On one night in Texas in 2022, Willie Nelson’s music played without Willie Nelson himself being onstage. 

Things like this rarely work out. But when a bunch of musical friends and fans got together May 1 to tip their red bandanas to Nelson’s songs, things unfolded splendidly. And tape was rolling. 

The result is One Night In Texas: The Next Waltz’s Tribute to The Red Headed Stranger, which finds a varied bunch of artists kicking it in front of Bruce Robison’s Family-channeling house band, made extra authentic when Emily Gimble played the role of Bobbie Nelson on the “Little Sister” showcase “Down Yonder.” 

Trusted with “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and “Crazy,” Nathaniel Rateliff earns the honor. Margo Price becomes “Shotgun Willie” on her sinewy take of the number. Ray Wylie Hubbard delivers an intoxicating “Whiskey River.” And Sheryl Crow lives “Night Life” to its fullest. 

Other participants included Vincent Neil Emerson (“Bloody Mary Morning”), Robert Earl Keen (“Pick up the Tempo”), Shinyribs (“I Gotta Get Drunk”) and Steve Earle (“Pancho and Lefty”). This is One Night worth revisiting time and again.