Other than Grammys, CMAs, ACMs, RIAA and No. 1 plaques, one of the most coveted pieces of hardware in country music is a Luck Reunion ring.
Made of sterling silver and handcrafted by Brett Fox of Maker And Smith, the Luck Reunion ring is considered the country music's championship ring. Every year, Willie Nelson presents them to the musicians who perform at his annual event, held during South By Southwest on his private "Luck" ranch that's located outside of Austin, Texas. In its sixth year, the day-long festival is set for March 15.
The property was built in the mid-80s to serve as the set of a film adaptation of Nelson's Red Headed Stranger. His son, Lukas Nelson, wrote the sweeping, Roger Miller-esque "Just Outside of Austin" about the property for 2017's Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real album. He believes everyone should see Luck at sunset.
"It's beautiful," he tells CMT.com. "There are these old outlaw hideouts and places where they filmed this movie that are still there. So, you're walking around and then all of a sudden you're around this old Mexican outlaw hideout that makes you feel like you're in 1850.
"There's a spot that dad used to drive us to up on this hill. We have this teepee set up, and a lot of the old broken down movie sets make it surreal."
But as many Luck Reunions he's played, Lukas has never received an official Luck ring. Not that he minds. The avid surfer and guitar virtuoso prefers to keep his hands and wrists accessory-free.
"They don't think about me when they think of these things," he jokes. "That's OK because I like my free phalanges."
He adds his father is feeling much better after battling the flu. On Monday (Feb. 12), he posted a picture of the 84-year-old showing off his black-belt karate skills in Maui.
The 2018 Luck Reunion will feature performances by more than 40 acts including Willie Nelson & Family, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Nikki Lane, John Paul White, Paul Cauthen, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Texas Gentlemen, Cody Canada, Joshua Hedley, Devon Gilfillian and more.
Tickets are released on a rolling basis via Luck Reunion and participating partners. Future ticket roll-outs will be announced on Luck Reunion's social media channels.
Here is the complete lineup for the 2018 Luck Reunion:
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Hiss Golden Messenger & Paul Cook
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
John Paul White
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Ray Wylie Hubbard
The Texas Gentlemen
Liz Cooper & The Stampede
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
Courtney Marie Andrews