The egalitarian sentiment may reflect her pacifist upbringing as a Quaker, but the biggest factor in her refusal to give into cynicism is her music. "The great thing about the arts, and especially popular music, is that it really does cut across genres and races and classes," said Raitt.
"At Farm Aid, especially in the early days, somebody like Willie [Nelson] and Neil [Young] and John Mellencamp could get artists from all different sectors to come together on behalf of the farmers.... You see people come together and cut across all lines, and there's no judgment when there's inarguable suffering because of a man-made or natural disaster. Maybe we could take a cue from that."
That idea sounds like something worth celebrating, so here's "Love Letter" from Farm Aid IV:
Bonnie Raitt also performed at the first Farm Aid in 1985. Here's a video featuring her, Daryl Hall and Billy Joel:
Find more Farm Aid videos on our YouTube channel.