Willie Nelson Feeling Better, Will Return in September

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Willie Nelson (photo by James Minchin, used with permission)

Willie Nelson abruptly canceled his tour Thursday (August 8), citing “a breathing problem.” The 86-year-old music legend made the brief announcement on his social media platforms, promising his fans, “I’ll be back.”

Turns out he’ll return much sooner than expected. At around 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, Nelson’s social media team posted the news that the tour will resume on September 6, with the second leg of his annual Outlaw Music Festival.

Nelson was in the midst of his typically busy tour schedule with Willie Nelson & Family dates booked through mid-August.

Nelson’s original statement read: “To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out. I’ll be back. Love, Willie”

The follow-up note from his team was much more encouraging. “Update: Willie is resting and feeling better,” it read. “The tour will resume on September 6 in Gilford, NH. Thanks to all the fans for the continued support!

On August 9, his musician son, Lukas Nelson, who performs with his own band, Promise of the Real, as well as with his dad, and Neil Young, wrote on Facebook: “A lot of folks been asking – spoke to Dad and he’s fine, just going for a check up to the doctor. At 86 you gotta make sure everything is running smoothly.. any little thing you notice, you check out and take seriously so you can keep doing 100 + shows a year ! It’s uncharted waters he’s navigating ! I’m sure he will do his best to make up the shows, he HATES to miss shows because he loves the folks who love him!”

Nelson celebrated his 86th birthday on April 29. A few days earlier, he announced a new album, Ride Me Back Home, which was released on June 21 via Legacy Recordings.

Earlier this year, Nelson’s My Way, his musical homage to Frank Sinatra (and 12th Legacy album), earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and became Nelson’s 13th Grammy win.

Nelson began a lengthy summer tour on May 5, including many dates with Alison Krauss. He performed a full set Wednesday, August 7, in Toledo, Ohio, and on Monday, August 5, in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Watch Nelson perform on August 5 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

This year’s Outlaw Music Festival lineup includes Willie Nelson & Family, Phil Lesh & Friends, the Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, The Revivalists, Counting Crows, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dawes, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Steve Earle & the Dukes.

This year’s Farm Aid concert, of which Nelson is a founding board member, takes place September 21 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, with fellow board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews.

Willie Nelson 2019 Tour Dates

Aug 09 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena*
Aug 10 – Huntington, WV – Big Sandy Superstore Arena*
Aug 12 – Florence, SC – Florence Civic Center*
Aug 14 – Charlottesville, VA – John Paul Jones Arena*
Aug 16 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena*
Aug 17 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum*

Sep 06 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion#
Sep 07 – Saratoga Springs, NY – SPAC#
Sep 08 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater#
Sep 11 – Forest Hills, NY – Forest Hills Stadium#
Sep 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center#
Sep 14 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater#
Sep 15 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park#
Sep 17 – Jackson, TN – The Ballpark*
Sep 20 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Center#
Sep 22 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center#
Oct 11 – Sparks, NV – Nugget Event Center
Oct 12 – Stanford, CA – Frost Amphitheater@
Oct 14 – Fresno, CA – The Big Fresno Fair
Oct 16 – Rohnert Park, CA – Graton Resort & Casino
Oct 18-19, 22-23, 25-26 – Las Vegas, NV – Venetian Theatre
Nov 18 – Sugarland, TX – Smart Financial Center
Nov 19 – Galveston, TX – Grand 1894 Opera House
Nov 29 – Thackerville, OK – WinStar World Casino and Resort

*with Alison Krauss
#Outlaw Music Festival
@with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real

Best Classic Bands Staff

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