Since Mystic Lake doesn't serve booze, he should skip his drinking songs this weekend and sing these tunes instead.
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