Farm Aid Supporters in their Farm Aid Shirts

September 26th, 2016

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Each year at Farm Aid, supporters proudly wear their Farm Aid shirts from previous years.  It’s always fun to see the shirts, and thanks to Alice, from Georgia, for taking pictures of the folks in their shirts.  And thanks to the fans for being good sports and letting us take their pictures.  Here’s a few and I’ll keep sharing more.



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You can get your very own Farm Aid shirt, and learn about how you can support family farmers:

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2016

September 25th, 2016


Stay Positive

September 25th, 2016


Willie Nelson & Family “Living in the Promiseland” (Farm AId 2004)

September 25th, 2016

“My first time at Farm Aid”

September 25th, 2016


photo:  Dee Sulenski

Thanks to Dee Sulenski, from Virginia, for sharing her first experience at Farm Aid.

I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend the FarmAid Press Conference, in the morning, that kicked off Farm Aid 2016. I left this press conference feeling humble, respecting our farmers and wanting to be a better person.
All four of the founders and Board Members of Farm Aid (Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews) spoke and this was followed by several live interviews with farmers and activists from my home state of Virginia.  Some of the statements that stick with me are:
“There is no more honorable profession than growing food”

“Social Responsibility”
“Farming has been stolen, taken over by big industry” I find this so very frightening!
“We need a Revolution to a natural existence”
“Poison our food…poison ourselves”
“Growing healthy food is simple. Know what you are eating and where it comes from”
“If you want a better world, it starts with you”
“Follow the Family Farm and you will see the future of America”
This wisdom added to my desire to be a better citizen of my country and of the Earth!



I was overjoyed to see The First Lady of Virginia, Mrs. Terry McCauliff, open the Press Conference, and even more overjoyed to meet her!

Win a chance to meet Willie Nelson on his Tour Bus at Austin City Limits Music Festival (Oct 9, 2016)

September 25th, 2016


Help support an American-made petroleum alternative and the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance and you could meet Willie Nelson at Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL)…/meet-willie-nelson-on-his-tou…


Courtesy of Willie Nelson, you and a guest will receive 2 single day passes to the Austin City Limits Festival, for Sunday October 9th, a special guided tour of the festival’s backstage and artist compound area and then meet with the man himself, Willie Nelson on his tour bus ‘The Honeysuckle Rose’.

You and your guest will be allowed to get a photo with Willie and bring one personal item each to be signed by Willie at the meeting.

Proceeds benefit Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance

Donated by: Willie Nelson

Farm Aid Supporters

September 25th, 2016


Every year at the Farm Aid Festival, several friends help me report about the festival.  There is so much going on, with the workshops, activity tents, speakers and of course the music all day long.  These Farm Aid Supporters, music lovers and friends take pictures, interview people and write about their experiences.  Thanks so much to Alice, from Georgia (that’s her above, on the right, beside Dee from Virginia, and Dot from Florida), for her great photos of this year’s reporters, at  the festival in Bristow, Virginia, on September 17, 2018.


Terry, Dot, Dee, Jenny, Alice


Dot, Dee, Alice, Joanne, me, Pat

September 24th, 2016


Empowering Urban Communities Through Food #TakingAction #FarmAid

September 24th, 2016

Meet some of the people growing DC’s urban agriculture scene and healing communities with urban gardens.

Each year on the Farm Aid stage, before the concert kicks off, Farm Aid artists Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews join rockstar farmers who are changing the farm and food system to talk about their work. This press event/pep rally allows us to highlight the farmers and food system changemakers – the unsung heroes – who do their work on the ground each and every day without the spotlight they deserve.

In this video from the press event, meet some of the people growing Washington, DC’s urban agriculture scene and healing communities with urban gardens.


– Chris Bradshaw of Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.

– Sumayyah Muhammed, a grower at Dreaming Out Loud’s community garden in Washington DC’s Ward 6

– Xavier Brown of @soilful city Soilful City

– Boe Umar and Ms Mary Morgan of Dix Street Garden in Washington, DC’s Ward 7

Farm Aid 2016 Memories

September 24th, 2016

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie

September 24th, 2016

June 2015
by:  Patrick Doyle

“Hello, I know you!” Merle Haggard says as he emerges from the bedroom of his tour bus. He’s talking to Willie Nelson, who’s sitting in the bus’s cramped front quarters. Standing nearby, Nelson’s wife, Annie, asks the pair if they’ll sign a couple of acoustic guitars for a charity run by Matthew McConaughey, a friend of the family. “Absolutely not,” Haggard says with a smile. Later, when Annie takes a photo of the two signing the guitars, Nelson grins and gives the camera the finger.

It’s a perfect Saturday night in South Texas, where Haggard, 78, and Nelson, 82, are playing the last of three sold-out shows together at New Braunfels’ Whitewater Amphitheater. Haggard is about to play a set, during which Nelson will join him on “Okie From Muskogee,” “Pancho and Lefty” and a handful of other songs. Backstage, Nelson family members catch up; his rail-thin 90-year-old roadie Ben Dorcy (who was once John Wayne’s assistant) ambles around, smoking a pipe. Directly behind the stage, locals ride down the Guadalupe River in inner tubes, stopping on the bank to listen to the show. “We’ll get somebody out there to sell them tickets,” Nelson jokes.

Sitting side by side on the bus, Nelson and Haggard look like they could be a grizzled Mount Rushmore of country music. “It’s a mutual-admiration society with us,” says Nelson. “Merle’s one of the best. There’s not anyone out there that can beat him. Maybe Kris Kristofferson. But then you start running out of names.”

Haggard and Nelson are about to release a new LP, Django and Jimmie. (The title is a tribute to Nelson’s and Haggard’s respective heroes, Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers.)

One of the best songs is “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” an ode to their late friend and a meditation on mortality. “There’s a thousand good stories about John,” says Nelson. Haggard tells one, about the time Cash thought it would be hilarious to dynamite a broken-down car he encountered on the side of the road. “He hooks it all up, hits the plunger and blows it up. And he said, ‘Now, when that guy goes to tell his old lady his car blew up, he won’t be lying!’?” Nelson cackles, adding, “John used to say, ‘I always get my best thinking done when June is talking.’?”

“I didn’t know anything about marijuana,” Haggard says. “It’s fantastic.”

Nelson and Haggard met at a poker game at Nelson’s Nashville house in 1964, when both were struggling songwriters. (Neither would have major success until they left Nashville behind; Nelson for Austin, Haggard for Bakersfield, California.) They didn’t become close until the late Seventies, when they were playing casinos in Reno. “We’d play a couple of long shows a day, then spend all night long jamming,” says Haggard.

In 1982, they recorded Pancho & Lefty together at Nelson’s ranch near Austin, where they’d stay awake for days — “We were living pretty hard in that time period,” Nelson has said — playing golf and then recording all night (Haggard barely remembers singing his famous verse on “Pancho and Lefty”). At the time, they were fasting on a master-cleanse regimen of cayenne pepper and lemon juice. “I think Willie went 10 days,” says Haggard. “I went seven.”

“I still ain’t got over it,” says Nelson. “Still hungry.” Adds Haggard, “You’re still high!”

These days, they share a love of conspiracy theories (both are devoted fans of paranormal-obsessed radio host Art Bell) and making music with their children (Haggard’s son Ben plays guitar in his band; Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah frequently join their father onstage). “It’s as good as it gets, to have your kids up there playing,” says Nelson. “And they’re good!”

On the new album, the two cover Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright).” The track was recorded before Dylan criticized Haggard and other artists in a widely publicized MusicCares speech in February: “Merle Haggard didn’t think much of my songs, but Buck Owens did,” Dylan said. “Buck Owens and Merle Haggard? If you have to have somebody’s blessing — you figure it out.” Dylan later apologized.

Haggard (who toured with Dylan in 2005) thinks Dylan was talking about the Merle Haggard of the Sixties — the guy who took shots at hippies, weed and premarital sex in 1969’s “Okie From Muskogee.”

“I didn’t misunderstand Bob,” says Haggard. “I know what he meant. He figured I was lumping him in with hippies [in the Sixties]. The lack of respect for the American military hurt my feelings at the time. But I never lumped Bob Dylan in with the hippies. What made him great was the fact that every body liked him. And I’ll tell you one thing, the goddamn hippies have got no exclusive on Bob Dylan!” He pauses. “Bob likes to box — I’d like to get in the ring with his ass, and give him somebody to hit.”

In fact, these days Merle Haggard is far more liberal than the man in his classic songs. For one thing, he loves pot. “I didn’t know anything about marijuana back then,” he says. “It’s one of the most fantastic things in the world.” Did he and Nelson smoke in the studio? “Are you kidding me?” Haggard says with a laugh.

Soon, the conversation devolves to jokes. “You know what you call a guitar player without a girlfriend?” Nelson asks. “Homeless.”

Next, they talk current events, Nelson explaining the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit to Haggard. (“They stole more than they were supposed to,” he says. Haggard nods.) Asked if either has any thoughts about communicating with fans through social media, they shake their heads. “Just so long as somebody else can do it,” says Nelson. “That’s why I didn’t learn to play steel guitar.”

“What was that little girl that played steel in Asleep at the Wheel?” says Haggard. “Cindy Cashdollar. Everybody was trying to look up her dress.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t do that,” deadpans Nelson. “I think I had the wrong angle.”

By now, Haggard is supposed to be onstage; his son has been extending his three-song warm-up set for several minutes, telling the crowd his father will be out soon. These co-headline dates sold so well that Nelson says there will be more: “In fact, I was talking to some folks today — I was gonna see what they thought of making us do a tour of it when it comes out.”

He turns to Haggard. “We ought to do whatever we can get — as many days as we need to,” Nelson says with a smile. “Because I know it’s a good record. I think it might sell a couple.”


Willie Nelson art, by Robert Dove

September 23rd, 2016


Willie Nelson & Family on Tour 2016

September 23rd, 2016

Always confirm shows and get tickets at, or the venue.


Oct 8
The Joint at Hard Rock
Catoosa, OK

Oct 9
ACL Fest
Austin, TX

Oct 14
Lea County Events Center
Hobbs, NM

Oct 15, 16
Celebrity Theater
Phoenix, AZ

Oct 18
Pantages Theater
Los Angeles, CA

Oct 19
San Diego, CA

Oct 21
Avila Beach Amphitheater
San Luis Obispo, CA

Oct 22, 23
Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit

Nov 11
Winstar Casino
Thackerville, OK

Nov 12
Billy Bob’s Texas
Fort Worth, TX

Nov 13
Wagner-Noel PAC
Midland, TX

Nov 15
City Bank Auditorium
Lubbock, TX

Nov 16
Stafford Center
Stafford, TX

Nov 18
Golden Nugget
Lake Charles, LA

Nov 19
Silver Star Convention Center
Choctaw, MS

Nov 20
Bancorp South Arena
Tupelo, MS

Happy Shoeshine Friday!

September 23rd, 2016

Farm Aid 2016 Concert, the grand finale

September 22nd, 2016


It’s always a moving celebration, when Willie Nelson invites artists to join him back on stage for a grand finale at the end of the Farm Aid concert.  Artists who generously gave their time to fly to the festival and perform, and probably have gigs the next night, come back together to sing gospel songs with Willie Nelson and family.    This is only half the stage — the stage is so high, and it was so crowded in the photo pit,  I couldn’t get everyone’s photo.