Music » Critics' Picks

Farm Aid

12:30 p.m. Sunday, October 4. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights.

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Rock & rollers, country singers and blues people aren't do-gooders by nature. They want to get paid, get laid, get high and above all else, get on with the show. But with the exception of Gene Simmons, perhaps, they have a conscience, and they'll use it, especially when Willie calls in a favor. Farm subsidies are problematic; Farm Aid isn't. The benefits have done good work for more than twenty years, providing measurable relief to family farmers and food banks, sowing some conscience in the masses and giving Neil Young one hell of a soapbox. And the combined entertainment value of seeing Young, Nelson, the Dave Matthews Band, Wilco, John Mellencamp, Jason Mraz, and the recently added Billy Joe Shaver and Ernie Isley, among others, trumps any one-day blowout you could name.

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