RollingStone.com - See Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp Resurrect 'Night Life' on 'Colbert'
Farm Aid co-founders gear up for this weekend's big event by swapping lines on the country legend's classic hit
By Rolling Stone September 17, 2015
It takes a rare, special occasion for Willie Nelson to get dressed up in a blazer, but he did just that Wednesday night — counterbalanced by a Willie's Reserve ballcap — in honor of Stephen Colbert's second week as host of The Late Show and this weekend's 30th anniversary of Farm Aid.
The Red Headed Stranger was joined by fellow music icon and Farm Aid co-founder John Mellencamp for a laid-back version of "Night Life," a tune Nelson penned in the late Fifties that has been covered by the likes of Ray Price, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and B.B. King, among many others. The country legend's honeyed vocals and Mellencamp's signature grit on the tune — along with Mickey Raphael on harmonica and a backing band of drums, horn and piano — combined to give it a jazz club feel for The Late Show.
Nelson and Mellencamp, joined by fellow Farm Aid board members Neil Young and Dave Matthews, will unite for their shared cause this Saturday, September 19th in Chicago. Other artists on the day-long Farm Aid 30 bill include Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mavis Staples, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots and Blackwood Quartet.
Farm Aid is held in a different city every year, with host cities ranging from New Orleans to New York to Lincoln, Nebraska. The return to Illinois this weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the fundraiser, which began in 1985 in Champaign, Illinois.
"In 1985, alternatives didn't exist for most farmers and people didn't understand that there was a role for them in changing the system," says Mellencamp. "The Good Food Movement didn't exist. People thought the farm crisis was a rural problem. But after that first concert, people listened. They realized that if we lost family farmers, we lost Main Street and we lost our food. They stood up with family farmers and now things are changing. We've got a lot more work to do, but the connection between rural and urban communities is more real and important to people."
Since its inception, Farm Aid has raised more than $48 million dollars for family farms. Tickets for Saturday's event are still available at FarmAid.org.
Billboard.com - By Lars Brandle
Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp stopped by Stephen Colbert’s Late Show last night for a performance of the former’s classic 1965 song “Night Life. “
The pair used the slot as a final tune-up ahead of the 30th anniversary of Farm Aid, which takes place this Saturday (Sept. 19) in Chicago.
Willie and John, of course, were regulars on the David Letterman-helmed Late Show. Indeed, Mellencamp sat for a Q&A and performed in one of the final shows before the legendary chat show host shuffled off into retirement.
Colbert is still very much in his honeymoon period at the helm of the Late Show. His musical guests thus far have included Kendrick Lamar and Toby Keith.
Nelson and Mellencamp will be joined on the Farm Aid stage with Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Imagine Dragons and many others to celebrate a milestone for the organization that supports America's family farmers.