Personnel includes: Willie Nelson (vocals, acoustic & electric guitar); Dan Dugmore (acoustic & steel guitars); Jody Payne (guitar, background vocals); Bill Evans (saxophone); Bobbie Nelson, (piano); Jim Cox (keyboards); Glenn Worf (bass); Chad Cromwell (drums); Sheryl Crow, Toby Keith, Lee Ann Womack, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Ray Price, Hank Williams III, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Aaron Neville, Brian McNight, Patty Griffin, Matchbox Twenty, Emmylou Harris, Ryan Adams, Family, Vince Gill.
Personnel: Jody Payne (guitar, background vocals); Jackie King (guitar); Richard Bennett (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Dan Dugmore (acoustic guitar, steel guitar); Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Bill Evans (saxophone); Bobbie Nelson (piano); Jim Cox (keyboards); Chad Cromwell (drums); Paul English (snare drum); Billy Gene English (percussion); Robert Bailey, Jr. , Vicki Hampton, Kim Fleming (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Chuck Ainlay.
Recording information: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN (05/27/2002).
Photographer: Rahav Segev.
Considering STARS & GUITARS's pop idol-heavy list of guests, one might expect the album to be just a live retread of Willie Nelson's 2002 studio effort, THE GREAT DIVIDE. Fortunately, unlike that album, which attempted to fit the artist into the same pop box that helped Carlos Santana out of a career slump, this is ol' Willie's show through and through. As anyone who has seem him live knows, Nelson's onstage personality is such a powerful force of nature, no one can hope to tame it. STARS AND GUITARS shows, once again, that though Willie Nelson is capable of playing any type of music he chooses, his musical personality is so strong that most guest artists can only hobble along behind him, thanking their lucky stars for the opportunity. Notable exceptions are Willie's contemporaries Ray Price and Aaron Neville, both of whom make the reasons for their legendary status abundantly clear. Overall, the album has the relaxed feel of a jam session (as if Willie could do it any other way). Though it may not be an essential addition to Nelson's catalog, STARS & GUITARS is an interesting curio that shows how different artists deal with the enigma that is Willie Nelson.