Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category
Jack Johnson performs “Willie Got Me Stoned and Stole All My Money” at Farm Aid’s 30th anniversary concert at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in downtown Chicago, Illinois, on September 19
by: Will Hodge
It’s understandable to think that Jack Johnson might’ve been a little nervous before his afternoon set at Farm Aid 30 this past weekend. After all, it’s been almost a year since the last time he and his band have played a show together, and it’s been two years since he last played Farm Aid. But speaking with Rolling Stone Country a few hours before taking the stage, the relaxed surfer-turned-musician seemed none too worried.
“We don’t do sound checks too much,” said Johnson, sitting comfortably among the packed-in gear of his makeshift rehearsal room. “We just come together an hour or so beforehand and try new things and figure out what we’re going to do.”
This doesn’t mean that the singer-songwriter and his rock-solid backing trio (Zach Gill, Merlo Podlewski, and Adam Topol) weren’t taking the gig seriously. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Johnson, who is already known for mixing music with altruism throughout his own career by starting the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation in 2008 and by donating 100 percent of his 2010-2013 tour profits to charity, sees Farm Aid as an important opportunity to raise awareness and to engage with the struggle of family-owned farms.
“I know so many people that, if they could only go to one show a year, they’d choose Farm Aid,” he said. “And that goes for me too.”
To commemorate this year’s Farm Aid festivities, Johnson wrote a new song that could not have been more tailor-made for the event. “Willie Got Me Stoned and Took All My Money” is a playful, barroom piano-led ditty retelling a night of cards-and-cannabis with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid’s founder and president. The inspiration for the song came to him while reading Nelson’s biography, It’s a Long Story,and he came across the mention of Harlan Howard’s “three chords and the truth” songwriting mantra. Introducing the new tune at Farm Aid, Johnson told the crowd, “This next song has got three chords in it, and it might be a little too honest.”
Although brand-new songs can often land flat during a live debut, the Farm Aid audience was immediately and enthusiastically on board from the first few lines:
Willie got me stoned and took all my money
I was 50 dollars up and then my mind went funny
It didn’t really help that I didn’t know the rules of the game
And it probably didn’t help that I couldn’t remember my name
Between Johnson’s new song and Toby Keith’s classic “Weed with Willie,” it seems that cautionary tales of the country legend’s marijuana are in high demand.
Today we announced Farm Aid’s 2016 grant recipients. Here’s Willie Nelson signing each of the grant checks before they go out in the mail!
Willie says, “Farm Aid is proud to make grants to support so many good people engaged in the work of changing our food system. The real power of Farm Aid’s grants is in the network of changemakers they knit together, in cities and rural areas across this country.”
$556,315 was granted to 82 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $20,000.
To read more about our amazing grantees and the inspiring work they do, check out https://www.farmaid.org/our-work/grants/
Wilie Nelson and Mary Pat Davis perform “Walkin’ After Midnight” originally by Patsy Cline at Farm Aid VI in Ames, Iowa, on April 24, 1993.
Here’s more great photos of Farm Aid folks from Alice, in Atlanta. Thanks, Alice! And here’s Alice in her Tao of Willie Shirt, one of my favorites. Thanks, Alice. You out-did yourself this year. Alice is one of my friends and Willie Nelson fans and Farm Aid Supporters who help tell the story of Farm Aid with pictures and interviews.
Here’s Dot and Dee (sounds like a ’50’s group), from Florida and Virginia, respectively, who also wrote about their experience at Farm Aid. It was Dee’s first Farm Aid concert, and she has been writing from that perspective.
Dee is wearing the 2016 Farm Aid Shirt.
I love seeing all the shirts. You can get a shirt too, for yourself or to give as a gift (even if you didn’t make it to the concert at Farm Aid’s website. They have lots more things than shirts, too.