Farm Aid Concert w/ Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young; Pitt vs Oklahoma State (Sat., 9/16/17)

1) Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and we’re very lucky because he’s stopping in the ‘Burgh to entertain us. He’ll be headlining Farm Aid as it swings by KeyBank Pavilion on its important fundraising and music mission. Nelson is a singer/songwriter/author/activist/businessman and more. He’s had a storied career that includes a Kennedy Center Honor. In 1993, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. One of the founders of Farm Aid, which started in 1985 to help struggling farmers, Nelson was inducted into the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011. Nelson’s been known to “inhale” and claimed to have smoked marijuana on the roof of the White House. His 2012 book, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road, is a memoir that became a New York Times Top Ten Best Seller.

First and foremost for Nelson is the music. In 1973, turned off by the conservative nature of the Nashville country music scene, he was a founding member of a branch of the industry in Austin, Tex., called outlaw country. Other members included Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings, who joined Nelson to form the outlaw country supergroup The Highwaymen. When Nelson plays, he is joined by musical associates he calls The Family. Nelson’s latest album is God’s Problem Child, released in April. Amazingly, it is his 72 studio album. With this annual Farm Aid event, he’s sure to play many old and new favorites, including “Always on My Mind.”

John Mellencamp, who hails from Indiana, which features some fine farmland, is also a long-time supporter of Farm Aid. He’s best known for his hit songs “Jack & Diane,” “Small Town,” and “Ain’t Even Done With the Night.”

Neil Young is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Grammy Award winner, and a very talented singer/songwriter/guitar player/producer/director.  Young co-founded Buffalo Springfield and put the “Y” in CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). He has always remained relevant, no matter what the times that we’re living in. Hits over the years include “Old Man,” “Heart of Gold,” “Rust Never Sleeps,” “Cinnamon Girl,” “Down by the River,” and “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.” The concert lineup also includes Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers, Blackberry Smoke, and more. Noon. Sold out. KeyBank Pavilion, 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. 

2) The Pitt Panthers are coming off a tough loss at Penn State last week. Today Pitt will try its luck again at noon today against another ranked opponent, the Oklahoma State Sooners.  Best of luck Coach Narduzzi and team! Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.

3) Illusionist and Clariton native Mike Super,  winner of NBC’s hit show ‘Phenomenon’ and finalist of “America’s Got Talent,” will bring an amazing evening of jaw-dropping magic to the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s Main Stage Theater tonight at 7:30 PM. Super has performed his mystifying illusions in front of Hollywood notables such as Kim Kardashian, Regis Philbin, and the late Joan Rivers. 1 Lincoln Park, Midland, PA.

4) The 2017 Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival opens today. The festival celebrates diversity and appreciation of Asian and Asian-American experience through cultural events. Featured films and filmmakers have origins in India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Iran, etc.. This is an outstanding curated film fest with many of the movies receiving awards winners from around the world. Runs through September 24. Screenings are at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Melwood Screening Room, Harris Theater, and The Frick. For a list of films and times see their website.

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Rick Handler

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