Archive for the ‘Good causes’ Category

9th Annual Puff and Puff (9.17.22)

Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Generations: A Concert to Benefit Aids (March 26, 1994)

Saturday, March 26th, 2022

Willie Nelson writes in support of wild horses

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

A letter from Willie Nelson: Wild horses need our help today*

Fifty years ago, Congress unanimously voted in protections for America’s wild horses and burros through a law called the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. That might have been the end of the story if Congress hadn’t then passed a multiple-use mandate forcing wild horses, burros and other wildlife to share the protected land with private livestock grazing, energy projects, and public recreation.

It created conflict between the Bureau of Land Management, ranchers, energy developers and wild horse advocates, and has created a situation where the wild horses are outnumbered. Since then, the Bureau of Land Management has been setting an arbitrary number for how many wild horses it thinks ought to be on our public lands, and then using taxpayer-funded helicopters to round up the herds when it has decided there are too many.

Wild horses, like other wild animals, were meant to be wild and free. Historic family bands are broken as the horses are separated forever. Some are adopted or sold, and many thousands more end up living in crowded corrals or leased pastures, exposed to the elements. Some end up slaughtered for human consumption overseas.

The wild horses need us humans to come up with solutions that will end roundups, stop the stockpiling of horses, and ensure their safety. Congress has provided money for this, but the Bureau of Land Management will have to make changes and improve fertility control. So far, they are failing to live up to this new direction.

We must speak up. Without pressure on the Bureau of Land Management from many groups, advocates for wild horses, and lawmakers, these historic symbols of American freedom will disappear.

Help us break the cycle of wild horse roundup and removal by calling your members of Congress today through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urging them to support all efforts in Congress to end the massive roundups of wild horses, and increase the use of safe and humane fertility control; also to protect all horses from slaughter by passing the SAFE Act immediately. Our elected officials must know this is a priority for the American people. Let’s heal our divisions by coming together for this common purpose.

–Willie Nelson

Click here for more ways to help wild horses and support a ban on horse slaughter:

7th annual Poodie’s Party (Oct. 1 – 3)

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

Willie Nelson headlines Mahi’ai Music Festival in Maui (August 24, 2019)

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021
by: Jon Woodhouse

The seeds for a future Maui version of Farm Aid were planted on Saturday at the Mahi’ai Music and Food Festival held at Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville.

Opening with his classic “Whisky River,” country icon Willie Nelson headlined the sold-out fundraising event which featured an incendiary set by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, joined by Micah Nelson (who also performed as the Particle Kid), uplifting reggae with Marty Dread, Pat Simmons, Jr.’s heartfelt songs and Tavana’s dazzling slide guitar playing.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Mahi’ai Foundation and the Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation.

“Through the generous support and vision of the Willie Nelson ohana, this event will usher in future public Hawaii Farm Aid-style events in support of our family of farmers here in Hawaii,” says Hawaii Farmers Union United President Vincent Mina, who joined POTR on stage playing harmonica on Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.”

The Mahi’ai Foundation plans to provide a model for Maui and the neighbor islands by “uplifting the stewards of our land,” according to their website.

“Mahi’ai is about using the communal power of live music to unite body and soil, educate the community about the importance of the aina, empower local regenerative agricultural programs, and ultimatelycreate a more sustainable future for Hawaii.”

For a number of years, Micah Nelson has envisioned some kind of Farm Aid event on Maui that would support regenerative agriculture.

“I grew up on Maui, and this is a way of giving back a little bit,” explains Micah, who has been touring on the Mainland for the last three months. “I met Vincent Mina, and we started talking about how we should do something for the farmers. I visited his farm in Wailuku, and we talked about the importance of regenerative farming and healthy soil. Later, I was playing a Mana’o Radio show at Casanova [in Makawao], and Jaime Moreland approached me and said, ‘I’ve been envisioning some kind of sustainable concert on Maui.’ We started meeting and brainstorming this event.”

With his dad out on the road a lot and his brother, Lukas, touring with Promise of the Real and Neil Young, it was challenging to pick a time that worked for everyone.

“It’s been a while in the making,” Micah continues. “I knew around my mom’s birthday every year on Aug. 27, we’d all be on Maui. This date worked out because everyone was going to be here.”

Long a champion of farmers, 86-year-old country legend Willie Nelson was able to perform on Maui even though he had to cancel some Mainland tour shows to rest up. At the festival, backed by his sons, he was in top form performing some of his best loved gems and demonstrating his impressive electric guitar playing.

Back on the road again in early September, Willie reported in an interview with San Antonio’s KSAT News that he planned to “keep singing, keep writing. That’s what keeps me going.”

With Neil Young and John Mellencamp, Willie organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and raise funds to keep farm families on the land, encouraging a system of agriculture that values family farmers, good food, soil and water, and strong communities.

There had been talk of bringing the actual Farm Aid event to Maui, but it was cost prohibitive.

“I’ve been trying to get Farm Aid to come to Maui for a long time, and they’d love to, but it’s just not cost effective,” says Micah. “It wouldn’t really benefit the farmers. Once I realized that, I said, ‘Well, then I’ll start my own Farm Aid on Maui and it can keep growing as an established aid to the farmers when our own government doesn’t really seem to get the picture.’ We can help them out, have a great time doing it with live music events, and feed the future.”

While the Maui Country Club was a private event, Micah assures the next step is a public show.

“It was easy to do the first one at Maui Country Club because we had done a concert there before, and it was great. Marty Dread’s manager Richard Pechner is a club member, and he helped produce the event. It’s a template for what we eventually want to do in a public place. We did it this way to raise funds so we could seed the foundation, so we can do an annual public concert.”

There were rumors that Paul Simon might also perform at the Mahi’ai Festival after his brilliant MACC benefit concerts, however he was off-island.

“Paul Simon has been so supportive,” says Micah, “He donated part of the proceeds from his concerts at the MACC to the Mahi’ai Foundation. He’s such a cool, humble guy. He’s been happy to help something like this which is so connected to the values that make Maui such a special place.”

Hopefully by next summer or early fall, we’ll see a Maui Farm Aid concert.

“That’s the idea,” Micah concludes. “It’s a thrill to see it coming to life. I’m so excited.”

Micah will soon be featured in an upcoming episode of Southwest Airlines new video series, “Sites and Sounds,” that celebrates musicians and the destinations. The first episode focused on Maui and Lukas Nelson with visiting country artist Nikki Lane.

Willie and his sons will all perform at Farm Aid 2019 in Wisconsin on Sept. 21, alongside Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Bonnie Raitt. Willie will also be among the legends featured in Ken Burns’ latest documentary series “Country Music,” which chronicles country music from its roots in hymns and blues in the early years in the 1920s through the period of rock and roll, and finally into the 1990s, opening on PBS on Sept. 15.

And Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real recently opened (on Aug. 14) for the Rolling Stones in Seattle.

“It was a real honor,” Lukas reported. “It was amazing.”

POTR’s set at the fest included the title song of their latest album, “Turn Off the News (Build a Garden).”

“It’s about the actions you can take when you’re not debilitated by fear from the news, and getting anxious,” Lukas explains. “What we’re trying to do with ‘Turn of the News’ is to encourage people to connect to their local community even more. This (festival) fits right in with what we’re trying to do with the record.”

Willie Nelson Benefit for Moulton Community Medical Clinic

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Willie Nelson and Annie Nelson at March for Voters’ Rights in Austin today

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

“Rev William Barber and Dad singing We Shall Overcome at todays rally.”

— Lana Nelson


The march and rally were organized by the Poor People’s Campaign

Annie and Willie Nelson support TX Democrats

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Beto O’Rourke, Willie Nelson give financial assistance to Texas Dems who left state to block bill

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Toby Keith’s Oklahoma Twister Concert Slideshow (July 6, 2013)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

On July 6, 2013, over 60,000 fans gathered to hear Toby Keith and his friends, and support the people devastated by at Tornado.

The concert was held at the University of Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., just outside Oklahoma City and not far from Moore, a town hit hard by tornado in May of 2013.  Along with Toby Keith, was Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Mel Tillis, John Anderson, Sammy Hagar, Krystal Keith, Kellie Coffey, and (via satellite) Carrie Underwood.

Despite the heat, remained energetic throughout, both for the artists and the cause. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.

Willie Nelson and Michael McDonald Cover “Dreams of the San Joaquin” for Migrant Worker Benefit

Monday, May 10th, 2021
by: Evan Minsker

Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo have teamed up for a rendition of “Dreams of the San Joaquin.” The song—written by Randy Sharp and Jack Wesley Routh and famously sung by singers like Linda Ronstadt and Kenny Rogers—is being released on Bandcamp Friday to benefit RAICES (the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) and the United Farm Workers of America. Find it below.

“The migrant farm worker is as responsible if not more for maintaining our country’s position as one of the largest agricultural economies in the world,” Michael McDonald said in a statement. “The labor that falls squarely on their shoulders allows farmers to bring produce to our stores and food to our tables as reasonably priced as possible. COVID has ravaged this quadrant of the American workforce disproportionately. RAICES and United Farm Workers Union are working hard to bring vaccine awareness and financial help to provide distribution to this demographic so hard hit by COVID-19.”

Read article here.

Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, David Hildago, “Dreams of the San Joaquin”

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
by: Jason Scott

Legendary singer-songwriters Willie Nelson and Michael McDonald are teaming up with multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo, most known for his work with Los Lobos, on an updated version of “Dreams of the San Joaquin.” Originally written by Jack Wesley Routh and Randy Sharp, and famously performed by Linda Ronstadt and Kenny Rogers, the track arrives May 7 for BandCamp Friday as an exclusive release.

Track proceeds will benefit RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the United Farm Workers of America. The song, depicting a field worker toiling in the San Joaquin Valley during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, will be made available on streaming services a week later. A Micah Nelson-directed visual is set to be released, as well.

“The migrant farm worker is as responsible if not more for maintaining our country’s position as one of the largest agricultural economies in the world,” McDonald says in a press statement. “The labor that falls squarely on their shoulders allows farmers to bring produce to our stores and food to our tables as reasonably priced as possible. COVID has ravaged this quadrant of the American workforce disproportionately.”

Nelson also reflects, “This was a collaboration of love and a prayer for understanding. It sends a message of hope that we all need to hear. I’ve always loved Mike’s voice and enjoyed making this with him and my son Micah.”

“After a particularly brutal year for farm workers, their support is priceless,” Ana Maria Rea-Ventre, Vice President of Advocacy at RAICES, shares. “This heartfelt rendition of ‘Dreams of the San Joaquin’ is a beautiful reminder of all that the migrant community of over eight million people sacrifices to give their families a better life. May we all be moved by this song to fight with our migrant brothers and sisters, to whom our country owes so much.”

Ronstadt recorded her version on her 1998 studio record We Ran. Rogers adapted the track for You Can’t Make Old Friends, released in 2013.

Read article here.

Nathaniel Rateliff releases duet with Willie Nelson, “It’s Not Supposed to be that Way”

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

THE MARIGOLD SINGLES: Nathaniel Rateliff releases first ever duet with Willie Nelson; “It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way”. The latest installment of The Marigold Singles is now available on 7” vinyl.

The song features Mickey Raphael on harmonica. The 7” release includes “Willie’s Birthday Song,” which can be ordered exclusively from the official store here

It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way” will be released digitally on May 28th.*All proceeds from this release will support The Marigold Project, Rateliff’s foundation dedicated to economic, social and racial justice.

The Marigold Project is proud to support Farm Aid and StrongHearts Native Helpline with this release.

Willie Nelson, Angélique Kidjo, and Rostam Among Performers at NatGeo Earth Day Eve Concert (4/21/21)

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Willie Nelson Shares New Version of “I’ll Be Seeing You” for Vaccination PSA

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Willie Nelson has recorded an updated version of “I’ll Be Seeing You” for a new PSA called “Back in the Game,” encouraging Americans to get their COVID-19 vaccines and return to our beloved sporting games.

The country legend first released the tune on 1994’s Healing Hands of Time, and as he notes in a recent statement he hopes to “empower millions more to get the answers they need and feel confident in getting vaccinated, like I did.”

Added Ad Council President/CEO Lisa Sherman, “Sports and sports moments hold a special place in the hearts of millions of people across our country and, regardless of who you’re rooting for, we’re all looking forward to getting back to the arenas, stadiums and moments we miss.”