Willie Nelson ready for San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

Nelson performing to sellout crowd Thursday

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - County music icon Willie Nelson is anxious to take center stage at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo on Thursday night.

“I want to get back to work,” Nelson said. “We just got out of the studio yesterday where we did an album for Merle Haggard.”

Haggard, a lifelong friend of Nelson, died last year.

Nelson is just getting back to his tour schedule after what he described as a bout with “the crud.”

“The more we play, the better we feel,” he said. “It’s all healthy, I think, to go out and play shows. The people enjoy ‘em and we enjoy ‘em, so where’s the negative, you know?”

At 83, Nelson has seen more than his share of changes in the music industry.

“I was at a movie in Los Angeles one night at about midnight, and this young kid comes up to me and says, ‘Mr. Nelson I’m a big fan, and I just wanted you to know that I downloaded 12 of your songs today.’ I said, 'Well, thank you,'” Nelson said.

People are what Willie Nelson is all about, whether they're downloading his music or attending a live performance.

“As long as people still show up and we still go play, that’s the big deal,” he said. “It’s the people – not the record companies – that keep us going.”

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