The music legends were recording together in Pittsburgh this month.
Music legends Willie Nelson and Van Morrison attended a three-day recording session together while in Pittsburgh this month.
The Pittsburgh Gazette reports that The Church Recording Studio received a somewhat mysterious call from Belfast asking to schedule recording time.
“We didn’t take it too seriously at first,” said studio producer Dave Hidek, “but after pushing them for some details, they revealed it was for Van Morrison.”
“We actually believed them less at that point, so we asked for the standard deposit, and sure enough a check arrived the next day and we knew they were for real.”
As if that wasn’t strange enough for the Pittsburgh studio, they shortly thereafter received a call from Willie Nelson’s team saying that the famous country musician would be joining in on the famed Irishman’s recording time.
Hidek said having the two legends together at his studio was “an unbelievable thought.”
“Having either one walk through our doors would in itself be a treat, to put it lightly, but both of them together would certainly be a historic experience.”
While Van Morrison and Willie Nelson had never previously collaborated, the two are both a part of the Outlaw Music Festival tour going around the US. Van Morrison performed at four stops of the tour.
Speaking of the September three-day recording session, Hidek said, “The first day was mostly getting sounds and getting the players situated with tones and headphones and the general lay of the land.
“The second day was tracking live with Van and the band, with Mickey Raphael on harmonica and Willie’s son Lukas sitting in on electric. Willie overdubbed his parts and solos after Van had accomplished what he needed. The last day was spent on leftover overdubs and mixing.
“Van is intense,” said Hidek. “He knows exactly what he likes down to what guitar is being used or where the treble is set on the amp.
“He’s got an incredible ear for production and arranging, which on one hand is surprising given how hard it can be for artists to be objective about their art, but on the other hand unsurprising in that he has been so successful for so long for a reason. He doesn’t linger on things, and his level of execution was impressive.”
Of Nelson, Hidek said, “For being 85, he’s still got that vocal magic, and his performance holds you hostage from the first note to the last note.”
No details have emerged yet as to what Van Morrison and Willie Nelson were actually working on together, nor when it will be released.
Would you be excited for a Willie Nelson and Van Morrison collaboration? Sound off in the comments!