Celebrating Easter Sunday the Willie Way — Luck Reunion Revives Family Tradition at Long Live Music

POSTED ON MARCH 25, 2021 BY LONG

We’re super excited to cap off another round of Long Live Music, the socially-distant concert series inspired by the passion the Long Center and Luck Reunion share for Austin’s culture of live music, with a special Sunday Gospel Revival on April 4th. Read along to find out what makes this little-known family tradition so special.

The chapel at Willie Nelson’s “Luck, TX” — an old west town built as the set for Red Headed Stranger — is perhaps the most cherished building on the property. Long before it was a stage for the annual Luck Reunion music festival, the chapel hosted the weddings of family and friends (and Willie himself), local theater performances, trick-or-treaters, and Christmas Eve services.

But, to those in the know, the most special memories from the tiny church are of the annual Easter Service.

Left to Right: Willie Nelson and the Bells of Joy by Bridget karam Photography; Luck, TX Chapel by @emilyjaschke; Willie Nelson in the Luck, TX Chapel by Bridget Karam Photography

For years, residents of the Briarcliff corner of Spicewood clamored to Luck each Easter Sunday — their golf carts packed with picnic supplies, instruments, and Easter eggs — and crowded the small venue for the main event: Austin Gospel group, the Bells of Joy, often accompanied by a set from Willie and Bobbie, his sister and piano player.

While the Bells anchored the morning entertainment, it wouldn’t be Easter in Luck without at least a few spontaneous guest performances. People packed pews and hung through windows to catch the music. If you were lucky, you caught Dolly Parton’s appearance in 1991. Johnny Rodriguez was known to show up to play “Desperado.” Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Kimmie Rhodes were all known to show up to sing a song or two.

The heart of the holiday was always the music, which echoed throughout the town as kids hunted eggs and neighbors danced side by side. It’s with this joy that we, as the Luck Team, are beyond excited to revive this tradition with a special performance from the legendary gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama. We think there’s no better way to open up this close-held, little-known Easter Sunday celebration than out on the lawn at the Long Center with all of you. We hope to revive this beloved tradition, and to share a truly soulful Sunday with our music community in the spirit of togetherness.

See you out on the lawn!
— The Luck Team

Tickets for Luck Reunion & Long Center’s Long Live Music’s Gospel Sunday Revival featuring Blind Boys of Alabama with Ray Prim are still available — 1 ticket is good for a pod of four people. Masks and health & wellness protocols are in effect so that we can safely enjoy live music together.

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