Archive for the ‘Good causes’ Category

Willie Nelson and sons help celebrate Hawai’is agriculture

Sunday, October 25th, 2020
by: Dennis Fujimoto

Read entire article here.

HONOLULU — Celebrating Hawai‘i’s Agriculture is the theme for this year’s Hawai‘i Farmers Union United convention that is intended to be a regenerative exploration of our environment and how it inter-relates to our well-being as individuals and as a species said a spokesperson for the Hawai‘i Farmers Union United.

The convention that will be held between Nov. 12 through 15 will feature a video series highlighting the stories of Hawai‘i farmers who are innovating during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with interactive question-and-answer sessions and networking opportunities.

Entertainment sessions will include nearly two dozen national and locally-based performers including Willie Nelson and the Boys, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Edie Brickell, Michael McDonald, Ricky Lee Jones, Pat Simmons Jr. and Sr., Daniel Lanois, Rocco De Luca, Gail Swanson, Josh Klinghoffer and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Emily Turner. Hawai‘i-based artists include Makana, Jack Johnson, Mike Loove, Tavana, Marty Dread, and Paul Izak.

Interactive sessions start at $10 and can be purchased ala carte through the website. Full registration for the three days is $65 for HFUU members, and $125 that includes membership and viewing of all presentations for up to a year.

Support for the convention is through a grant from the County of Maui and a number of individual sponsors.

The Hawai‘i Farmers Union United is a leading statewide agricultural organization and chartered chapter of the National Farmers Union. HFUU is celebrating 10 years serving Hawai‘i farmers and the local food economy with this special interactive virtual convention.

Read entire article here.

Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

Phone bank in Texas with Beto O’ Rourke, Willie Nelson, Oprah, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Stacey Abrams, Andrew Yang

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Willie Nelson, Bob Weir and More to Participate in ‘Biden For President’ Livestream Fundraiser (October 13, 2020)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Willie Nelson, Bob Weir and More to Participate in ‘Biden For President’ Livestream Fundraiser
Weir by Ian RawnNelson by Stuart Levine

On Oct. 14, Biden For President will host a star-studded livestream fundraiser. Performances during the livestream will include Bob Weir, Willie, Micah and Lukas Nelson, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Yo-Yo Ma and more. The event will also feature a panel discussion between Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Biden campaign senior advisor Symone Sanders.

In addition to the performances and the roundtable, the event will also see remarks by David Crosby, Dave Schools, Fran Drescher, Montel Williams, Shannon Elizabeth and more.

To “attend” the virtual livestream, fans must send a donation of at least $35 to the Biden For President campaign. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

“Harvest the Hope” (Press Conference) (9/27/14) (#NO_Keystone_Pipeline)


The press was well represented at the press conference outside the barn of Art and Helen Tanderup, the landowners who hosted last Saturday’s “Harvest the Hope” concert with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, on their farm north of Neligh, Nebraska.  The coverage has been great, google Willie Nelson, Neil Young or Harvest the Hope and real all the fine stories, and great photos from this event.

The strong, growing coalition protesting the movement of crude black tar from Alberta, Canada, through Canada and the United States, to the gulf of Mexico was represented,  including Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Cowboy & Indian Alliance, Sierra Club,Farmers, Ranchers, Artists, people in the suburbs, people in the city, unions (one at least), politicians, Canadians, people around the world — all protesting the movement of crude black tar from Alberta, Canada, through Canada and the United States, to the gulf of Mexico.

A lot of people worked very hard to make that concert happen, and work to fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, and work in support of small, community-based clean energy projects on farms and tribal land.

Read about what is happening, the dangers to the air, water and quality of life of citizens living near the pipeline carrying the crude tar when it breaks, and support their work, if you can.


Jane Kleeb, of Bold Nebraska, escorted Willie Nelson and Neil Young.  They hold the ceremonial blankets presented them at a ceremony honoring them, before the press conference.


handsome man


Elaine Shock, Willie Nelson’s publicist, arrives with Willie Nelson and Neil Young for the press conference.


The youth were well represented, and makes you feel optimistic about the future


Lukas Nelson, Frank Wahn, Micah Nelson


Harvest the Hope

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Willie Nelson Collection, at Carter Center Auction

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020
by: Ernie Suggs

The Carter Center’s annual retreat is going digital.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual gathering and fundraiser that netted more than $4 million last summer for the Carter Center will be a virtual celebration that will include special messages from President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, as well as an up-close-and-personal look at some of the center’s programs.

The highlight of every retreat, the annual artwork and memorabilia auction, will still take place.

“Carter Center Weekend has been a favorite event of both donors and staff for more than a decade,” said Jason Carter, chairman of The Carter Center Board of Trustees and co-host of Saturday’s show alongside Carter Center CEO Paige Alexander.

“COVID-19 makes it impossible for us to see each other in person this year — but on the bright side, the fact that we’re doing this virtually means we can invite the entire world to be part of it,” Jason Carter said.

he 2020 Carter Center Weekend is actually two events in one — a four-day online auction that begins on Aug. 26, and a live show at 8 p.m. on Aug. 29.

Saturday’s broadcast will feature messages from Willie Nelson, Jon Stewart, and Hank and Billye Aaron.

It will also feature a town hall meeting with Jason Carter and Alexander, and staff discussions about Guinea worm eradication and election observation.

“This will be my first Carter Center Weekend event,” Alexander said. “I’m really looking forward to spending time online with some of our most devoted supporters and sharing details about what the Center has been able to accomplish during these challenging times.”

The Carter Center has been holding retreats for supporters and donors since 1992 and has raised more than $35 million on the annual auctions alone to go toward the Carter Center’s global outreach.

Brent Slay and his wife, Diane have known the Carters since 1998, even hosting them in their Grand Rapids, Michigan, home in 2006 for the funeral of former President Gerald Ford.

They had gone to the retreat for 21 straight years. At last year’s retreat in Leesburg, Virginia, Slay won the bid on a fishing trip with Johnny Morris and Bill Dance.

I sure wish we could all be together in person because we’ve formed so many wonderful friendships,” Slay said. “But we’ll collectively do the best we can to continue to support the work of President and Mrs. Carter through this wonderful organization.”

As in years past, the auction’s highlight is an original oil painting by President Carter. The winning bidder can choose from one of three – one featuring a branch of mountain laurel, one featuring two Northern Cardinals, and one featuring Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.

Other notable auction items include:

  • A vintage Remington typewriter from Tom Hanks’ personal typewriter collection.
  • A photo of President Carter with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, signed by all three.
  • A collection of Beatles memorabilia featuring a framed copy of “Help!” signed by Ringo Starr, and a block of wood from the church where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.
  • A case of Presidential Reserve Rum bearing President Carter’s signature made at the Richland Rum Distillery in Richland, Georgia.
  • A collection of Willie Nelson memorabilia that includes a signed guitar and a signed picture of Nelson and Rosalynn Carter on stage.
  • A handmade bowl that wood turner Matt Moulthrop made from a bulletwood tree that spent years submerged in the Panama Canal.
  • A painting of monarch butterflies titled “Migration,” by artist Sherri Richards.
  • A silkscreen by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl featuring his drawing of the throne he sat in on stage after he broke his leg on tour.
  • A Damascus steel Bowie knife with a railroad spike handle hand forged by artist Jeremiah “Jeremy” Cohn.

Bidding for these and 60 other items opens on Aug. 26, and runs through the evening of Aug. 29.

Go to to learn more about the auction and the broadcast, which will stream live on and the Carter Center’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Another Willie Nelson Cover, “On The Road Again,” by First Aid Kit

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

We can’t wait to be on the road again! Until we all safely can be, we hope this song and video brings everyone some joy and hope for when that day comes.

Our proceeds from “On the Road Again” will be donated to Crew Nation to support the global touring and live music community devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stream “On the Road Again”:

To learn more about Crew Nation or to make a donation directly visit their site: https://www.livenationentertainment.c…

Willie Nelson and ACM New Artist Nominees, “On The Road Again”

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

Proceeds from the single will benefit ACM Lifting Lives Covid-19 Response Fundby staff 8/14/2020

Willie Nelson isn’t the only one who just can’t wait to get on the road again. Now he’s joined by the Academy of Country Music’s nominees in the New Female and New Male artist categories.

This rendition of Nelson’s classic hit timeless hit includes Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Riley Green, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, Tenille Townes and Morgan Wallen, along with Nelson. Produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins, the single is being released via Warner Music Nashville.

Proceeds from the single will benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to be disbursed to individuals in the country music community who are currently in need of pandemic relief assistance.

“The Academy is honored to work with Willie Nelson and all 10 ACM Awards New Artist Nominees to create a new contemporary version of the classic ‘On the Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives Edition)’ that is so poignant for our current times,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music.

“This is a powerful way to showcase so many of our newer and fast-rising artists alongside one of our genre’s most legendary artists and iconic songs of all time. It feels very appropriate that this event will raise much needed funds for our country music industry members in financial crisis through our ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund.

A huge thank you to the artists, Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins as well as our friends at Warner Music Nashville for donating their time to this important project.”

Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again: Lifting Lives Edition”

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
by: Paul Grein

Nelson wrote “On the Road Again” for the 1980 film ‘Honeysuckle Rose,’ in which he starred. It brought him a Grammy and an Oscar nomination.

Willie Nelson is featured on a new version of his classic hit “On the Road Again,” along with all 10 of this year’s ACM Awards’ nominees for new female and new male artist. The single, dubbed “On the Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives Edition),” will benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund.

The single, produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins, will be available via Warner Music Nashville. It will be released to country radio on Thursday (Aug. 13).

COVID-19 caused the 55th ACM Awards to be delayed from their initial April 5 date to Sept. 16. That has kept this year’s nominees for new male and new female artist of the year in suspense – but has also allowed them to stay under the nominee spotlight longer. They are Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Riley Green, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, Tenille Townes and Morgan Wallen.

Willie Nelson on Twitter: Hey Congress — the live music industry needs your help

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Go to… and share your voice.

Willie Nelson joins Ringo Starr’s Birthday Fundraiser

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Texas Virtual Event with Joe Biden, Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen Julian Castro, Beto o’Rourke

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon & friends raise nearly $600,000 at ‘A Night For Austin’

Friday, June 12th, 2020
by: Peter Blackstock

The life I love is making music with my friends/ And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

Willie Nelson never could have imagined just how on-point those words would be for a pandemic-seized world when he wrote them in the late 1970s. But when Wednesday evening’s “A Night For Austin” streaming fundraiser concluded with Nelson performing from his studio in Spicewood, there was no doubt which song he would sing.

Nelson’s bittersweet longing for the life he loves was a perfect endcap for a star-studded two-hour program that featured performances by many of Austin’s most celebrated musical artists, plus a handful of outsiders who’ve long held a special place in their hearts for the city.

Foremost among the latter are Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, who brought the idea of “A Night For Austin” to Willie and Annie Nelson. Willie’s cohorts at Luck Productions, along with musical director Charlie Sexton, helped put the whole thing together, assembling prerecorded footage into a telethon-like event that was televised on CBS Austin and and aired by ACL Radio and KOKE on the FM dial.

More viewers from around the world tuned in via the website, many of them contributing to the cause of helping Austin cultural institutions weather the pandemic as a banner across the bottom of the screen updated the tally of their donations. Initial support from Universal Music Publishing, BMI Austin, AT&T and Brightcove had the total near $100,000 from the outset; by the end of the night, that number had reached nearly $600,000. (Contributions are still being accepted on the event’s website.)

Messages on the screen explained that 100% of donations would go to the Austin Community Foundation’s A Night for Austin Fund, which benefits six local organizations, the most prominent being Central Texas Food Bank and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. Also included are Six Square, which supports local artists and entrepreneurs of color who have suffered hardships from COVID-19; PeopleFund, which provides business loans, assistance and education to those with limited access; Southern Smoke Foundation, helping individuals in Austin’s bar and restaurant community; and the Red River Cultural District, a coalition of mostly downtown venues that have been deeply affected by coronavirus shutdowns. (One prominent RRCD venue, Barracuda, announced Wednesday that it is closing permanently.)

Nelson and Simon were focal points for a program that included many memorable performances. Willie gave a short introductory speech about Austin’s reputation as a live music mecca and the importance of “keeping Austin weird,” followed by Simon serving up his 1970s hit “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” with wife Brickell popping in for a mid-song whistling solo. (Simon and Brickell recently bought a home in the Austin area; Brickell is a Dallas native, and many of her New Bohemians bandmates now live in or near Austin.)

Simon and Nelson returned at the end, Paul playing his 1966 Simon & Garfunkel standard “Homeward Bound” before Willie took the show home with “On the Road Again.” Between the hosts’ bookends, more than two dozen artists offered songs and messages of hope. Occasional footage of beloved Austin haunts provided a poignant reminder of the event’s mission: It was hard not to feel emotional as images of Sam’s BBQ, Deep Eddy Cabaret, Donn’s Depot, Waterloo Records and other iconic local businesses rolled by onscreen.

Three performances were delivered from essentially empty venues, underscoring the pandemic’s effect on Austin’s live music scene. Gary Clark Jr. played “The Governor,” from last year’s Grammy-winning album “This Land,” at Antone’s, the iconic downtown blues club of which he is part-owner. (When the small handful of crew members in the room applauded at the end, Clark said sincerely, “Thanks for clapping, I’ve been all by myself playing. Made me feel good.”) Ray Benson brought an abbreviated Asleep at the Wheel, with fiddler Katie Shore and bassist Josh Hoag, to the Broken Spoke, which recently reopened.

And blues great Jimmie Vaughan performed at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul with his Tilt-A-Whirl Band, its members spread out beyond the stage to the venue’s floor per social-distancing needs.

Other musical highlights included:

— Lukas Nelson, son of Willie, singing “Just Outside of Austin” in a euphorically idyllic setting, complete with live oak trees, cacti, a wood-rail fence and deep blue sky that perfectly visualized the song’s title;

— Black Pumas principals Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada hitting a deeply soulful nerve with “Colors,” one of the best songs on the 2019 debut album that earned them a Grammy Best New Artist nomination;

— A mini-Arc Angels reunion between Sexton and his former bandmate Doyle Bramhall II, singing and playing together from separate locations in split-screen format;

— James Taylor giving a special nod to Simon with a cover of the 1968 Simon & Garfunkel classic “America”;

— Spoon’s Britt Daniel, who performed “Rainy Taxi” from 2014?s “They Want My Soul” in a room bathed with red light while keyboardist Alex Fischel accompanied on keyboards via laptop from Los Angeles;

— Conjunto favorites Los Texmaniacs backing up San Antonio legends Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers in separate performances;

David Ramirez, who won over new fans when he took part in the Luck Reunion livestream in March, playing a new song called “Easy Does It” that will be on his new album due out next month;

— Simon and Brickell singing together joyfully on the Bobbettes’ 1950s doo-wop ditty “Mr. Lee” (with Edie serving up a sweet mid-song solo on a guitar she got from local instrument maker Collings);

— Shawn Colvin wisely choosing Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” its theme a good fit for the pandemic era;

— Actor Ethan Hawke and his daughter Indiana playing a song together (Hawke was one of several non-musicians who provided occasional narrative breaks throughout, along with Renee Zellweger, Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, the Saxon Pub’s Joe Ables and BMI Austin’s Mitch Ballard).

More performances came from Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt with Boz Scaggs, Patty Griffin, Vince Gill, Norah Jones, Alejandro Escovedo, Terry Allen, Ryan Bingham, Jerry Douglas, Kalu & the Electric Joint, and a solo piano tune from Brickell.

There are no current plans for the program to be rebroadcast or archived online, a representative for the organizers said Thursday, adding: “Artists were assured that this would be the first and final showing, and that they will own their content immediately after.”

A Night for Austin TONIGHT

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

Introducing: A Night For Austin

A live-streamed telethon supporting the “live music capital” of the world.

Join us on Tuesday, June 10th at 8PM CST for a telethon event supporting the city of Austin. Initiated by Paul Simon himself, the streaming show will be available on,, and CBS Austin/KEYE.  

A Night For Austin will feature a star-studded lineup of performances and appearances, and highlight the venues and people behind the “live music capital” of the world.  

The program will raise funds for Austin Community Foundation who has created a special fund benefitting MusiCares Austin, HAAM, Central Texas Food Bank, Red River Cultural District, People Fund, and Six Square.  

Let’s band together to celebrate a very impo

Willie Nelson & Friends, “A Night for Austin” (June 10th) (that’s tomorrow) (yeah, Wednesday)

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020