Week of November 13, 2002

Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving. Steven Cantor. Filmed for PBS' American Masters series -- and with a subject fully deserving of that heading -- Still Is Still Moving is an admiring look at the indefatigable musician/singer whose records are invariably labeled "country" but who owes at least as much to Django Reinhardt and Frank Sinatra as he does to Hank Williams. But what is there to say about Willie Nelson? He's amazingly persistent, touring and recording constantly, working with same band for more than 30 years, and aside from his publicized bout with the IRS and the usual stories of ex-wives and good times gone bad, there's not much to be said about his personal life. He's gracious to the filmmakers, shows them around his childhood home, lets them on his tour bus, but the film never gets particularly close to man himself -- which may very well be the point. Onstage, Nelson turns his soft-spokenness into a unique vocal style, his modesty into inspired jazzlike guitar lines. If there's a "real" Willie Nelson, he's hiding comfortably in the music. Plays at 7 p.m. November 18 at the Hi-Pointe. (RH)

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