Willie Nelson is no longer just another country singer from a bygone era of American songwriters. The 86-year-old bandana-wearing guitarist and outspoken cannabis enthusiast has inspired generations of music fans across America during his long career–most notably rural areas where Willie’s style of Texas-meets-Nashville-inspired country music is still preferred genre on most local radio stations.
So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that a small-town farmer in Virginia has built a 15-foot tall statue comprised entirely of hay bails, chicken wire, and Styrofoam in tribute to Nelson.
According to a story published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Beth Bays, a farmer from Huddleston, VA, has given her annual tradition of putting together a giant hay bale statue a musical update this holiday season by theming it around the likeness of Nelson. The hay creation went up along the road late last month and has since reached viral status thanks to Bays’ dedication to the famous musician as her statue features Nelson’s trademark braids, bandana, guitar, and grizzly white beard.
The large, impossible-to-miss statue stands in a field beside the Huddleston Post Office in the Virginia town, located in the center of the state roughly 50 miles east of Roanoke.
“This one seems to be everyone’s favorite by far. My cousin joked that I might have to quit now because I’ll never be able to top this,” Bays joked about her viral accomplishment with the report. “The basic shape was easy and only took three bales to do. However, there was a lot of detail work with sculpting the arms out of chicken wire and making the guitar from a huge piece of Styrofoam I came across a few years ago and saved in my barn. I also had to make a nose out of chicken wire because Willie has a very prominent nose and I wanted to get that right.”
Watch a clip highlighting the agricultural accomplishment by local news station which was shared by Bays to her Instagram below.
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Bays also teamed up with a local group of musicians who call themselves Dave and the Banjomites to create a music video inspired by the statue with a take on Nelson’s famous anthem, “On the Road Again”, which was re-written to a more fitting, “On The Farm Again”.
Watch and listen to the impressive parody filmed in front of the state below.
Dave and the Banjomites with Jodie Davis – “On The Farm Again”
Farmers around the country have a special connection to Nelson, as he, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, have raised $53 million for programs to benefit family farmers dating back to 1986 with their annual Farm Aid fundraising events.
Nelson will spend the first months of 2020 where he’s always been–on the road making music with his friends. He’s set to embark on a run of winter tour dates beginning January 3rd in San Diego, CA, and continuing over 15 shows before wrapping on February 21st following a performance in Orlando, FL.
Head to Nelson’s website for tickets and tour info.
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[H/T Richmond Times-Dispatch]