September 27th, 2006
By Dan DeLuca - Inquirer Music Critic
Dave Matthews, youngest of the Farm Aid principals, really plows into this cause close to his heart.
Among the Farm Aid four, Dave Matthews is the baby of the bunch.
The jam-band star and Virginia gentleman farmer - a headliner at the annual benefit concert, to be held Saturday at Camden's Tweeter Center, along with Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp - was a teenager in his native South Africa when the first Farm Aid took place in 1985.
Nelson organized that show after Bob Dylan made remarks in support of American farmers at Live Aid in Philadelphia that year. Nelson, 73, Young, 60, and Mellencamp, 56, have performed at every Farm Aid since.
Matthews, now 39, played his first Farm Aid in 1995, back when his enormously popular Dave Matthews Band was not so enormous. "Dave was just starting out," recalled Mellencamp, who invited him to play along with another band that was breaking that year - Hootie and the Blowfish. "He hadn't become Dave Matthews yet. But he came and played that year in Kentucky, and he got really into it."