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Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Jan. 27, 2012

Texas Platters

Willie Nelson

Live at the US Festival (Shout! Factory)

Waylon Jennings

Live at the US Festival (Shout! Factory)

The US Festivals were two early Eighties music and culture events produced in Southern California by Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer fame. The second was held Memorial Day weekend in 1983, with a lone day of country music taking place the following Saturday, June 4. Available separately, these two DVDs of video shot that day present Waylon, Willie, and their bands in their primes. Both sets are generous at more than 20 tunes each, filled with fan favorites and the occasional surprise. For Jennings completists, his disc contains the only known recording of "Women Do Know How To Carry On." He's also joined by wife Jessi Colter for an ardent reading of "Storms Never Last." Nelson, the headliner, welcomes Jennings for a couple tunes, including a jovial "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," but the blistering jam in "Bloody Mary Morning" and an uncredited polka with a fiery interlude between Mickey Raphael and sister Bobby Nelson are bone-rattling rare. Many live performances from Jennings and Nelson have been available over the years, but these discs are among the best in terms of performance and could easily serve as greatest hits collections.

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