Support Farm Aid

November 30th, 2021

All of us at Farm Aid hope that you were able to enjoy a warm and peaceful Thanksgiving. We all know it wouldn’t be possible without the good food our essential farmers and ranchers provide us. As you’ve probably heard by now, today is #GivingTuesday and we hope you’ll take a moment to join us in standing up for them to support all they do for us!
Farm Aid depends on the support of people like you to continue our mission to strengthen family farmers, provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and build the movement for family farm food. We’re excited to participate in this global day of generosity and hope that you’ll join us.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 today with help from you and some generous donors who are matching a portion of the funds raised this #GivingTuesday. Your generous gift will enable Farm Aid to continue our work to keep our essential family farmers on the land, growing the good food we all need and stewarding our soil and water. But we can’t reach our goal without your support.

Please, if you can, take a moment to show family farmers just how much we appreciate the hard work they do. Give a gift today to support our family farmers and see your contribution doubled!DONATE TO FARM AID

Giving Tuesday - Together We Give

Giving Tuesday

November 30th, 2021

November 30th, 2021

Farm Aid 2021

November 29th, 2021

See photos here.

Farm Aid 2021 marked our return to a live festival, at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 25. The show highlighted farmers who have withstood economic, operational and policy challenges and stand determined to create a better farm and food system — one that embraces diversity, sustains our natural resources and nourishes generations to come.

“So much has changed since we last gathered at Farm Aid in 2019. We’ve all seen the pain brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, but our family farmers endured, growing the food we needed and offering solutions that are so essential to our country.” — Willie Nelson

Farm Aid 2021’s lineup featured Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price, along with Tyler Childers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Bettye LaVette, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Jamey Johnson, Allison Russell, Particle Kid, Ian Mellencamp, the Wisdom Indian Dancers, and the Horse Hill Singers.


Here are a just a few of the reviews published about Farm Aid 2021:

November 28th, 2021

“If I die when I’m high, I’m half way to heaven (or I might have a long way to fall”)

November 28th, 2021

Willie Nelson going strong (and fans can’t get enough)

November 28th, 2021

At 88 years old, Willie Nelson is still going strong… and music fans around the world still can’t get enough.

A fixture of pop culture’s landscape since he helped lay the foundation of modern country music in the late 1950s—penning hits for the likes of Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Faron Young, and more—Nelson has become a “living legend” of sorts. Then, moving to Texas after becoming disillusioned with the Nashville scene in the early ‘70s, he forged a style and sound that remains beloved by folks from all walks of life—hippies, hillbillies, blue collars, and white collars, all alike… and now, you can even add “digital-age Zoomers” to that list of admirers.

That’s because Nelson’s work has a certain timeless quality that’s continued to resonate through all these years. Still touring, he frequently sells out multi-thousand-seater venues, often holding his own as the lone guitarist on stage (in fact, the only other harmony instrument in the group is usually piano, which is played by his 90-year-old sister, Bobbie Nelson). Beyond that, his records still do well too—with 5.6 million monthly listeners, his top tracks alone have accumulated hundreds of millions of streams… and that’s not even counting all the folks who listen to his songs on old CDs, vinyl records, and downloaded tracks from the pre-streaming days.

All this combined, it’s clear that there’s something about Willie Nelson that just makes him loveable… and maybe one of the biggest factors playing into that is his songs themselves. 

Tunes like “Always On My Mind” and “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” both capture a sense of love, passion, loss, and longing that, in a way, speaks to the currents of American culture at large. With unabashed candidness and sentimentality, Nelson embraces the image of the rugged country man while conveying an emotional and powerful sense of humanity. To that end, the dual nuance and simplicity of the tunes make them nothing short of works of brilliance. 

On the flip side, songs like “On The Road Again” or “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” accomplish the same feat, but from an entirely different angle. Embracing the rowdy, honky-tonkin’ tradition of his Texas roots, his more upbeat tunes have an air of inimitable humor, while still carrying a deeper meaning—a celebration of sorts of the culture from which he hails. 

And while Nelson is obviously a world-class songwriter, when he covers someone else’s tune, he can transform it into a wholly new entity, straddling the context of the original composition and his own canon of tune-smithing (as demonstrated by “Mamas,” “Blue Eyes” and “Always On My Mind”). Another one of his most beloved cuts is his version of “Rainbow Connection,” which came about as a tribute to Nelson’s own daughter, Amy.

Amy Nelson isn’t the only Nelson kid in the public eye, however—in fact, his sons, Lukas and Micah, are often the first to come to mind when thinking about Nelson’s grand musical family (in part thanks to their appearances at the majority of Nelson’s high-level shows). Lukas, 32, has made waves in Americana circles as the frontman and songwriter for Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real; Micah, 31, has made a name for himself as a proprietor of psych-y, alt-country with his project, Particle Kid. Both boys have joined their dad on stage numerous times over the years, mostly filling in the guitar parts with blazing solos and tasteful rhythm playing. 

With his dynasty of talented kin lined up and ready to carry the torch onward, it’s clear that Nelson’s legacy will continue to reverberate for years and years to come… but that’s not slowing him down while he’s still here. Playing shows and still recording new records, he hasn’t stopped pursuing his craft… and he hasn’t stopped his legendary use of cannabis either (though he did quit smoking in 2019).

“Willie does what he wants when he wants regarding smoking—there are numerous ways of consumption, he has not given up cannabis,” his publicist, Elaine Schock, told USA Today. In the same article, Nelson is quoted talking about how marijuana helped save his life: “I wouldn’t have lived 85 years if I’d have kept drinking and smoking like I was when I was 30, 40 years old. I think that weed kept me from wanting to kill people. And probably kept a lot of people from wanting to kill me, too—out there drunk, running around.” 

And who knows—with his smoking days behind him and more musical projects ahead, Nelson could have a whole lot more time to continue growing his already massive legacy. At 95, Tony Bennett is still a household name and recently earned 6 Grammy nominations for his latest record with Lady Gaga. 

What’s definitely clear, though, is that there’s only one Willie Nelson, and no matter what, he will be a treasured icon of American music forever. 

Read article here.

Willie Nelson, Mt. Rushmore of Pot Smokers

November 27th, 2021

The Willie Way

November 26th, 2021
by: Katie Rock

Sometimes life can get us all down, but country star Willie Nelson has some great advice for achieving contentment by living life “the Willie Way.”

From his book The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart — an autobiographical collection of advice on life — here are ten tips for staying on the road from the family man and legend of outlaw country.

Tip #1: Live life by the cowboy way

As Nelson writes, “The cowboy way springs from common sense and from a strong sense of right and wrong, without regard for consequences.”

To him, that also means earning respect “through the positive quality of your actions” and not projecting blame for your own problems onto others.

Tip #2: Drink cool water

Though Nelson understands the appeal of a cold beer on a hot day, he recommends reaching for another drink when feeling parched — water. He reminds us all to drink more water if not already getting the recommended amount. And according to Harvard, that’s four to six cups daily for generally healthy people, but varies depending on the individual.

“The bottom line is,” Nelson writes, “you should drink water when you’re thirsty.”

Tip #3: Breathe

Nelson gives a lot of well-deserved credit to the simple act of breathing. “When I was very young and just learning music, my grandmother taught me that voice control depended on breathing from way down deep,” he writes. “Through deep breathing, you strengthen your lungs, your vocal cords, and every other part of your body, including your heart.”  

And deep breathing has been beneficial for “Shotgun Willie” Nelson in more ways than singing and staying alive. “Deep breathing can work wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional state,” he offers.  

Music gave Nelson the freedom to move around the world, which inspires his songwriting. He notes that when it comes to inspiration for life, “The road is filled with possibilities.”

Tip #4: Meditate

According to Nelson, meditation is one of the best ways to get in touch with his inner thoughts. “Sit. Listen. Breathe. Dream. Renew,” he suggests.

And he says, “When you come back to the thoughts of your body … all you need to do is remember to take a part of a simpler you on your journey through the world.”   

Tip #5: Let it go

One thing Nelson recommends not doing is going “through life pissed off about traffic and jackasses.”

“It’s not a perfect world,” the marijuana enthusiast points out, “and sometimes you just have to let your anger go.”

And one way of achieving that anger-free mind state is letting “the jerks of the world” serve as an example of what others shouldn’t be. He writes, “If someone’s a jerk, that’s their misfortune, not yours.”

Tip #6: Some lessons come twice learned

According to Nelson, some important lessons may be learned more than once. These are things like patience, honesty, and wanting less and giving more.

But almost above all, he reminds readers not to forget one lesson — the benefits of laughter. “There’s nothing better for your mind and body than a great laugh,” he writes, adding, “except for great sex, of course.”

Tip #7: Avoid feeling the ‘nothing I can do about it now’ feeling

Once something is said, it can’t be unsaid, and Nelson recommends an easy way to avoid the regret of already spoken words. “Keep your words sweet,” he suggests. “You may have to eat them.”

Most people have to learn this one the hard way, including Nelson. “Understanding regret has been one of the hardest lessons there is,” he notes.

Tip #8: Get on the road again

Something Nelson does to enjoy life a little more is stay on the road. “Even when I was a kid, I liked the idea of being on the road,” he shares. “My buddy Zeke and I used to hop freight trains to nowhere.”

Tip #9: Take care of the physical and the spiritual

While Nelson has many tips for staying mentally fit, he also emphasizes the importance of physical fitness. “If I didn’t work to keep in good shape, I couldn’t tour the way I do, or sing nearly as long every night,” he admits.

And for Nelson, that could mean yoga, jogging, or even martial arts. Notably, he received a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at 69.

Tip #10: Sages are ‘real people’

While navigating life, Nelson thinks, “All of us need true sages to lead us through the world.”

And like the Tao philosopher Sun Tzu, he likes to think sages are “real” people. By that, he means people who “comprehend what is beneficial and what is harmful,” among other things. Those individuals might harmonize with nature or improve their own health through calmness. And while he didn’t name names, it sounds like his old friend Dolly Parton might fit his description.

To sum it all up, Nelson — now 88 — concludes The Tao of Willie with a simple message. The key to a life of contentment is finding the happiness in your own heart. “Open your heart,” he writes, “and give love a try. You’ll be amazed at what happens.”

Willie Nelson and Family, “I Saw The Light”

November 23rd, 2021

November 22nd, 2021

Willie Nelson to Receive 2021 Clio Cannabis Lifetime Achievement Award

November 22nd, 2021
by: Paul Grein

Long before cannabis gained mainstream acceptance, Nelson made the case that its dangers were greatly exaggerated and its benefits were scarcely mentioned. And to look at a productive and prolific artist like Nelson, 88, it’s hard to argue.

Willie Nelson has rightly received many lifetime achievement awards, including one from the Recording Academy in 1999, another from the Country Music Association in 2012 (which named the award in his honor), induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998 and the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize in 2015.

What could ever equal those prestigious honors? To a longtime marijuana advocate like Nelson, this may just do it: On Dec. 7, he will receive the 2021 Clio Cannabis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nelson has occasionally recorded songs about his fondness for cannabis. He teamed with Snoop DoggKris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson on “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” (2012) and with Merle Haggard on “It’s All Going to Pot” in 2015. The latter reached No. 48 on Hot Country Songs.

According to a statement, “Nelson was selected to receive the award for his decades-long reputation for advocating the plant’s healing powers, elevating cannabis in the mainstream and innovating in the business space. His team is responsible for introducing marijuana and hemp-based wellness products like Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy in addition to launching a new cannabis conference called Luck Summit: Planting the Seed.”

Additional honorees include Fab 5 Freddy, Mary Pryor and Ophelia Chong. The trophies will be presented as part of the 2021 Clio Cannabis Awards, streaming on Social Club TV beginning Dec. 7.

Read article here.

Willie’s Reserve

November 22nd, 2021

Willie Nelson and Paula Nelson, “Be That as it May”

November 22nd, 2021

Willie Nelson: Remember Me Vol. I (new album out November 21, 2011)

November 21st, 2021

Remember Me
Sixteen Tons
Why Baby, Why
Today I Started Loving You Again
I’m Movin’ On
That Just About Does It
This Old House
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette
Satisfied Mind
Roly Poly
Release Me
Ramblin’ Fever

Elegant and enduring endeavors are often the simplest, and so it is with Remember Me, Vol. 1 as one of America’s most revered country music icons sings a collection of the genre’s most definitive songs. Willie Nelson hand-picked the collection’s 14 songs from among the top Billboard hits of the last 70 years.

Artists and songwriters reflected in Nelson’s versions of their songs include Ernest Tubb, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Rosemary Clooney, Porter Wagoner and Ray Price. The first volume, out Nov. 21, is drawn from Nelson’s sessions with longtime friend and producer James Stroud, which yielded more than 30 songs. Remember Me, Vol. 2 is scheduled to be released next year.

In addition to Nelson’s incomparable vocal stylings, each track benefits from the work of Nashville’s top musicians in a band that features Eddie Bayers (drums), David Hungate (bass), Brent Mason (electric guitar), Biff Watson (acoustic guitar), Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Sonny Garrish (steel guitar), John Hobbs (piano/keyboards), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle/mandolin) and Wes Hightower and Cindy Walker (background vocals). Jerry Puckett and Chris Collins also guest on the sessions —