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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

LOOKING BACK: Farm Aid 2017 in Burgettstown, PA

Neil Young
Photos by Glyn Emmerson
(Click photo to enlarge)

As we look ahead to this coming weekend's Farm Aid 2018 in Hartford, CT, on Saturday, Sept. 22, here's a look back at last year's Farm Aid 2017 at the KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, PA. The review and photos are by Glyn Emmerson.


Farm Aid 2017 at the KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa. 
by Glyn Emmerson

"America was already great. 
We don't need to apologize and feel bad. Farmers are the real American heroes today."
~~Neil Young

Artist collaborations ruled the roost at the 32nd annual Farm Aid that took place at Burgettsburg, located a stoners throw from Pittsburgh as Co-founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young offered up the tunes as the crowd chowed down on locally grown produce and craft beers. Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Lucas Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff entertained the crowd of 23,000 at the Keystone Pavilion where politics took a backseat to the good food movement and the farmers. Neil Young and Dave Matthews played some of their first gigs of the year virtually guaranteeing a sellout.

The communal spirit of giving pervaded both the music and food as the artists joined in on each other's sets throughout the day adding a crunchy organic vibe to the homegrown affair.

Neil Young's set was a full throttled blast off of his greatest hits as the Promise of the Real, with Nelson offspring Lukas and Micah, pushed the grizzled Canadian's fuzzy distortion into jolts of sandblasted squall on the opener "F**kin Up". "Cortez the Killer" was next that started off slowly then built into a 10 minute blow out . "Cinnamon Girl" almost tour the roof off the shed as Lukas and Young whiplashed that notorious one note lead into bolts of sonic delight.

Acoustic numbers including "Heart of Gold", "Human Highway" and "Comes a Time" , settled things down a bit for their final showdown of "Like a Hurricane" that had the band recreating a musical vortex of cosmic thunder. "Rockin' in the Free World" left everyone with blistered ear drums and a hopeful return to the rock and roll stage that Young has been missing from this year.

Dave Matthews premiered a new one with Tim Reynolds called "Odds Are Against Us". They opened with "Don't Drink the Water" in one of Matthews only appearances onstage this summer. Reynolds tasty licks up and down the fretboard on his Martin dreadnaught accented Matthews frenetic and high strung choppy rhythms into a hoedown of guitars.

John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp offered up the hits including "Small Town" and "Jack and Dianne" adding -"I don't even know why I play this one, I only play it cause I know you guys want to hear it"- and he was right!. The power anthem "Scarecrow" with its signature three chord riff and powerful refrain that jumpstarted the movement back in 1985 took us back to a time when agribusiness and corporations were threatening the family farmer to extinction.

Jack Johnson invited the Avett Brothers onstage for "Mudfootball", Sheryl Crow, and Jamey Johnson on Dylan's "Shall be Released" and called out Lukas Nelson to join him adding a mischievous sense of adventure to the days jamouts. He opened his set with a song he wrote at the last Farm Aid he performed at two years ago called "Willie Got Me Stoned and Took all of my Money" that was a playful account of a card game with the pig tailed country legend that left him "penniless and with no money for a cab ride home!".

Jamey Johnson took us back to the Catskills with the Band's "Up On Cripple Creek" with a band that rocked out true outlaw-country fashion. He ended his set with the Guthrie anthem "This Land is Your Land. The Avett Brothers foot stomped their way thru way thru "Lightroom". Still looking good and havin' some fun Crow opened with "Everyday is a Winding road" and dedicated "Midnight Rider" to Gregg Allman with Willie , Lucas , Jack Johnson and Margo Price sitting in.

Nathaniel Rateliff's set was a horn driven revue of countrified soul. Margo Price played it country and simple on her own set and guested on Crow's and the Promise of the Real's. Blueberry Smoke's set took us back to the classic rock of the seventies and looked a lot like Lynerd Skynerd offspring up there.

Willie Nelson opened with "Whiskey River" and banged out one big song after another with an infectious grin and winks to the ladies in the crowd. On "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die " and "I'm Not Dead Yet", the Texas legend's stoneyed humor shone through like a beacon as the night glided to the grand finale of "It's All Going to Pot" and Hank Williams "I Saw The Light" as Young and Mickey Raphael traded licks on harmonica ending yet another incredible day of music to the folks who give us our daily bread.

Thanks so much for sharing the review and photos Glyn! We really enjoyed looking back at last year's Farm Aid 2017 as we look ahead to this coming weekend's Farm Aid 2018 in Hartford, CT, on Saturday, Sept. 22.

We'll see you @ FA18 Hartford this weekend!

For more on last year's Farm Aid 2017 in Burgettstown, PA.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


At 9/18/2018 08:27:00 PM, Blogger Mark from T.O. said...

Don't Bogart that joint my friend...pass me some of that BlueBerry Smoke !

Seriously though, I was there last year and the day was excellent (including BlackBerry Smoke) and this post brings back fond memories.

Will not make the trip all the way to Hartford this year but have tickets to see Neil and POTR play at Willie's Outlaw Music Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY the next day. Getting excited...

At 9/19/2018 03:42:00 PM, Blogger José from Paris said...

Hello good night
Sorry but I need help
help me helpless ??
Big birds flying across the sky, Throwing shadows on our eyes. Leave us
I do not know if this is the right place to talk about the internet connection on NYA but I wish if it is possible to know where is this connection ... because I have a lot of cuts and it is so unpleasant.I am "connected" in Paris since the beginning of NYA and I'm tired of these cuts or hear the same superimposed and offbeat song .... really fed up. I have my vinyls but still! I will find a good solution to the good sounds.
Thank you and have a good night or good morning
Paris 21:27 18 09 18
Blue, blue windows behind the stars, Yellow moon on the rise,


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