Farm Aid celebrating 30th anniversary with concert in Chicago (September 19, 2015)

July 28th, 2015


photo:  Paul Natkin

by:  Andy Greene

Farm Aid is coming to Chicago. The annual event, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be held on September 19th at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island near downtown Chicago. In addition to board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, the show will feature Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mavis Staples, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots and Blackwood Quartet.

“We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis,” Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson said in a statement. “Thirty years later, in Chicago, we’ll bring together so many of the people — farmers, eaters, advocates and activists — who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible. At Farm Aid 30, we’ll celebrate the impact we’ve had and rally our supporters for the work ahead.”

“In 1985, alternatives didn’t exist for most farmers and people didn’t understand that there was a role for them in changing the system,” Farm Aid co-founder John Mellencamp said in a statement. “The Good Food Movement didn’t exist. People thought the farm crisis was a rural problem. But after that first concert, people listened. They realized that if we lost family farmers, we lost Main Street and we lost our food. They stood up with family farmers and now things are changing. We’ve got a lot more work to do, but the connection between rural and urban communities is more real and important to people.”

The first Farm Aid was held September 22nd, 1985 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. It has been held nearly every year since, raising $48 million for family farmers. Over the past 30 years, everyone from Phish to Elton John to Guns N’ Roses to Jerry Lee Lewis and the Allman Brothers have performed. Young played with Lukas and Micah Nelson at last year’s event at Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh, North Carolina, a spontaneous decision that led to him recording The Monsanto Years with them a few months later.

Tickets for this year’s Farm Aid — ranging in price from $49.50 to $189.50 — go on sale Monday, August 3rd at 10 a.m. CDT at

Willie Nelson & Family, Alison Krauss and Union Station at the Santa Barbara Bowl (7/22/2015)

July 28th, 2015

photo:  Paul Wellman
by: D. J. Pallidino

It was the kind of concert that might prompt an English teacher to assign a compare and contrast paper on the idea of old American Music. On the one hand, opener Alison Krauss and her significantly amazing band Union Station took basically defunct forms of American music—old-timey and bluegrass—and made them more interesting than rock and roll. It helped that Jerry Douglas, the God of dobro, was there filling in with washes of color and even supplying the evening’s best off-the-wall quote. “I think I like the Lobero better.” But Krauss and company transformed the quirkiest of hoary tunes, like the big murder ballad “Wild Bill Jones” into musical cinematic masterpiece, which Krauss later described as a “salad of misery,” the kind of stuff they like best. And speaking of cinema and misery, of course they rocked the house with “Man of Constant Sorrow” and finished with “Down to the River to Pray.” Both, of course, from the Coen Brother’s O Brother Where Art Thou, on which this band figured strongly. Maybe the music is old-timey but the vibe is cool current.

On the other hand, Willie Nelson comes straight from the heart of a musical idiom that never seems to die, Country Western. Yet most of the music he sang — either his own or a few well-placed covers — were drawn from the Golden Age 1960s era of Merle, Hank, and Patsy Cline. Of course, it was Willie who wrote “Crazy” for Cline back during the Kennedy years, and his live version was gulped and spat out, including his herky-jerky acoustic guitar solo. (All of his strums and picks were weird and fun.)

The strangest compare and contrast note of the evening, though, both Douglas and Nelson broke into jazz songs, the former did a Chick Correa song, while the latter played with the Django Reinhart songbook. All in all, Nelson was a warm-hearted machine, never once stopping during the nearly 25-song set, which covered all the big hits like “On the Road Again” but none of the singer-songwriter era songs from Red-Headed Stranger (alas). But it was the real deal, even though Douglas called him “a country icon,” at 82, he’s more like a breathing embodiment of country. And for that there’s no comparison.

Photo Gallery

Farm Aid 2015 Concert in Chicago, Illinois (September 19, 2015)

July 28th, 2015


Dear Family Farm Supporter,

We’re excited to announce that Farm Aid is bringing our 30th anniversary concert to Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, September 19. Farm Aid 30 comes to FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island to shine a spotlight on the family farmers whose hard work and ingenuity are essential for all of us.

Farm Aid 30 will feature Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson and many more artists. Get the full lineup here.

Farm Aid 30 will be a full day of incredible music, HOMEGROWN Concessions® featuring family farm food, hands-on activities in Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village and, of course, family farmers. Don’t miss it!

Ticket Presale Starts Tomorrow

Our ticket presale gives you access to the best seats in the house -before the tickets go on sale to the public. The Farm Aid presale starts tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29 at noon CDT – visit for all the information you need!

Public Ticket Sale

Tickets for Farm Aid 30 go on sale Monday, August 3, at 10 a.m. CDT, at, the venue box office, or by phone at 800-745-3000. Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $189.50.

Join us on the #Road2FarmAid

As Farm Aid celebrates 30 years of action to keep family farmers on the land, we want to hear from you. We know that real change happens when we all work together. We have all played an important part in building the Good Food Movement.

Actions that may seem simple can add up to make a big difference. Tell us what you’re doing to make a difference on the #Road2FarmAid and you could win Farm Aid memorabilia and tickets to Farm Aid 30 on September 19.

Bid on Unique Concert Experiences to Support Farm Aid

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from meeting Willie Nelson on his legendary tour bus to joining Farm Aid Board Artists for a concert kick-off event, are available on

Get Connected

For the latest concert updates and information all summer long,  like us on Facebook , and  follow @FarmAid on Twitter and Instagram. Keep an eye out for the Farm Aid 30 app for iPhone and Android, coming soon!

Willie Nelson & Family in Las Vegas

July 27th, 2015



Thank you so much, Janis from Texas, for sending photos from the show in Las Vegas last night, of Willie Nelson and his fans.






July 26th, 2015


Willie Nelson golf cart part of electric vehicle display at Powerhouse Museum

July 26th, 2015


Willie Nelson’s customized golf cart is now part of the electric vehicle display at the Powerhouse Museum and Visitors Center. The golf cart features red velvet seats, a Rolls Royce-style grille and hood ornament, and a miniature bar on the back. It has a radio and tape deck, headlights and turn signals. The cart was built in 1981 and presented to the famed country singer by his former wife, Connie.

The Kingman Powerhouse was placed in service in 1907 to generate electrical power for the city of Kingman. It was then named the Desert Power & Water Company Electric Power Plant.

Opened May 2001 and operated by the Mohave Pioneers Historical Society, the Arizona Route 66 Museum is located in Kingman’s Historic Powerhouse and depicts the historical evolution of travel along the 35th parallel that became Route 66.

Brilliant murals, photos and life-size dioramas capture each of the groups that have traveled what came to be known as the Mother Road.  Follow the paths of the Native American trade routes and the U. S. Army led survey expeditions.  Travel along with the settlers on their migration west over the nation’s first federally funded wagon roads.   Feel the hardship and despair of the dust bowl refugees as they journeyed along the Mother Road to a better life. Visit Main Street America as the 50’s usher in fun and excitement for Route 66 travelers.

The Route 66 Museum is truly unique in that it is a museum of history, housed in a historical building that lighted the way for the earliest Route 66 travelers.  The building, built in two phases between 1907 and 1911, was operated by the Desert Power & Light Company and powered early Kingman and area mines starting in July, 1909.  It also supplied power for the construction of Hoover Dam, until the Dam began producing cheaper hydroelectric power in the late 1930’s.  It was soon mothballed, not to be restored until 60 years later when it was opened as a Visitor Center in 1997.

New in 2014, the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum, the first of it’s kind anywhere, is now open and can be accessed only through the Arizona Route 66 Museum!  This 3,600 square foot Museum includes twelve (and counting) vehicles on loan from the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, with members world-wide. The Foundation’s purpose is to preserve the history of and examples of electric vehicles from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century for all the peoples of the world to enjoy and learn from. The exhibit is expected to open in December 2014.

July 26th, 2015


Vegas Hotel fire before Willie Nelson Concert

July 26th, 2015
A massive fire erupted Saturday at The Cosmopolitan hotel on the Vegas Strip.

The entire pool area was consumed by flames sending guests scurrying for safety. At least one person has been reported injured.

Willie Nelson is scheduled to perform tomorrow night … no word on whether the fire will have an impact on the show.


join us on the #Road2FarmAid.

July 26th, 2015

Farm Aid 30on-road

Dear Family Farm Supporter,

We can’t wait to share all the details of this year’s Farm Aid concert with you next week. But before we get to that, we wanted to take a few moments to invite you to join us on the #Road2FarmAid. For 30 years, we’ve been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with family farmers, fighting for a family farm food system.

Thanks to each of you – family farmers, activists and advocates, eaters and donors – we’re making a big difference. What we’ve accomplished together is proof that ordinary people make extraordinary changes.

But there’s more work to be done. We need more family farmers on the land and we need to make sure that everyone can access family farm food in their communities.

As we count down the days to Farm Aid 30 on September 19, we hope you’ll share with us the many ways you’re taking action to create a family farm future of agriculture.

Actions that may seem simple, like seeking out food grown on family farms or starting a conversation with friends and family about the challenges farmers face, can add up to make a big difference.

Tell us how you’re making change, and you could win Farm Aid memorabilia and tickets to Farm Aid 30.

Let’s take action together for even bigger and bolder changes. Share your action today.

Thanks for all you do,

The team at Farm Aid

P.S. Follow Farm Aid on Twitter and Facebook, and use #Road2FarmAid to share your story. And, stay tuned next week for all the details about Farm Aid 30!

<iframe width=”500″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Willie Nelson and Family

July 26th, 2015

Stay Tuned! Farm Aid to announce location of Farm Aid Concert 30 on September 19th — very soon!

July 26th, 2015
Farm Aid's photo.

Willie Nelson on guitar

July 25th, 2015


photo:  Mary Francis Andrews

I found it on e-bay

July 25th, 2015


Starting bid:  $3,999.99

Willie Nelson, Souvenirs

July 25th, 2015


Track Listing


1. Man with the Blues
2. A New Way to Cry
3. Happiness Lives Next Door
4. Misery Mansion
5. Night Life
6. The Storm Has Just Begun
7. What a Way to Live
8. Country Willie
9. San Antonio Rose
10. Waiting Time
11. The Ghost
12. I’ll Stay Around
13. Both Ends of the Candle
14. Rainy Day Blues
15. Right from Wrong


1. Good Hearted Woman
2. Blue Skies
3. Georgia on My Mind
4. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
5. On the Road Again
6. Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
7. City of New Orleans
8. To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before
9. Texas Luckenbach
10. Whiskey River
11. Seven Spanish Angels
12. Stardust
13. Funny How Time Slips Away
14. Pancho & Lefty

Best Bet this Weekend: Willie Nelson and Family in Las Vegas tonight

July 25th, 2015


A true living legend, Willie Nelson is at the Chelsea on Sunday, July 26, 2015, in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.