Those in the crowd on Friday (June 22) at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio were treated to a remarkable night of music when Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour rolled into town. Thankfully, a fan recorded some of the highlights of the show, like when Sturgill Simpson joined Nelson on stage for a rendition of “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
Nelson recorded “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” with Waylon Jennings for their 1978 duet record, Waylon & Willie. Their version of the song, which was originally written by Ed Bruce and his wife Patsy in 1976, earned them a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and shot to No. 1 on the country charts.
When Simpson joins Nelson on the track, one can tell that he has the utmost respect for Nelson. The two seem to have an easy bond, like they’re kindred spirits, although 45 years separate them. After playing “Mammas,” Simpson stuck around on stage for a 12-minute jam session with Nelson, including covers of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “Living in the Promiseland” and “I Saw the Light.”
Willie Nelson & Family will continue to bring the Outlaw Music Festival Tour across American with a string of Texas dates coming up next. (Nelson will also perform at his annual Fourth of July Picnic in Austin.) In addition to Simpson, the Outlaw Music Festival Tour includes sets by The Head and the Heart, Ryan Bingham, The Wild Feathers, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real among others.
Not one to turn down an ambitious touring schedule, Nelson will also play several dates with Alison Krauss before performing at this year’s Farm Aid, which will take place in Connecticut for the first time. The iconic festival features an amazing lineup with Farm Aid founders Neil Young, John Mellencamp, along with Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves and Sturgill Simpson, just to name a few.