Back in 1985, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp joined forces and organized the first-ever Farm Aid, with Dave Matthews joining the organization in 2001. The long-running nonprofit concert series seeks to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to support farming families, and since its inception has raised more than $50 million dollars. Yesterday, Farm Aid returned once again, taking over Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh with its all-star one-day lineup featuring Nelson, Young, Mellencamp, and Matthews in addition to Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price, Blackberry Smoke, and more.
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The charitable music benefit played host to a number of outstanding musical moments. During Dave Matthews set with Tim Reynolds, Matthews debuted a new song called “Odds Are Against Us.” After noting that he had written the song recently and that he had just played it for Reynolds, Matthews warned, “Let’s see what happens” before diving into the new tune. Farm Aid also saw a fiery performance by Neil Young, who has been canceling the majority of his appearances due to illness (including his scheduled appearance to induct Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and who hasn’t performed publically for the majority of this year save a cameo appearance during Willie Nelson’s set at Stagecoach in April.
You can watch a video of Dave Matthews’ new song, “Odds Are Against Us”, below, as well check out footage from Neil Young’s and John Mellencamp’s sets during Farm Aid at KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, yesterday.
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, “Odds Are Against Us”
[Video: Kevin Ciesielski]
Neil Young, “Cortez The Killer”
[Video: Clinton Crites]
John Mellencamp, Full Farm Aid Performance
[Video: Vintage Mellencamp]