Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Farm Aid 2020


Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and more performed for Farm Aid 2020 on Saturday. The long-running benefit concert supporting family farmers led by Nelson, Young and others took to an On The Road Livestream format due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Dave Matthews was the first Farm Aid board member to perform on Saturday. Dave got his solo acoustic performance from Virginia underway with the classic “Don’t Drink The Water.” Dave then addressed the internet audience and spoke briefly about new music he was making with DMB drummer Carter Beauford and also talked about the importance of farmers and Farm Aid.

Matthews then prefaced the song “Rye Whiskey” by saying, “Rye is a thing that people grow. And some of that rye gets turned in to whiskey. Funny enough I should say that because last night I might of possibly had a little too much of it.” Matthews also said he first heard the song from the legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger. After “Rye Whiskey,” Dave delivered another classic in “Grey Street” and closed out his set with the relatively new song, “Shadows On The Wall.”

Brandi Carlile also performed alongside her bandmates Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth. The trio delivered some gorgeous harmonies on “The Eye.” Brandi then wrapped up her performance solo (kind of) with “The Mother.” Next, Neil Young would kick off his solo acoustic performance from his own barnyard to an audience of ducks and chickens with a trio of farm-themed songs in “Field Of Opportunity,” “Homegrown” and “Harvest.” Young wrapped up his set with a pair of classics “Old Man” — after which Neil remarked “the chickens really liked that one” with cinematographer Daryl Hannah concurring — and “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.”

Willie Nelson would perform toward the end of the stream after his sons’ bands Particle Kid and Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real played. His sons Micah and Lukas joined him for a set dubbed Willie Nelson & The Boys which kicked off with the oh so Willie song, “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die,” with The Boys adding backing vocals on the number. Micah then led the band through “I Thought About You, Lord” with Willie delivering some classical guitar his iconic ax Trigger. Lukas then led the way on “Hands On The Wheel” ahead of the set closer, the classic “On The Road Again.”

The livestream also saw performances from John Mellencamp, Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt and Boz Scaggs, Chris Stapleton, Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton, Jack Johnson, Jon Batiste, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Norah Jones, The War And Treaty and more.

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