Willie Nelson Speaks the Truth

mojo-photo-willie2.jpgInterestingly-designed web site truthout.org has a cool video of Willie Nelson, fresh from his appearance on the “Colbert Report” (and subsequent appearance atop the Party Ben Top 10), giving a speech at the Camp Casey Peace Awards in Austin last week. The awards are named in honor of Cindy Sheehan’s son, who was killed in Iraq three years ago. The clip shows the 73-year-old country legend has only grown more outspoken with age, saying “I just love a revolution,” to cheers from the crowd.

In the followup interview, Nelson talks about how he manages to express progressive viewpoints while holding onto his conservative fan base, something that, as a radical former Nebraskan, I’m pretty much in awe of. “I stay with the traditions of country music,” he says, “so in that respect I think I’m pretty conservative.” It’s a reminder that the kinds of things Nelson is talking about — dedication to American farmers, opposition to nation-building foreign policy, support for the freedom to, uh, smoke weed, without government interference in your personal choices — are actually kind of conservative too. Huh.

Willie Nelson’s upcoming tour dates include three more nights at the Fillmore here in San Francisco (through Thursday 4/19), then he hits the main stage at Coachella on 4/29, its country sister festival Stagecoach the next weekend, and the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Illinois on 7/28.