This year’s Farm Aid: Willie Nelson, Neil Young and more

Who knew that a benefit gig for family farm agriculture could conjure up such a stellar line up?  Rolling Stone report: “Farm Aid, the annual charity concert that has raised over $50 million since its 1985 inaugural show, is set to take place September 16th at Burgettstown, Pennsylvania’s KeyBank Pavilion. Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will perform in addition to Jack Johnson, the Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Insects vs. Robots. 

“Family farm agriculture is the heart of Pennsylvania,” Nelson said in a statement. “What’s happening in western Pennsylvania and the region shows us that we can count on family farmers to strengthen our communities and connect people. Whether we live in rural or urban places, food — and music — brings us all together.”

The event will mark Young’s first performance (discounting a brief, impromptu harmonica jam with Willie Nelson at Stagecoach in April) since the Bridge School Benefit last October. Since then, he cancelled a planned Australian tour and kept a relatively low profile, though he recently held a recording session with composer Chris Walden who he worked with on 2014’s Storytone. Instagram photos showed them working on a song entitled “Children of Destiny,” with Micah Nelson also present at the session.

Farm Aid was last held in Burgettstown (about 25 miles west of Pittsburgh) in 2002. Last year, Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats performed at the event. “There’s a revolution starting!” Young told the crowd. “It’s called eating good food that your neighbors made for you. Let the earth bring us all together, back to the roots. Eat good food. You don’t need the drugs anymore. It took us a long time to get this far. We have a long way to go. But with people like you, we’re going to make it!” Tickets go on sale Friday, June 23rd at 10 a.m.”

Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield is the long-suffering editor of Americana UK, conceiving the idea in a dark room in 2001, although he ran out of words to personally review anything in about 2007.

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