Every year I have the pleasure of hosting bus trips to see artists that don't often play in the Capital Region.  I'm happy to report that our next big trip is to see American Music Legend Willie Nelson!

On Saturday, October 29 we're loading up a bus to see a man who has managed to stay relevant through the years, thanks to his success in all formats of music, television appearances, movie roles, a frequent guest vocalist on other artists songs, Farm Aid benefit concerts and his many pot-smoking news headlines that overshadow this man's amazing music, songwriting and humanitarian efforts.

I think every Country Music fan should see Willie Nelson at  least once before he stops touring, or blows up from one too many puffs!  Not many artists from his generation are still out there playing for the fans, so take advantage of one of your final chances to see someone who had hits in the '60s.  Not to mention, a man who wrote two of that decades biggest hits, 'Crazy' for Patsy Cline and 'Hello Walls' for Faron Young.

The one-time bass player for Ray Price, began his career as a singer/songwriter in the '60s.  However, his writing was better received than his singing, so Willie went back to Texas and started to build his following in the Lonestar State.  Then, in 1975 he took Nashville by storm with his No. 1 hit 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.'  The Grammy winning performance re-launched Willie Nelson's recording career 13 years after he placed his first song on the charts in 1962.

In addition to his hits 'Good Hearted Woman' 'Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys' and 'Always On My Mind,' Willie became a pop-culture icon with his unique appearance, one-of-a-kind voice and Farm Aid project.  So far, his efforts to spearhead Farm Aid since 1985 have raised over $39 million dollars, to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. 

Even after Willie's mainstream Country Music career had peaked with songs like 'Seven Spanish Angels' 'To All The Girls I've Loved Before' and 'City Of New Orleans,' he has continued to record and tour.  In 2003, when many of his peers were edged off of contemporary radio play lists, Willie made a comeback thanks to Toby Keith.  At the age of 70, the ragged legend became the oldest singer in Country Music to appear at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music charts with the duet hit 'Beer For My Horses.'  Although his chart success has again dwindled, Willie's music is still in popular demand, as his most recent albums like  2009's 'American Classic' and 2010's 'Country Music' were well received by the fans and critics.  Plus, his recent collaborations with Wynton Marsalis on 'Two Men With The Blues' and 2009's venture 'Willie and Wheel' with Asleep at the Wheel, prove once again that the industry respects his diverse contributions with more and more Grammy nominations.

Now that Willie Nelson is 78, I hope you'll take adavantage of this rare oppurtunity to get 'On The Road Again,' to see a slice of Country Music history!  For more information on the bus trip to Willie Nelson October 29, 2011 visit www.kevinrichards.com.

Enjoy this classic Willie Nelson video for 'Pancho and Lefty' with Merle Haggard