Billy Strings has enlisted the help of Willie Nelson for his new single, “California Sober.” Watch the music video for the song below.
An upbeat bluegrass number, “California Sober” pays homage to putting your unhealthy partying years behind you, and moving onto a more “sober” future — if you consider abstaining from everything except marijuana “sober,” that is. With shots of blunt-puffing, joint-rolling, and, of course, Willie himself, the tune is a perfect soundtrack for a relaxing evening of staying in and lighting up.
Nelson’s appearance comes midway through the track, as he provides harmonies and delivers a verse with his inimitable voice, which, at 89 years old, still rings as charming and resonant as ever. Add in the harmonica accompaniment from Mickey Raphael, and “California Sober” has everything you’d want from a Willie Nelson feature.
For Strings, the single is his first new release since signing with Reprise Records, and it effortlessly fits in with the rest of his catalog thanks to the acoustic plucking and virtuosic solos. While on the road, the 30-year-old recently announced he’ll be adding additional stops to his massive 2023 tour (grab tickets here). This weekend, he’ll join the roster of stars celebrating Nelson’s 90th birthday at the Hollywood Bowl, along with Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Beck, Booker T. Jones, and many more.
Nelson, for his part, is showing no signs of slowing down, even at almost 90. Besides this single and his birthday festivities, he’s kept himself busy. This past weekend, he performed at Stephen Stills’ Light Up the Blues, and within the past week, he’s announced a 50th anniversary iteration of his 4th of July Picnic in Austin and a 16-stop run for the 2023 Outlaw Music Festival Tour. Grab your seats for the latter here.
If you don’t get a chance to see them together in person this weekend, you can still watch Billy and Willie hang out and lay down their tracks in the in-studio music video for “California Sober.” Watch it below.