September 17th, 2019

Country Singers to Stage ‘Farm Aid’ (Chicago Sun-Times) (August 18, 1985)

September 17th, 2019

Chicago Sun-Times
Sunday, August 18, 1985

CHAMPAIGN – Taking their cue from rock music’s Live Aid concerts for victims of African famine, country singers and other will stage a 12-hour “Farm Aid” concert here next month to help struggling American farmers.

Singer Willie Nelson told a press conference that he will be joined in the September 22 show at Memorial Stadium by Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, John Cougar Mellencamp and Bob Dylan.

“What it really amounts to is we are going to call some attention to the farmer’s situation and raise some money and see where this money can be spent,” Nelson said.

The musicians might record a benefit album for farmers to raise money and attract attention to their plight, he said.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t try and get everything out of this that we can,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he will meet with farm representatives from around the country to discuss how money raised by the concert should be spent. He said he thought the most immediate use would be feeding farm families.

Nelson said the group has set up a toll-free number to accept contributions: 1-800-FARM-AID.

A group of musicians came up with the idea to hold the concert after the Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London raised more thatn $70 million for famine relief in Africa, Nelson said.

When asked if the musicians would compose a song similar to “We Are the World”, which was recorded by dozens of rock and pop singers to promote awareness of hunger in Africa, Nelson said, “I hope someone will come up with one.”

Farm Aid: Concert for America (1985)

September 17th, 2019

Thank you, Phil Weisman, for these Farm Aid souvenirs.

Getting ready for Farm Aid 2019

September 17th, 2019
Willie Nelson performs June 29, 2016 at the BMO Harris
by: Piet Levy


Willie Nelson will headline Farm Aid 2019 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre Sept. 21, three months after bringing another star-studded fest, the Outlaw Music Festival, to Summerfest.

Alpine Valley has long been on Farm Aid’s wish list in part because its one of board member Dave Matthews favorite venues to perform. Two months after playing two shows at the East Troy amphitheater with the Dave Matthews Band, he’ll be at Farm Aid for an acoustic set with Tim Reynolds.  Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Bonnie Raitt will make her first Farm Aid appearance since 1990 at the festival this year. Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Country star Luke Combs, whose 2017 album “This One’s For You” is the most popular country release so far this year, will play his first Farm Aid. Rick Wood, Tyger Williams/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nathaniel Rateliff will bring his soul band the Night Sweats to Farm Aid Sept. 21. Rick Wood / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Veteran country singer-songwriter Tanya Tucker is also on the Farm Aid bill. Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

Margo Price is playing Farm Aid 2019 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre Sept. 21, the first time the nonprofit’s benefit festival is taking place at the East Troy amphitheater. Rick Wood / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As Farm Aid board members, Nelson, Young, Mellencamp and Matthews play every year. But this will be a Farm Aid first for Combs, the biggest new star in country music in the past few years, and for buzz-riding Nashville newcomer Yola. Raitt is also a must-see — this will be the 10-time Grammy winner’s first Farm Aid since 1990. 

Also playing Farm Aid Saturday are soul band Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and rock duo Jamestown Revival, a replacement for Brothers Osborne, who canceled their appearance for “personal reasons,” according to the festival. Acclaimed country artists Tanya Tucker, Margo Price and Jamey Johnson; Nelson’s kids’ bands Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Particle Kid, and Mellencamp’s singer-songwriter son Ian Mellencamp are also on the bill.

Here’s the current schedule (subject to change):

12:45 p.m.: Ho-Chunk Thundercloud Singers and Wisdom Indian Dancers 

12:49 p.m.: Ian Mellencamp

12:59 p.m.: Particle Kid

1:19 p.m.: Jamestown Revival

1:44 p.m.: Tanya Tucker

2:11 p.m.: Yola

2:48 p.m.: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

3:30 p.m.: Margo Price

4:15 p.m.: Jamey Johnson

5:00 p.m.: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

5:45 p.m.: Luke Combs

6:40 p.m.: Bonnie Raitt

7:35 p.m.: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

8:35 p.m.: John Mellencamp

9:35 p.m.: Neil Young

10:35 p.m.: Willie Nelson & Family

These times will fluctuate, up to and on the day of the festival, so download the Farm Aid app for the most current info.  

More than music 

Every artist playing Farm Aid is performing without pay and covering their own travel expenses. There’s good reason: The nonprofit festival’s mission is to raise grant money and generate awareness for issues affecting family farmers. 

Farm Aid’s Homegrown Village, open from noon to 5:30 p.m., will feature activities and educational booths, including several presented by Wisconsin-based organizations. Family Farm Defenders in Madison will have an exhibit detailing small-scale agriculture’s impact on climate change. The Forest County Potawatomi Community Farm in Laona will discuss food restoration for Native American communities. The Wormfarm Institute from Reedsburg will have musical instruments you can play recycled from farming and gardening tools. The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, the Wisconsin Farmer Union and the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability will have interactive games. And Central Rivers Farmshed in Stevens Point, REAP Food Group in Madison and SLO Farmers Cooperative in Seymour will have guides for finding locally sourced food in Wisconsin.  

The Homegrown Skills Tent will have demonstrations on beekeeping, making milk soap and more; check the Farm Aid app for the schedule. Artists and farmers will also be speaking from the FarmYard Stage throughout the afternoon, with the schedule to be announced. 

Farm-friendly food 

You won’t find your standard concert fare at Farm Aid. The food being served features local ingredients, including brats served with organic sauerkraut, organic burgers, blue corn chips, baked potatoes, fish and chips, portobello mushroom sandwiches, tacos, pretzels and cookies. Beer will be sold from New Glarus Brewing Company and Monroe-based Cheese City Beer, along with other local craft beers, organic sodas, distilled liquor and craft mead. Sales of local apples, cider and baked goods at the Homegrown Youthmarket will benefit youth organizations like the FFA, and VIP pass holders will have access to cooking demonstrations and special menu items sourced from local farms. And all food will be served with compostable serviceware.

What to bring, what to leave at home 

Festgoers are asked to bring jars of peanut butter to be donated to Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force. They also can bring in food in a clear, 1-gallon zip-lock bag; up to a gallon of water in a factory-sealed bottle; lawn chairs (so long as the seat is no more than nine inches off the ground); cameras (removable lenses not permitted); and average size purses, bags and backpacks. 

Prohibited items include fireworks, laser pointers, drones, animals (excluding service animals), large or hard-sided coolers, illegal drugs or weapons. Alcohol, cans and glass containers are not permitted inside the venue, but you can tailgate in the Alpine lots. However, re-entry is not allowed.

Places to stay 

After Alpine, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay there; camping is not permitted. Several rooms are still available in the area through Hotels for Hope; $2 from each booking is donated to Farm Aid. 

Stream Farm Aid live 

If you can’t make it to Farm Aid, you can still watch the festival on TV and online, or hear it on the radio.

Nelson’s Sirius XM station Willie’s Roadhouse will be broadcasting from Alpine Valley beginning at noon Central Time. Find it on Channel 59. 

You can watch Farm Aid performances beginning at 2 p.m. Central Time at and on Farm Aid’s YouTube channel. And AXS TV will broadcast Farm Aid live beginning at 6:30 p.m.  

Happy anniversary, Willie and Annie Nelson

September 16th, 2019
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Happy happy anniversary, Willie Nelson and Annie D’Angelo, married on September 16, 1991.

Willie & Annie

September 16th, 2019

Farm Aid 2019 APP

September 16th, 2019

The Farm Aid Festival

Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host a Farm Aid festival to bring together a wide variety of artists, farmers and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on the land.

Farm Aid is an all-day festival that brings together incredible music, good food and hands-on activities to get folks in touch with the roots of our food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised $57 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to take part in the Good Food Movement.

Download the 2019 Farm Aid app here for information about the Farm Aid concert September 21, 2019, in East Troy, Wisconsin.

Put the entire Farm Aid 2019 festival experience in your hands with our app for iPhone and Android.

The Farm Aid 2019 app allows you to:

  • Get festival updates first
  • Learn about and listen to the artists on the Farm Aid lineup
  • Add artists, workshops, and artist briefings to make your own personal schedule for the day
  • Find out where you’re going with the festival map
  • Check out the HOMEGROWN food & drink offerings
  • Read about the interactive exhibits in the HOMEGROWN Village
  • Learn about our Farmer Heroes
  • Take and post photos to share your Farm Aid experience with your friends

Farm Aid 2019

September 16th, 2019

September 16th, 2019

September 15th, 2019

photo: Janis Tillerson

Enter to Win some Willie Nelson vinyl thanks to Sony Legacy

September 15th, 2019
by: Dan Kaye

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of Willie Nelson’s 18th studio album, Red Headed Stranger. The classic concept record is not just a landmark of outlaw country, but a signature release in the oeuvre of American music. To honor the legendary LP, we’ll be exploring its legacy on the latest season of The Opus podcast. But to help you celebrate the prolific work of Nelson yourself, we’re also giving away a massive vinyl prize pack.

Courtesy of Sony Legacy, the bundle features 14 albums from across Willie Nelson’s career. Red Headed Stranger is of course part of the package, as are his solo records The Troublemaker (1976), Last Man Standing (2018), God’s Problem Child (2017), Band of Brothers (2014).

Also included are collaborative efforts like 2015’s Django & Jimmie with Merle Haggard, Nelson’s 2013 collection of duets with female singers To All the Girls…, 2013’s standards album Let’s Face the Music and Dance, 2014’s December Day: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1  with his sister Bobbie Nelson, and 2017’s follow-up with sons Luke and Micah Nelson Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2. In addition you’ll get tribute albums like 2016’s For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, 2016’s Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, and 2018’s collection of Frank Sinatra tunes My Way.

Rounding out the massive selection is the 1976 compilation featuring Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser Wanted! The Outlaws.

To win all these incredible records, you simply need to do is fill out the widget below. Note: If you do not see the widget below, click here to enter.

September 15th, 2019

Farm Aid (9/22/1985)

September 15th, 2019

Red Headed Stranger Album turns 45 next year

September 15th, 2019
by: Dan Kaye

This fall, The Opus returns for a fourth season from Consequence of Sound and Sony. Past seasons have explored the ever-evolving legacies of three iconic records: Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Electric Ladyland, and Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Beginning September 19th, the series will head South as it revisits one of country’s most beloved albums, Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger, with new host Andy Bothwell, aka Astronautalis.

Next year sees Nelson’s 18th studio record turn 45, making this the perfect time to revisit the classic LP. Given more creative freedom over his music thanks to a new contract and a new label, Nelson returned to the concept album form with Red Headed Stranger. Weaving covers of old standards in with poetic, stripped down originals, he created an outlaw country tale that transcended its genre into the mainstream consciousness. Over three episodes, The Opus will dig into what the record meant then and how it has impacted music now.

Taking listeners through this tour of the album’s legacy will be Bothwell, The Opus’ new permanent host. “Every great record has an infinite number of stories to tell, not just from when it was recorded, or when it was released, but for all time, as the music continues to reach and impact new people,” says the alternative hip-hop artist. “I am so excited to join forces with Sony Music and Consequence of Sound to dive deep into some of the greatest records of all time, and share their stories with everyone.”

The Opus: Red Headed Stranger premieres September 19th, and you can subscribe now. To prepare for the new season, stream a selection of Willie Nelson’s best tracks via all major streaming services.

An Evening with Willie Nelson

September 15th, 2019