When it came time for Willie Nelson’s second “CMT Crossroads” appearance, he apparently found it difficult to pick just one artist to join him.
“I’ve got a lot of friends,” the 80-year-old Texan tells CMT.com.
Instead, Nelson and CMT came up with an all-star list of performers to take part in “CMT Crossroads: Willie Nelson & Friends From Third Man Records.”
“CMT Crossroads: Willie Nelson & Friends From Third Man Records,” premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on CMT.
As previously reported, his duet partners include Oklahoma-born and bred Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Norah Jones, Ashley Monroe, and Neil Young, while Jack White (musician and owner of Third Man Records) conducts an interview with the country legend.
“I enjoy singing with other singers and playing with other pickers,” Nelson explains about the large cast. “It’s just what I like doing. I’ve always enjoyed playing, back with Waylon and the Highwaymen and all those.”
When talking about his long career and how “CMT Crossroads” fits in, Nelson told CMT.com he’s always willing to try out new genres and has no problem crossing musical boundaries.
“Anything that will increase our audience,” he said. “Because, you know, when Ray Charles did his great country album [1962's 'Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music'], a lot of people had never heard of Ray Charles, and a lot of Ray Charles fans had never heard of Don Gibson and all those great songs. It’s a way to bring two audiences together.”
Jones explained what it’s like to be onstage with so much talent at once.
“I’m excited that it’s a lot of us involved,” she said. “I mean, it’s a party, too. We just ran ‘Whiskey River.’ He looked at me, and I took a piano solo. And I looked up, and Neil Young was up there playing it, too, and it felt so great.”