Rosanne Cash, John Mellencamp remember Woody Guthrie
On Sunday night at the Kennedy Center, a group of legendary folk and rock artists will convene to pay tribute to the man who laid the foundation for them: Woody Guthrie. But for Nora Guthrie, the folk masters daughter, the concert will be more a meeting of old friends.
“We dont really have stars in folk music, says Guthrie, 62, director of the Woody Guthrie Archives, which is organizing the Centennial Celebration Concert in conjunction with the Grammy Museum and the Kennedy Center. For me its much more personal than that. These are all people who know the material, they know the spirit, they know the cause and theyre all doing it on their own. They are the sons and daughters of Woody in their own right.
The concert which includes performances by Ry Cooder, Tom Morello, Lucinda Williams and Old Crow Medicine Show, among others marks the culmination of a year of concerts celebrating Guthries life and musical legacy. The performances have roughly traced Guthries footsteps from his beginnings in Oklahoma to Texas, California, Canada and New York.
The folk pioneer, who died in 1967 at age 55, never spent time in Washington, but Guthrie says that in light of her fathers strong social consciousness, the District in many ways provides a fitting place to conclude the tour. (The concert also kicks off the Kennedy Centers Songs of Conscience initiative, a series of interactive events focusing on the role of civic action in the arts.)
Woody Guthries influence on todays folk singers is at once well documented and immeasurable.
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