Willie Nelson in Studio with Van Morrison: Report

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According to an article published recently in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, we may soon be hearing new collaborative music from two of the most distinctive voices of our time: Van Morrison and Willie Nelson. The article, credited to Scott Mervis, outlines a recent series of recording sessions that took place at Pittsburgh’s Church Recording Studio. Although the nature and extent of the joint sessions have yet to be disclosed, a report from inside the studio suggests that the two spent three days working together.

Nelson and Morrison recently co-headlined many dates of the Outlaw Music Festival, which made a stop in Pittsburgh on Sept. 7 (Morrison’s first show in the city since 1973!).

The article quotes studio producer Dave Hidek expressing surprise when a call came from Belfast, Ireland, requesting a three-day booking. “We didn’t take it too seriously at first, but after pushing them for some details, they revealed it was for Van Morrison,” Hidek is quoted as saying. “We actually believed them less at that point, so we asked for the standard deposit, and sure enough a check arrived the next day and we knew they were for real.”

Watch Van Morrison sing “Brown Eyed Girl” in Forest Hills, N.Y., September 2018

Shortly after the booking was confirmed, Hidek told the newspaper, a call was received from Nelson’s management, informing them that he would also be attending the sessions. “Having either one walk through our doors would in itself be a treat, to put it lightly, but both of them together would certainly be a historic experience,” Hidek told Mervis.

Related: Check out several tracks from Willie’s new album, My Way

The article does not elaborate on what may have taken place inside the studio walls, other than to speculate that the recordings were most likely for a future Morrison project. Also in attendance were Lukas Nelson, Willie’s son and leader of the band Promise of the Real, and Nelson’s longtime harmonica player Mickey Raphael. Morrison was described by Hidek as being “intense,” and the 85-year-old Nelson markedly less so.

Watch Willie Nelson perform “Still Not Dead” at Forest Hills, N.Y., Sept. 2018

Related: Our review of Van Morrison live at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest

Nelson has a typically busy tour schedule. (Tickets are available here and here.)


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