May 14, 2014 |
'How could a show about Woody Guthrie go wrong at a theater called 'the People's Light?' " Performer and show cocreator David M. Lutken posed that question in his slow drawl as part of the preshow warm-up for Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie . Now imagine that sentence again. Hear it as coming from a man smart enough to want to keep you guessing about his intelligence. Slow down the cadence of words to a near halt at the word "wrong. " Leave the listener (that's you)
January 9, 2009 |
Shortly after the end of World War II, a young Philadelphia woman named Charlotte Straus was so taken with Woody Guthrie's book Bound for Glory that she wrote the folk singer, then a private in the armed forces serving at various U.S. installations. His reply, a letter dated Oct. 29, 1945, grew into a yearlong correspondence that was surprisingly intimate and came to include autograph material and ephemera Guthrie sent her, notably a typewritten short story and eight pages of song lyrics and drawings.
March 14, 2012 |
New Multitudes , the album on which Jay Farrar, Jim James, Anders Parker and Will Johnson set unused Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, is a work of intimate mystery, born of hours in the archives and sentiments that Guthrie himself either abandoned or left buried on purpose. But on stage at Union Transfer Tuesday night, the songs burst into the public sphere, pushing private thoughts into the open and converting whispers to a full-blooded shout. The four musicians, who took equal time at the microphone, have worked together in numerous configurations - Farrar and Parker in Gob Iron, James and Johnson in Monsters of Folk - but with disparate public profiles.
May 1, 2016
26 Songs in 30 Days by Greg Vandy, with Daniel Person Sasquatch Books. 208 pp. $24.95 Reviewed by Paul De Barros Woody Guthrie, the great populist singer-songwriter from Oklahoma and formative inspiration for Bob Dylan, spent time in the Northwest and also wrote "Roll On, Columbia" in honor of the river that divides Washington and Oregon. But most probably don't know the details about how that and 25 other topical songs came to be written. Greg Vandy, known for his engaging KEXP roots-music show, The Roadhouse , lovingly unravels that tale in this cleanly written, handsomely designed, and liberally illustrated book about Guthrie's month-plus tenure in the Portland area in 1941.
May 26, 2002 |
For too many people, Woody Guthrie is freeze-dried in history as the populist heartland folkie who composed "This Land Is Your Land," and was a mentor to Bob Dylan. At least that is what his daughter believes. "Everybody has to get off this black-and-white, sepia-toned, Dust-Bowl-balladeer image," said Nora Guthrie, executive director of New York's Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. "He's very colorful. " She would know, and not just because she was raised by him. The archives are home to more than 3,000 sets of original Woody Guthrie lyrics.
October 28, 1991 |
QUOTABLE The two most powerful rulers are time and patience. - Leo Tolstoy. What the mind can conceive, anyone can achieve. - Langston Hughes. Luck is when preparation meets with opportunity. - Vince Lombardi. An optimist is a misinformed pessimist. - Anonymous. Hell is where the give-uppers go. - Gail Warnock, 94-year-old author. Sorry don't get the hay in. - Woody Guthrie. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.
July 23, 2011
Music Buck 65. Straight outta Nova Scotia, Buck 65 is the nom de rap of veteran alt-hip-hopper Rich Terfry, a clever and tough-minded lyricist adept at sprinkling Woody Guthrie roots-music flava and French chansonniere into his crafty beats and rhymes. On the new 20 Odd Years, the burly-voiced former minor-league baseball prospect covers Leonard Cohen's "Who by Fire," takes vocal assistance from fellow Canuck Jenn Grant, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, and Nick Thorburn of Islands, and skillfully tells tall tales with a dexterity that's rare among rock or rap songwriters, north or south of the Canadian border.
October 14, 2012 |
Ry Cooder's reputation is built on his virtuosity on slide guitar, along with a mastery of other guitar styles. (He's been in Rolling Stone's Top 10 guitarists of all time.) In addition, he's a musicologist par excellence who played with Taj Mahal as a teenager, taught Keith Richards the blues tuning he used to write many of the Rolling Stones' greatest songs, and put together the Cuban supergroup Buena Vista Social Club in 1996. You don't think of Cooder principally as a socially conscious storyteller or protest singer.
September 27, 2011 |
FAMILIAR FACES emerge in different guises in this week's new music roundup. HALL PASS: When the lead singer/composer in an established band strikes out on his own, even longtime fans don't always make the connection. Daryl Hall fights those odds again, minus longtime partner John Oates, in "Laughing Down Crying" (Verve/Forecast, A-) . If you relish Hall & Oates' vibrant take on rock 'n' soul, you're gonna find this shiny solo set (Hall's first in a decade) equally appealing.