There is no booze at Mystic Lake Casino. Never has been.
No quarrels with the policies of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, but it's hard to imagine a Willie Nelson concert without a beer or two. Since we can't drink at Willie's sold-out shows Friday and Saturday at Mystic Lake, we thought we'd make a request: Remove "Whiskey River," "I Gotta Get Drunk," "Beer for My Horses" and the other drinking songs from his usual set list.
Here's a 12-pack of suggested songs to replace them:
• "Satisfied Mind" or anything from this year's "Country Music," in which he sounds vocally invested in the lyrics for the first time in a while.
• "Pancho and Lefty," as a tribute to his duet partner on that 1983 hit, Merle Haggard, who is ill.
• "Blue Skies" or something else from "Stardust," Willie's landmark 1978 Tin Pan Alley tribute.
• "Blue Hotel," a tune by alt-rocker Ryan Adams from their 2006 duet album "Songbird" -- an out-of-left-field project that truly connected.
• "Señor," "Gotta Serve Somebody" or something else by Bob Dylan. Maybe even their collaboration "Heartland." Willie should honor his touring buddy in his home state.
• "Help Me Make It Through the Night," or another Kris Kristofferson piece such as "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends" or "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33."
• The ballad "Not That I Care" or the swingin' "Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age," both featured on Willie's fine 2006 collection, "You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker."
• "Bring It on Down to My House," the Bob Wills swing number that was a highlight on Willie's 2009 collaboration with Asleep at the Wheel.
• "Always Late (With Your Kisses)" or "She's Gone, Gone Gone" or something else from his splendid 1977 tribute to Lefty Frizzell.
• The "Phases and Stages" theme with the honky-tonkin' "Pick Up the Tempo" from 1974's great concept LP about divorce, "Phases and Stages."
• The slow "Sad Songs and Waltzes" and the perky "Stay All Night" from 1973's "Shotgun Willie," his first important album.
• Daniel Lanois' "The Maker," which Willie covered, with Lanois' magically noisy but melodic guitar, on 1998's "Teatro."
Jon Bream • 612-673-1719