Farm Aid: Keep America Growing, Vol. 1

Farm Aid: Keep America Growing, Vol. 1

by Farm Aid


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Farm Aid: Keep America Growing, Vol. 1

This 25-track double disc effectively collects selections from 12 Farm Aid benefit concerts over a 15 year period from 1985-1999. There's a hefty selection from the organization's founders, with Willie Nelson (along with the Highwaymen), Neil Young, and John Mellencamp not surprisingly accounting for ten tracks. The rest is divvied up between a roster of country
oots artists that turn in workmanlike, but seldom revelatory performances of their hits, or near hits. It's tough to get excited hearing the Neville Brothers run through a by-the-numbers "Yellow Moon" or Willie Nelson sleepwalking through "City of New Orleans" for the umpteenth time, and even such luminaries as Los Lobos and Bonnie Raitt don't light any sparks. Only a few of the tracks like Neil Young and Crazy Horse lumbering through "Homegrown," Young's solo "Last of His Kind (The Farm Aid Song)," and Mellencamp's spirited "Rain on the Scarecrow" have even a vague connection to the plight of the American farmer, which is what the shows, the organization, and the proceeds of this disc go to benefit. The lack of sufficient annotation for each track is also problematic. The Beach Boys meander through an unspectacular version of "God Only Knows" from 1996, yet it isn't obvious who was in this version of the ever-changing group. Other than the star, individual credits for the bands are missing, which is a frustrating oversight. Some artists click with roughed-up versions of their tunes; Trisha Yearwood digs into "Wrong Side of Memphis" with a greasy charm at odds with her clean-cut image, and Susan Tedeschi tears through "It Hurt So Bad" leaving the album version in the dust. The tracks are seemingly chosen to not offend the Americana audience who the disc is obviously intended for, which makes for a pleasant flow, but omits more alternative artists like Iggy Pop and the Pretenders who also participated in various shows. And where's Bob Dylan who birthed the Farm Aid concept with his comments at Live Aid? Far from a failure, Farm Aid; Vol. 1 is a respectable but safe and ultimately disappointing overview of the show's history, which, since it generates money for its worthwhile cause, is still a valuable addition to your collection. One can't help but wonder how many great performances are still left in the vault, so hopefully future editions will dig a little deeper and present edgier acts with a more unique song selection.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/12/2000
Label: Redline Ent
UPC: 0674797500328
catalogNumber: 75003

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Farm Aid   Primary Artist
Marty Stuart   Track Performer
Johnny Cash   Track Performer
Kris Kristofferson   Track Performer
Willie Nelson   Guitar,Vocals
Trisha Yearwood   Track Performer
Dwight Yoakam   Track Performer
Beach Boys   Track Performer
Crazy Horse   Track Performer
Neville Brothers   Track Performer
Bonnie Raitt   Track Performer
Neil Young   Harmonica,Pump Organ
Martina McBride   Track Performer
Mickey Raphael   Echo Harp
Beck   Guitar,Vocals
Kenny Aronoff   Band
Harry Bowens   Band
John Cascella   Band
Larry Crane   Band
Jay Dee Maness   Guitar,Slide Guitar
Toby Myers   Band
Bill Payne   Piano
Mike Wanchic   Band
Smokey Hormel   Guitar
Joey Waronker   Drums
Deana Carter   Track Performer
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass
Gabe Witcher   Fiddle
Susan Tedeschi   Track Performer
Family   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Brian Wilson   Composer
Kevin Moore   Composer
Jim Vallance   Composer
Mike Wanchic   Producer
John Lewis Parker   Composer
Tony Asher   Composer

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