Just got back from Farm Aid 2014
A great concert, with great food and a great cause. Woke up in the morning and went down to the lobby for some breakfast. I was told at breakfast that nobody would be allowed to photograph Jack White. Oh well, plenty of great music anyway.
The day started with one of my favorite pictures of the day. These three artists, Jamey Johnson, Carlene Carter and Gary Clark, Jr represent the scope of talent that the day was going to produce.
The day was filled with great music. Here are a few of the highlights:
The show started with Raelynn Nelson, Willie’s grand daughter. She is really cute, walked on stage with a ukulele in hand, and proceeded to blast the crowd in the face with a great version of Bad Reputation. Joan Jett would be proud!!!
A little later, Delta Rae put on a gospel rock clinic. Four great voices, brilliant percussion and great harmonies. I think they are all related somehow. They kicked some ass!!
Later another Nelson -Micah (Willie’s son) led his band through a set of spacey jazzy stuff. Great musicianship. Willie’s family business will be good for a long time to come.
A short time later Lukas Nelson, the heir apparent to Stevie Ray Vaughn played a great blues rock set. He spent a lot of time either in the air or rolling around on his back on stage!!
Then came the high point of the day. Gary Clark, Jr. brought the crowd to it’s feet for about 40 minutes of amazing, passionate blues. His mom and dad came down in the pit to watch the show, and his mom sat there with a big smile on her face the whole set. His skill and talent are boundless.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a half hour of great New Orleans jazz, with two crazy tuba players careening around the stage.
Then it was time for Jack White. His so called publicist decided that no national media would be allowed to shoot, only local papers. So it was time to go eat!! So my friend Ebet and I, the official Farm Aid photographers, went backstage to eat while every other photographer in the place went out into the crowd to shoot what they could. I listened to a few songs, decided that he sucked, and walked away. Someone needs to tell him that when you agree to play at a benefit concert, it is not about you it is about the cause. He destroyed any chance for Farm Aid to get any publicity out of him being there, and made it all about him rather than what Farm Aid is about.
The show ended, as usual with sets by the four board members. Dave Matthews, accompanied by Tim Reynolds, played a spirited 40 minute set. John Mellencamp played three new songs from his upcoming release, including one backed by the Preservation hall Jazz Band. Neal Young was his usual self, calling out a Senator from North Carolina by name from the stage for voting the wrong way in the Senate. He ended with Rocking in the Free World, backed by Lukas and Micah Nelson.
Willie closed the show, with most of his family on stage with him. He played a great version of Milk Cow Blues, with Gary Clark, Jr. Trading solos with Willie, Mickey Raphael (Willie’s great harp player) and David Amram on Penny Whistle!
A great time was had by all, a lot of money and awareness was raised for a great organization!!