“When it comes to country music, he’s about as big as it gets, but he’s also dedicated so much of his life advocating for causes he cares about. Willie Nelson has been connected to the fight to legalize marijuana for decades now. He even has his own brand of weed coming out in a couple of months. It’s called Willie’s Reserve.
Check out what Willie told me about this business venture that is rather “high” on his list of priorities.”
— Dan Rather
Check out our next Big Interview set to air this Tuesday, January 26th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST on AXS TV.
Lily Meola has a new album out, “They Say” and it’ s no surprise that the Willie Nelson family’s fingerprints are all over it. They are big fans and supporters of Lily and her talents. Everyone who hears Lily Meola sing falls in love with her voice, including Annie Nelson who heard Lily sing on Maui, where both families live. Lukas and Micah Nelson went to school with Lily’s brother, Matt Meola (also talented, not a singer but a pro surfer). Annie introduced Willie to Lily and her music at one of her local performances in Maui and the Nelson family have become cheerleaders for Lily and her music.
Willie and Lukas sing with Lily on her new album and Willie contributes some guitar gems on two other songs. Micah Nelson has producer creds on the album and Annie Nelson supports the project too, but behind the scenes and out of the limelight. And Kris Kristofferson duets with her on “Me and Bobby McGee.” Jamey Johnson invites Lily on stage to sing with him when they are sharing a festival anywhere. Yeah, that’s the kind of recognition and acknowledgement she gets from other artists.
Thousands of us were first introduced to Lily Meola at Farm Aid in 2013, when Farm Aid President Willie Nelson invited the 18-year-old singer from Maui to perform with him. They sang “Will You Remember Me”, and the video is below. Her voice is so beautiful, timeless like the best of the best female vocalists from the 40’s and 50’s and ’60’s, every decade. Willie also asked Lily to sing with him on his 2013 album, “To All The Girls.” And he can pretty much get anyone he wants to sing with him. (Even Barbra Streisand — but where is that cut, Barbra?)
For those of us who don’t live on a tropical island, rather are here in frozen Colorado like me, we can get it on the world wide web from Lily’s website: www.lilymeola.com.
And Lily’s a really nice person, too, and her mom is great, too. This is the kind of gift you want to give, the music you want so support — artists like Lily Meola. This is where you want to spend your music money. Buy her cd; you’ll thank me later.
“Farm Aid sends money to hardworking folks who share Farm Aid’s mission to strengthen family farmers. These grants support their work and invest in projects that build a thriving future for family farm agriculture and good food for all in both rural and urban communities.”
— Willie Nelson
Show your support for the good work they do, and all the effort contributed by the Farm Aid Board, staff, volunteers, musicians, farmers. www.FarmAid.org Read about the organizations who received grants from Farm Aid:
In addition to Farm Aid’s work throughout the year to build a thriving family farm-centered system of agriculture, Farm Aid funds family farm and rural service organizations through our annual grant program. We view our grantees around the country as critical on-the-ground partners in the movement to keep family farmers on the land, producing good food for all.
In 2015, Farm Aid granted more than $610,000. Of that total, $586,500 was given in competitive and strategic grants to 79 family farm organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Grants ranged from $2,500 to $20,000. Detailed grant descriptions are below.
Farm Aid also granted $11,000 in emergency funding to help farm families facing either economic crises or natural disasters. Individual emergency grants were awarded to 22 farmers located in 14 states: Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Finally, Farm Aid’s Farmer Leadership Fund granted $12,847 to support farmers and farm advocates in developing leadership skills and to elevate farmer voices in a variety of circles in which their expertise, experience and best interests are essential to the conversation. Individual leadership grants were awarded to 13 farmers and farm advocates located in 8 states: Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota and Vermont.
“Farm Aid sends money to hardworking folks who share Farm Aid’s mission to strengthen family farmers. These grants support their work and invest in projects that build a thriving future for family farm agriculture and good food for all in both rural and urban communities.” — Willie Nelson
Farm Aid grant funds were invested in programs that help farm families stay on their land, build local markets, confront the threat of corporate control of agriculture, train new farmers and support farmer-to-farmer programs for more sustainable agricultural practices.
With your gift, we can continue to support farm groups helping family farmers on the local level all over the country.
Creating and implementing innovative programs that build local and regional food systems, connecting farmers directly to consumers and creating new markets for family farmers.
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Asheville, NC: $5,000 to help publish a print and online directory of local farms, farmers markets and local food businesses.www.asapconnections.org
Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living, Chicago, IL: $7,500 to provide technical assistance to Midwest farmers of color seeking access to Chicago markets. www.healthyfoodhub.org
FamilyFarmed, Chicago, IL: $7,500 to support the development ofDirect Market Success, a technical assistance manual and training program for direct market farmers. www.familyfarmed.org
Family Agriculture Resource Management Services, Dillon, SC: $5,000 for the Farm to Food Banks program, which connects produce from limited resource farmers with area food banks.www.30000acres.org
Farmworker Association of Florida, Apopka, FL: $5,000 to help rebuild local food systems in farmworker communities.www.floridafarmworkers.org
Federation of Southern Cooperatives, East Point, GA: $20,000 to support technical assistance, cooperative development, marketing and training for underserved Black farmers and Southern communities. www.federationsoutherncoop.com
Growing Power, Chicago, IL: $5,000 to support the Fresh Moves Mobile Market, which brings healthy, fresh, affordable produce to food insecure neighborhoods. www.growingpower.org
Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Boise, ID: $5,000 to support the Our Idaho Fork: Conscientious Food Procurement Policycampaign, which targets stakeholders to commit to good food purchasing policies that shift dollars to local producers in the state.www.iorcinfo.org
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Millheim, PA: $7,000 to support PASA’s work to bring farmers together to learn from each other and to build strong and effective networks, as well as to enable consumers looking for locally and sustainably produced food. www.pasafarming.org
Powder River Basin Resource Council, Sheridan, WY: $6,000 to help increase access to family farm food in Wyoming through expanded farm to school programs, institutional procurement and beginning farmer financing. www.powderriverbasin.org
Real Food Challenge, Cambridge, MA: $5,000 to train and support college students in the Midwest, Great Plains and Appalachian states to advocate for and secure family farmed food on their campuses.www.realfoodchallenge.org
Sustainable Food Center, Austin, TX: $5,000 to support the Farm to Family Program, which provides access to fresh produce in low-income, food-insecure neighborhoods.www.sustainablefoodcenter.org
Although we regret we couldn’t be with you today, Rosalynn joins me in congratulating you on receiving the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, a prestigious and well-deserved award. Your music has enriched the lives of people far and wide for decades, and it is only fitting that your life’s work be honored in this way.
Your friendship has been important to us for over 30 years, and we were proud to host you at the White House and in Plains. We also loved having you in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Price concert in 2002. Your music has become the soundtrack of our lives, and we are pleased to see your tremendous talent recognized today.
Please know you have our warm best wishes on this special occasion, and we hope to see you soon!
Cyndi Lauper was one of the many artists who gathered in Washington DC last week to honor Willie Nelson, when he was presented with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize.
With a tip of the hat to George and Ira Gershwin, who the Prize is named after, Willie an Cyndi sang, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” When Willie introduced Cyndi and called her out to the stage, Willie announced that they had recorded the song for a new album coming out early next year to honor the Gershwin brothers, “Summertime.”
Janis Tillerson took all these great photos for us all to enjoy.