The Luck Journal is a publication dedicated to the music, food, and culture of Willie Nelson's Luck, Texas.
Nearly six years ago, some old friends came together to create a new live music experience. At the time we weren’t quite sure what would come of it. All we knew was that we wanted to form a unique space that truly represented the rare breed of rogue musicians who had impacted each of us so deeply: from the no-holds-barred legends who had carried us through our respective life experiences - to the new crop of artists similarly blazing their own paths without compromise.
Then came Luck, TX. Some of us had long regarded Luck and its distinction as a creative gathering place as inspiration for their own industry endeavors. Some had grown up attending Gospel Sundays in the Chapel and trick-or-treating at the World Headquarters. After many late night brainstorms mulling over how to bring our vision to life, we realized we couldn’t do this outside of Luck.
The stars aligned: we were given the key to the location of our dreams. Now it was up to us to make it happen.
In our minds, the only way to celebrate the history of Luck was to revisit what was at the core of its spirit: beyond the fading movie set facades, Luck was a gathering place for creatives to come together to shoot the shit, and inspire one another through song. The ability to give true music lovers the opportunity to bask in Luck’s history for a day, in the presence of incredible artists, was perhaps just as rewarding as reviving the town’s illustrious history.
We just wanted to make cool shit happen. With artists we admired. In a spot that happened to hold a special place in each of our hearts. Over the years we’ve gone through many changes, battled literal storms, and - on more occasions than we’d like to admit - questioned whether or not our little engine was worth the effort. As it turns out, it was.
We’ve since ventured out of Luck with our Luck Sessions series: bringing artists together in intimate settings - from Nashville to Charleston to Dallas - and encouraging them follow the mood of the moment for completely unbridled collaboration while the cameras roll. This initiative marked our first step outside of the Reunion, and we are proud to unlock the full archive of Luck Sessions as part of our next passion project.
With the Luck Journal we aim to create and share truly unique content that epitomizes the Luck Reunion experience: carrying the ethos of Luck beyond the festival gates. Inspired by our headquarters of Luck, the Journal will highlight the amazing musicians, artisans, and chefs who are making a distinctive mark on American roots culture.
The Luck Journal is our love letter to the places and artists that inspire us, and your year-round ticket to the Reunion experience: a trove of never-before-seen footage, artist profiles, backstage content, and more - carefully curated by the crazy, grassroots collective behind it all.
The Luck Family is touched and grateful for the unprecedented support we’ve received over the years, and sincerely hope you will join us in our journey to uncover and share the stories and thoughts of the creators who have so deeply influenced us - as fellow music fans and, ultimately, a little group of friends carrying out our barstool vision.
We thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts, and are thrilled to invite you deeper into our world with the Luck Journal.
Welcome to Luck, TX.
We're so glad you're here.
In 1975, a rising Willie Nelson signed to Columbia Records on the condition that he maintain creative freedom. His first project, like Nelson, was just left of mainstream. Red Headed Stranger, a concept album, spun a tale of a fugitive on the run after he'd killed his wife and her lover. Record executives were wary of the sparse arrangement, but Nelson persisted. It was his time to call the shots.
The milestones that followed paved for Nelson a path toward the freedom to create at will – and began the evolution of an artist who would soon be known for his rogue stylings and unwillingness to compromise his vision. The album gained Nelson's first multi-platinum certification, earned him his first number one hit with “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”, and made clear that when Nelson was at the creative helm, he could do little wrong.
Furthermore, his road to “Luck, Texas” had begun.
Baby Grand: the Life of Bobbie Nelson
A familiar cadence resonating from a well-worn Trigger has long served as the official notice: Willie is in the building. The signature open begins with only Nelson alone, and crescendos with the addition - note by note - of each member of the Family Band. It's fitting that this arrangement of “Whiskey River” has kicked off Nelson's show for decades; the legend is but a piece of a whole – and he intends for it to stay that way.
The Family Band is truly that: a band of brothers (and sister) whose steadfast creative bond has produced one of the world's most beloved and influential acts. Behind the braids stands a crew of visionaries who together have created, and continue to foster, a culture of inclusion through music. Beyond the melodies, the “Family” members have been unwavering in their support of one another over their decades-long relationship.
At the very core of this collective is Nelson's “little” sister, Bobbie. On stage, the petite and powerful performer requires no introduction: behind the piano her delicate fingers, seemingly unburdened by a pair of gigantic Family Band rings, sweep the keys effortlessly in time with her brother's famously unique phrasing. But, without fail, her proud younger sibling introduces her each night. As she takes the last note of her spirited rendition of the L. Wolfe Gilbert classic “Down Yonder”, she rises humbly and tips her oversized black cowboy hat to the crowd.
In This Issue:
Luck Reunion 2018 Playlist
The Luck Sessions are a series of intimate video collaborations showcasing our Luck Family of artists in unique and intimate settings, where they are invited to perform and record whatever songs and arrangements strike them - resulting in truly inspiring and organic musical moments.