Today, acclaimed musician Nathaniel Rateliff shares “Willie’s Birthday Song,” the latest installment of The Marigold Singles and a tribute to Willie Nelson. The Marigold Singles is an ongoing effort to raise money for The Marigold Project, Rateliff’s foundation supporting community and non-profit organisations working for economic and social justice.
Due to delays in vinyl production, the track is being released through digital platforms today. Rateliff finished the song on March 12th when he arrived home in Denver after postponing the And It’s Still Alright tour. Following social distancing guidelines, Rateliff assembled a talented group of family and friends for the song, which features Willie’s sister Bobbi Nelson on piano, his famed harmonica player Mickey Raphael, Night Sweats members Patrick Meese, Mark Shusterman and Jeff Dazey, Jonathan Tyler, Matt Pynn, as well as background vocals by Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah along with Matthew Logan Vasquez, Nikki Lane and Courtney Marie Andrews. Additionally, all the featured musicians filmed their performances for a Rett Rogers directed video, which will be released on Willie’s birthday, April 29.
‘Willie’s Birthday Song’ will appear on the B-side of a limited edition 7” that will be released this summer exclusively at shop.nathanielrateliff.com. The 7” release A-side features a duet by Rateliff and Willie, which will also be available digitally. Proceeds from this installment will support Farm Aid whose mission is to keep family farmers on their land and StrongHearts Native Helpline, which confronts issues of domestic violence in the Native American community.
The band initially met Willie through their work with Farm Aid and over the years developed a friendship, connecting on the agricultural benefits of sustainable family farming. Last year, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats released a special edition cannabis collection under Willie’s Reserve called Nightstache.
As part of this collaboration, the band hoped to bring attention to the positive impact’s legalization has had on local economies and opportunities in agriculture. Further product information can be found here.
In December 2019, the first Marigold Single series debuted featuring Rateliff and the late John Prine performing Prine’s ‘Sam Stone’, as well as a cover of Prine’s ‘Summer’s End’ with Courtney Marie Andrews. Future releases of The Marigold Singles will feature more collaborations and the beneficiaries will be chosen by the artists common beliefs and the subject matter for the songs. All Marigold Singles are released on 7” vinyl and digitally.
Rateliff established The Marigold Project in 2017. In 2018, The Marigold Project hosted a day of workshops and a rally focused on gun violence prevention, and in December the foundation hosted a summit in Denver concentrated on community and coalition building. Attendees learned from activists and advocates across the country with decades of experience in community building for positive and lasting change.
The foundation also offers grants to organizations working on income inequality, voter registration, food access, gun violence prevention and indigenous rights, among many others. Grant recipients include Mauna Kea/Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Volunteers of America’s Veterans Homeless Services, Denver Urban Gardens, American Agriculture Movement and Texas Gun Sense.
Nathaniel Rateliff plays the following UK and EU dates. Tickets are on sale now.
Tues 20th FRANCE, PARIS, Alhambra
Thurs 22nd BATH, Forum
Fri 23rd GLASGOW, SEC Armadillo *
Sat 24th BIRMINGHAM, Symphony Hall
Mon 26th LONDON, Royal Albert Hall
Tues 27th MANCHESTER, Bridgewater Hall
Fri 30th IRELAND, DUBLIN, Olympia
Sat 31st IRELAND, CORK, Opera House
Mon 2nd THE NETHERLANDS, UTRECHT, Tivoli Vredenburg
Tues 3rd BELGIUM, GHENT, Capitole