Willie Nelson & Family Perform at Benedum; Red Sox vs. Pirates (CPs Tues., 9/16/14)

Outlaw country troubadour, Willie Nelson

Outlaw country music troubadour Willie Nelson. Photo: David McClister

1) Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again,” and we’re very lucky because he’s stopping in the ‘Burgh to entertain us. Nelson is a singer/songwriter/author/activist/businessman, and more. He’s had a storied career that includes being awarded with a Kennedy Center Honor in the distinguished 1998 class that included Bill Cosby, Fred Ebb and John Kander, André Previn, and Shirley Temple Black. In 1993, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. One of the founders of Farm Aid  that started in the mid-80’s to help struggling farmers, Nelson was inducted into the National Agricultural Hall of Fame (didn’t realize there was one, but what a cool honor) in 1998. Nelson’s been known to “inhale” and has even claimed to have smoked marijuana on the roof of the White House. His 2012 book, Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die: Musings From the Road, is a memoir that became a New York Times Top Ten Best Seller.

First and foremost for Nelson is the music. In 1973, turned off by the conservative nature of the Nashville country music scene, he was a founding member of a branch of the industry in Austin, Tex., called outlaw country. Other members included Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings, who joined Nelson to form the outlaw country super group The Highwaymen. When Willie plays, he is joined by musical associates he calls the Family. 2014’s Band of Brothers, Nelson’s latest album and composed of the first mainly new material in many years, rose to the No.1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album Chart. Fresh from appearances with the Allman Brothers and his annual Farm Aid event, he’s sure to play many old and new favorites, including “Always on My Mind.” 8 p.m. Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.

2) The Pirates engage in some inter-league play this evening as they take on the Boston Red Sox in a 7:05 p.m. game. 115 Federal St., North Shore.

3) Got a taste for BBQ? If you want some great grilled meat without the fuss, we have a place for you. Union Pig & Chicken Chef Kevin Sousa’s barbecue and fried chicken restaurant and bar is serving up some delicious, tender beef brisket along with ribs, chicken, mac and cheese, greens…and whoopie pies. Specials daily at 5 p.m. The East Liberty hot spot is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.;  Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for a hearty chicken and waffles brunch and 3 – 9 p.m. for regular service. Their second floor counterpart—Harvard and Highland—is open for cocktails until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until 11 p.m. Sunday. Happy Hour is 5 – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Check your watch, sure, but once you’re in either domain, “all food and beverages all the time” makes it easier. 220 N. Highland Ave.

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Rick Handler

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