We're mixing in some food with today's Music Monday... Farm Aid has held concerts all over the country since Willie Nelson first sparked the concept in 1985. In its 28-year life, Farm Aid holds one main focus: support farmers. As such, we love food. There have been countless performers at Farm Aid events, and some of them have created music that is perfect to listen to while eating. Whether it is a dinner party, date night or eating alone, here are some of my personal favorite albums to eat to by artists that have performed at past Farm Aid concerts.
B.B. King—Swingin’ the Blues
This was B.B. King’s first album, released in 1956, and it holds all of the elements that I love. B.B. King somehow manages to concoct the perfect combination of blues and rock. He’s been named #6 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Times list. I can think of no better combination than good food and a little bit of soul, even better when played on a record player. B.B. King played at the first Farm Aid concert on Sept. 22, 1985.
Tracy Chapman—Tracy Chapman
Taking on a more gentle tone than B.B. King, Tracy Chapman’s self-titled album was her first official release in 1988. Including the celebrated “Fast Car,” every track on this album perfectly highlights Chapman’s sultry vocals. As such, this album suits an eating environment with the unique ability to either fall into the background or remain a more prominent source of entertainment catering to any meal. One should be warned, however, Chapman channels powerful, moving words in tracks such as “Behind the Wall” that can tug at emotions. Chapman performed at the 1992 Farm Aid concert.
Norah Jones—Not Too Late
Norah Jones exemplifies my theory that nothing goes better with food than shockingly good vocals. This album strikes me with warmth, with interesting twists that are impressive when contrasted with her previous releases. Hovering in an indie limbo somewhere between bluesy jazz and folk, the differing instruments from track to track take a listener on a journey that will please the pallet. Jones played at Farm Aid’s 25th Anniversary concert in 2010.
Eat well and rock on, folks.
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