Country singer Billy Currington teams up Willie Nelson for a version "It's Hard to Be a Hippie," off his latest album, We Are Tonight.
The song reminds of when "you could up and thumb a ride from Nashville to L.A./ And everyone who stopped and picked you up would get you high along the way " The Georgia-born Currington stumbled across the tune a few years ago while searching YouTube for new stuff that his buddy Scotty Emerick had been writing. So after watching an acoustic performance of the song online, Currington called Emerick only to find out that someone else had it on hold to record.
"He’s like, 'Well, man, Willie’s going to record that song.' Two years went by, I never heard the song being recorded," Currington recently told Westwood One "And so Scotty and I ended up on Willie’s bus, and right before we got on the bus, I said, ‘Man, ask him if he's going to record that ‘Hard to Be a Hippie’ song. And he’s like, ‘Well, man, I will, but maybe y’all should record it together since both of you want to record it.’ And so after being on the bus for about 30 minutes, he brought the song up and definitely said what he was going to say. And Willie was like, ‘Man, I’m in. Count me in.’ Willie’s one of my heroes. I’ve been listening to him since I was two, three years old, whatever. Within maybe a month, we got together and did the song.
Currington adds on his website: "We went to Texas and recorded his vocal and that's how 'Hard to Be a Hippie' came about."
Nelson sings the second verse following the chorus and a pedal-steel guitar break.
Another highlight on We Are Tonight is Currington's cover of Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes."