photo: Laura Skelding
photo: Laura Skelding
Farm Aid board and staff were on hand to celebrate Willie Nelson last night
Carolyn Mugar, Jenifer Fahey and Kari Williams (and others I don’t know, sorry).
Shyla, Raul Malo, of Mavericks, and Jeremy Tepper, from Sirius/XM radio.
Jeremy Tepper, Jamey Johnson and Raul Malo
So many friends and fans and admirers on hand to recognize and honor Willie Nelson in Washington at the Library of Congress Gershwin Award for Song last night in Washington DC
Lukas Nelson, Andy Bush, Micah Nelson,
Michael Bowman, Janis Tillerson, Ruth Boggs and me.
Thanks so much to Janine Holter, Willie Nelson fan and artist from Minnesota, for sharing her latest painting of Willie Nelson and his fans.
“I would be honored if you would share my recent painting of Willie and his fans.
I am so inspired by Willie, his love of his fans and the love we return.
And the music, the beautiful music…
Janine, or Beanie, who many of us know her as, from the original LPO at Willie Nelson’s website, not only paints pictures of Willie Nelson, but she celebrates Willie Nelson’s birthday every year! She makes signs, party favors, cake, everything.
Birthday Party 2012
Thanks to Terry and Jenny Thompson, for this article about Veteran Dylan Thomas and wife Abbi, of Two Pine Farms, and Farmer Veteran Coaltion at www.farmvetco.org
Farm Aid 30 in Chicago on Northerly Island was held on September 19, 2015. It was an almost picture perfect day with beautiful blue skies and a slight breeze on the shore of Lake Michigan from the backside of a low-pressure weather front that brought a 3 to 4 foot surf lapping at the beach. The torrential rains the night before were just a memory except for the mud hazard around the Homegrown Village tent area. I know what you’re probably thinking…the MUSIC! And yes, the music on this 30th Anniversary of Farm Aid was awesome.
You can find replays of many of the performances on YouTube! And Amy’s put out a 9 hour video that makes you feel like you were there; also on YouTube. And the FOOD. The food at Farm Aid is always awesome, too. Home Grown’s all right by me. Farm Fresh. Brought to you by Farmers, my friends-the real deal. Always a hit!
And the people…the farmers, the musicians, the activists, the locals, and the fans-the first-timers and the repeat fans, some who haven’t missed a FarmAid in 30 years and counting. Gotta love Farm Aid fans; they are fun! HOMEGROWN VILLAGE! This is where so many stories are told. There are so many stories at Farm Aid! This is just one. Listen to this interview with Veteran Dylan Thomas.
When this video stopped recording Dylan, the conversation continued.
Dylan admitted to us that his life, when he returned from war, was a struggle. He had a hard time and his marriage was also hanging on by a thread. One particularly bad day, when he felt like he couldn’t stand his anguish any longer, he fell to his knees in utter despair. While on the ground, he felt the soil in his hands, he really felt it and let it run through his fingers. Dylan described this as a spiritual moment. He felt a kinship, a connection, to the earth. He began to have an overwhelming feeling that this was somehow his connection back to all the things that really mattered to him. He felt that this earth could be his salvation… That was the day that his life began to come into focus; the beginning of a new vision of a better life for him and the beginning of a new bond with him and Abbi.
Dylan Thomas, together with his wife, Abbi, now operate Two Pines Farm in Michigan. Two Pines raises Pasture Fed, Non-GMO, Pork and Poultry. They also sell Farm Fresh eggs.
Theirs is one important story of many. Farmer Veteran Coalition is an organization that is dedicated to serving Veterans of all branches of military service. Their mission is to mobilize Veterans to feed America by cultivating a generation of new farmers and food leaders. They develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. They believe that food production offers purpose and opportunity as well as physical and psychological benefits.
According to Farmer Veteran Coalition’s Executive Director, Michael O’Gorman, in 1970, two million farmers were feeding 200 million people; now 960,000 farmers are feeding 310 million mouths. He states that our nation is in need of new farmers to feed our people, protect our land, rebuild our economy, bring back our rural communities, keep us healthy, and make our nation secure. He further states that Veterans make excellent farmers. They are not afraid of difficult tasks, they stand up when they are knocked down, they understand the need to be acutely aware of everything around them, and most of all, they are driven by doing what is right for their country.
Farmer Veteran Coalition has a wide array of resources to assist Veterans including fellowship grants, career development, internship/apprenticeship placement, job placement, farm support, and advocacy.
U.S.Dept. of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack , tells us “Our Veterans embody the values that stand at the heart of rural America: hard work, a love of their country, and a sense of duty to give back to a nation that has done so much for us all.”
If you know a Veteran who might be interested in this program, please let him or her know about Farmer Veteran Coalition.
You can learn more about Farmer Veteran Coaltion at www.farmvetco.org
and on Facebook at farmerveterancoalition
Support Farmer Veteran Coalition by Donations at their website!
Follow Dylan and Abbi Thomas and Two Pines Farm on Facebook at Two Pines Farm, LLC.
We had the pleasure of talking to Dylan and Abbi and learning about Farmer Veteran Coalition at Homegrown Village, Farm Aid 30, Northerly Island, Chicago on September 19th, 2015
(Thanks to Paul Martell for sharing photos and stories from last night’s Willie Nelson & Family and Merle Haggard show in Milwaukee.]
Thanks to Janis from Texas for capturing this fun moment after the Waylon Jennings Tribute concert in Austin. last July. Lisa Pittman, from Austin, Kelly Forester and Janis and I met new friends Trey and Brenda Jones from Mississippi. We were hanging out in the outdoor bar at the W Hotel, after the Waylon Jennings tribute concert at ACLive. And we met a Willie Nelson fan who plays in a Willie Nelson tribute band. They are on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/luckenbachwillie
Trey and Brenda who drove up for Willie Nelson’s Picnic from Mississippi. Trey is such a great, genuine Willie Nelson fan, with so much love and respect for Willie Nelson. He is very knowledgeable about Willie Nelson and his extensive musical catalogue.
And Trey told us that he plays in a Willie Nelson tribute band, once a month. I asked him what that was like, and he explained what it was like to play Willie Nelson’s music for other Willie Nelson fans. He says the people he plays for are fans who can’t travel to see Willie Nelson, and they are so happy and grateful to get to hear his music live. Trey said it was a moving, humble experience to get to bring Willie Nelson’s music to his fans, and to receive their thanks for the music.
Matthew Houck didn’t just cover Willie Nelson tunes in his live act, he recorded a complete album of songs that Willie Nelson has performed. “To Willie With Love” is a throwback to the album Willie Nelson recorded to honor someone he respected, Lefty Frizzell, with “To Lefty, with Love”.
Paste Magazine named ‘To Willie’ their favorite Americana Album of 2009.
By Noah W. Bailey
Year in Review
We spent 2009 sorting through piles of folk and Americana releases, revising this list in our heads till the bitter end and failing repeatedly to understand the hype behind the Avett Brothers in the process. While a year of listening brought no shortage of pleasant surprises, our hands-down favorite release of the year was still an album of classic Willie Nelson tunes. Go figure.
Phosphorescent To Willie (Dead Oceans)
It’s rare that a tribute album approaches the quality of the source material, rarer still when the source is Willie Nelson. Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck proves himself a master stylist on To Willie, however, probing the depths of the Red Headed Stranger’s catalogue and breathing new life into classic songs like “Walkin’” and “The Party’s Over.” In the case of “Reasons to Quit” and Houck’s beautiful space-gospel treatment of “Can I Sleep in Your Arms,” it’s safe to say he even one-upped the originals. No wonder Willie himself invited the band to play Farm Aid and join him for a little puff-puff-pass on the Honeysuckle Rose