By ANDREW McCOLLUM BRASFIELD
Music listeners yearning for jazz with a blend for country and soft rock will love The Gypsy (IndigoMoon Records) by Jackie King with Willie Nelson.
King was 13-years-old when he first played with Willie in San Antonio, Texas. The two simply gathered at a mutual friends house, met and played, King said. Over the years, the two have colaborated on albums and toured around the world.
“(Nelson) has wrote some great words, he is a great writer,” King said. He considers themselves “very close friends, we have a great respect for each other as artists.”
King grew up playing country and jazz, and listening to players like Hank Garin, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and one of his all time favorites – Hank Garland.
King now plays Heritage Guitars which are made in an old Gibson guitar factory in Kalamazoo, Mich.
At the Saturday, July 28, 2001, concert at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ, Willie Nelson & Family opened their set with “Whiskey River,” followed by “Good Hearted Woman.” The band then revisited “Whiskey River” about 20 songs later when the band was winding up the crowd, yet winding down their set which was over an hour-and-a-half long.
Acoustic Hot Tuna opened the show with Phil Lesh & Friends headlining, with Warren Haynes, of GOV’T MULE and the Allman Brothers Band, as a special guest on guitar and vocals.
At the show, the crowd lost their sanity when the band played, with Haynes singing the Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Bob Dylan song “All Along The Watchtower.” Haynes sang and played the song with full force – and a solid spirit.
The second set started on a blue, or somber tone, with a 10 minute jam and the Friends moving into Traffic’s “Mr. Fantasy,” with Haynes again on vocals.
King and Nelson cowrote the song “Great Divide,” which is the title cut to Willie’s new album, available at certain stores and on the internet.
King has been Nelson’s electric guitarist in his touring band for the last 4 years.
And you could say that being a member of Willie’s touring band is a ‘steady gig’ since percussionist Billy was the last band member hired – over 16 years ago!
(That’s BIG sisters and brothers.)
“Playing with Jackie every night is a real treat,” Nelson said in a press release. “He’s heads above most other guitarist – I mean, I play guitar, but he’s a real guitar player.