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Willie Nelson played a concert in Austin, Texas Sunday evening at the Riverbend Church to honor his friend Gerald Mann, the founder of Riverbend.  With seating capacity of 2,300, I suppose Riverbend coould be termed a mini mega-church.  Be that as it may, that didn't stand in the way of a wonderful evening.

trigger solo vertical

Willie got his start playing guitar at age four at a Baptist church in Abbott, Texas.   Willie noted last night that while growing up playing at the church, he tended to see the same people on Sunday morning that he had played for on Saturday night.

Willie did not appear with the full "Willie Nelson & Family" line-up.

Trigger was there, of course.
willie and trigger

Willie was joined by his sister Bobbie and his son Lukas.

sister bobbie

willie playing

Fiddler Johnny Gimble was also on stage.

wille and johnny gimble on stage

Willie played a short set, fewer than 20 songs.

Funny How Time Slips Away
Crazy
Night Life
Under the Double Eagle
The Sound of Your Memory
Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
Good Hearted Woman
Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
On The Road Again
Always On My Mind
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Milk Cow Blues
Back To Earth
Superman
I Saw The Light
Me And Paul
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

He also made a concession to the venue, wearing a suit (but no tie) and omitting his signature opening song, "Whiskey River".

After finishing his set, he spent at least half an hour with the crowd, chatting, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

willie autograph

Willie seemed to draw a lot of interest from the ladies in attendance, and he didn't seem to mind.

willie greets

While the topic didn't come up, Willie is friends with some of your friends.

willie_nelson-barack_obama-2005s

willie jimmy

All in all, a pleasant evening with an American icon.

Originally posted to science first on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:22 AM PDT.

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