (2021), The Willie Nelson Family (2021), and A Beautiful Time (2022, GRAMMY Award winner for Best Country Album)—and three books—Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of The Family Band (2020), Willie Nelson’s Letters to America (2021), and Me and Paul: Untold Tale of a Fabled Friendship (2022). Throughout 2023, Willie celebrates his 90th birthday with multiple projects and events including a two-night star-studded concert, Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90, that took place in April at the famed Hollywood Bowl, and released as a feature film in June. The year began with the debut of “Wille Nelson & Family,” a new five-part film documentary series directed by Thom Zimny and Oren Moverman that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival as well as the release of a new album, I Don’t Know a Thing About Love, which features 10 performances that pay tribute to American songwriter Harlan Howard. From June to October, Nelson headlines the annual Outlaw Music Festival Tour. In the Fall, two new releases debut: an album, Bluegrass (with newly recorded studio performances of 12 Willie Nelson-penned classics showcasing Willie with a bluegrass ensemble released September 15), and a new book, Energy Follows Thought (with stories behind the lyrics of 160 of his favorite songs, along with never-before-seen photos and ephemera coming on October 31). And on November 3, Nelson will be inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. These creative endeavors as well as new songs and performances that add to his classic catalog, find Willie Nelson rolling at an artistic peak, writing and singing and playing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that comes from the road.