NASHVILLE CELEBRATES WOODY!
90th Year Celebration |
Press Release | Photo Gallery | Calendar of Events
Arlo Guthrie | Marty Stuart | Guy Clark | Nanci Griffith | Janis Ian
Ramblin' Jack Elliott | James Talley | Slaid Cleaves | Jimmy LaFave
Beth Nielsen Chapman | Ellis Paul | Peter Rowan | Tim O'Brien
Alison Brown | Pat Flynn | Eliza Gilkyson | Corey Harris | Rob Wasserman
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer| Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion
Wenzel | Blackfire | DJ Logic
From January 8th to February 8th, 2003, Nashville was swinging with
the sounds and legacy of Woody Guthrie, honoring him with a variety
of concerts, exhibits, and school programs.
kick off the month, January 8th was the opening reception followed
by the screening of "Bound For Glory", Hal Ashby's Academy
Award-winning film starring David Carradine. Showing at the Belcourt
Theatre, this film was also the start of a month long film series
dedicated to Woody Guthrie's life and legacy. Monday, January 15th
the Belcourt Theatre screened "Hard Travelin'" Arlo Guthrie's
trace of his father's life back to Oklahoma. January 22nd "Roll
on Columbia" screened at the Belcourt. "Roll On Columbia"
details the story of how Woody was hired in 1941, by the Bonneville
Dam Administration to write songs for the Bonneville Dam Project.
January 29th the Belcourt showed "Man in the Sand" Billy
Bragg's documentary on the process of creating the Mermaid Avenue
CD. February 2nd the Belcourt showed "A Vision Shared",
concluding the month-long film series. Prior to the screening of
"A Vision Shared", there were live performances by Old
Crow Medicine Show, Mary Gauthier, and Beth Nielsen-Chapman.
The evening was emceed by Michael Kleff, German world music journalist.
the unprecedented month-long celebration of Woody Guthrie's life
and music, Nashville got together on February 5th at the Ryman Auditorium
to sing, shout, and have a great time, all to benefit the Woody
Though it got off to a late start (and thanks to Old Crow Medicine
Show, no one rioted), the concert was a rousing success, which
featured Woody Guthrie standards, as well as premiers of new songs.
Everyone from Country legend Marty Stuart to Navajo punk
band Blackfire gave their all.
Medicine Show started the concert off with an impromptu series
of songs, including Woody's "Union Maid". This was followed
by Alison Brown and John Doyle doing an instrumental
version of "This Land Is Your Land," followed by the MET
Singers (a group of school children from Nashville's public
schools) singing a choral version of the song.
got going when Old Crow Medicine Show and Marty Stuart hit off with "Howdido," and James Talley with Dave
Pomeroy gave a moving rendition of "Oklahoma Hills."
Beth Nielsen Chapman debuted Woody's song "A Story That's
Never Been Told," which Woody had set to the tune of "Picture
from Life's Other Side."
Janis Ian premiered her new collaboration "I Hear You Sing Again"
(based on Woody's original lyric, "Mother Sing Again").
She also joined Talley, Chapman, and Pomeroy on "Plane Wreck at Los Gatos."
of Highway Quartet, Jimmy LaFave, Slaid Cleaves,
Ellis Paul, and Eliza Gilkyson were next, starting
with LaFave's rendition of "In Oklayhoma" and "Oklahoma
Hills." Then Cleaves and Gilkyson performed Cleaves' and Guthrie's "This Morning I Am Born Again," followed
by Paul's "Gods Promise."
and Marcy Marxer sang "Birds and Ships," from Billy
Bragg and Wilco's album of Woody Guthrie lyrics, Mermaid
Avenue, and Corey Harris gave tribute to Lead
Belly by premiering another Woody Guthrie lyric, "Go Back and
Try," written by Woody in praise of his friend and co-musician.
bluesy number, Tim O'Brien and Peter Rowan sang "Way
Over Yonder in the Minor Key," and "Hard Travelin."
switched gears after intermission when Blackfire got on stage
and ripped through their premiere of "There's Mean Things Happening
in This World." Concert-goers were now seeing the new side
of Woody Guthrie. Rob Wasserman and DJ Logic jammed
to Studs Terkel's spoken word piece, and Hans-Eckardt
Wenzel followed with his haunting premiere of "Ninety Mile
Wind," and his wonderful "Ticky
and Marty Stuart sang "Pretty Boy Floyd," and
Clark backed-up Nanci Griffith and the Kennedys on the song "Do Re Mi."
and the Fabulous Superlatives brought the concert to a new
high with his performance of "Jesus Christ," and the little-known,
"Hangknot, Slipknot." Stuart got the crowd going
by improvising lyrics to "Hangknot" urging the County
Music Hall of Fame to induct Woody Guthrie.
Jack Elliott brought some history to the crowd as he sang "Pastures
of Plenty" and "Talking Sailor." He told a story
about Woody getting on his first Liberty ship during his stint in
the Merchant Marines.
And no Woody
Guthrie tribute concert would be complete without Arlo Guthrie and family on stage, giving their support. Arlo sang "Dead
or Alive," followed by Sarah Lee and Johnny Irion singing "Be No Church Tonite." Arlo finished his
set with "Gypsy Davy."
ended with all the musicians and even the crowd singing their hearts
out with "This Land Is Your Land." (For
a complete of artists and links to their websites, go here.)
of the Chicago Tribune, stated, "the Ryman tribute was a testimony
both to the treasures contained in Guthrie's portfolio and to the
ongoing relevance of his songs.
As well as the
concert and film festival, Nashville citizens and tourists alike
could get rare glimpses into the artistic side of Woody Guthrie
with three exhibitions curated by the Woody Guthrie Foundation and
Archives and displayed during the celebration at Bongo Java coffee
houses. Two of the Bongo Java exhibits featured Woody's drawings
and the exhibit at Fido's features stunning photographs that open
up an often unknown side of Woody Guthrie's history. Among the artwork
shown were Woody's sketches he did for his autobiography, BOUND
FOR GLORY, and a series of cartoons called THIS IS THE HAND, a brilliant
commentary on workers and bosses and the need for unions.
The third exhibit displayed twenty rare photographs of Woody dated
from 1939-1954, including some that had never been released.
Also, on February
4th, Nora Guthrie emceed the program "I've Sung This Song",
presented by NARAS. Nora showed the film "All or None",
segments of rare footage supplied by the Woody Guthrie Foundation
& Archives. Nora got comfortable on the carpeted stage, sat
down, and told her father's tales in between the segments. In the
audience was Mary-Jo Edgmon (Woody's sister) and Tiny Robinson (Leadbelly's
niece). As the film footage ended, the audience got a rare site,
watching Woody's close family share intimate and often humorous
anecdotes about their days with Woody's. The day before, Kathy Jacobsen
and Nora Guthrie spoke and signed books at the David Kidd Book Store.
The event was a huge success.
but certainly not least, singer/songwriter David Massengill filled
in for Dave Marsh (who was snowed-in in New York) as moderator for
the panel "Can You Get From The Dust Bowl To Music Row".
The panelists included singer Nanci Griffith, historian Robert
K. Oermann, and Nashville Scene music editor Bill Friskics-Warren.
Jimmy LaFave opened the discussion with his version of "Oklahoma
Hills", Sarah Lee and Johnny Irion follow with their
rendition of "Philadelphia Lawyer", and Nanci Griffith
jumped in with her "Troubled Fields". This panel discussion
combined the end of the "Nashville Sings Woody" month-long
celebration with the beginning of the annual "Folk Alliance
Celebrates Woody Guthrie Original Press Release
city of Nashville will join together, celebrating the life and legacy
of folk singer Woody Guthrie, January 8 through February 9, 2003.
The Dust Bowl balladeer inspired two generations of musicians including
Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen, extending to contemporary
artists such as U2, Billy Bragg, Wilco and Ani DiFranco.
"The Woody Guthrie 90th Year Celebration," presented
by Gibson Guitar and Baldwin Piano, reflects an ever-increasing
awareness of the man who penned the lyrics to This Land Is Your
Land, while helping to raise funds for the Woody Guthrie Foundation
and Archives in New York City. The full month of events includes
a film festival, seminars, museum and art exhibits, school programs,
and a variety of performances.
This Guthrie celebration will be highlighted in its final week with
a benefit concert at the Ryman Auditorium on February 5,
featuring Woodys son Arlo Guthrie, artists Nanci Griffith,
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Marty Stuart, Peter Rowan and
Janis Ian, and a bevy of all-star musicians who represent the best
in such genres as country, folk, bluegrass, rock n roll,
world music, and punk rock. The concert will feature many of Guthrie's
most famous songs that have become staples of the folk music repertoire
throughout the past 50 years. Making this an historic event, Woody's
daughter Nora, Director of The Woody Guthrie Archives, has invited
artists to collaborate in creating new music to never-before-heard
Guthrie lyrics which will be premiered that evening.
Kicking off the festivities on January 8, The Belcourt Theatre
presents the first film in a series of five feature and documentary
films depicting Guthrie's life and his influence on contemporary
music in their Woody Guthrie Film Festival, along with an
opening reception. February 2 will mark the conclusion of the film
festival, with a benefit screening of A Vision Shared, which
will include live music and discussion.
Starting January 10th, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
will present an exhibit of Kathy Jakobsen's lush and beautifully
rendered oil paintings. Each painting illustrates a phrase of the
famous Guthrie song This Land is Your Land and reflects American
culture and little known details of Woody Guthrie's life. The paintings
and the words of the song are collected into a book published by
Little, Brown and Company, entitled This Land is Your Land.
Jakobsen will present a family program at the museum on January
25 at 1pm based on stories of Guthrie's life as illustrated through
her paintings. The program will be followed by a book signing in
the museum store and a reception for the artist. This show of paintings
coincides with the museum's premier 2003 Archives Spotlight Series
exhibit where one of Guthrie's own guitars will be on display for
the first time alongside original Guthrie lyrics.
Bongo Java's Fido location will host an opening reception
on January 12, welcoming three exhibits curated especially for Nashville
by the Woody Guthrie Archives. The exhibits will appear separately
in each Bongo Java coffeehouse/gallery location. Bongo Java will
also create a custom "Woody Blend" and coffee mug for
the occasion. On February 3, Kathy Jakobsen and Nora Guthrie will
appear for an additional book signing at Davis Kidd Bookseller and relate
anecdotes and stories about Woody as a visual artist.
Nashville's music community will add to the festivities with live
performances at Tower Records; the nationally known Billy
Block's Western Beat Roots Revival; Nashville Sunday Night
Live hosted by our radio sponsor WRLT at 3rd & Lindsley;
and "Alternative Woody" a punk rock and world music
concert at The End.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will present two seminars:
journalist/historian Dave Marsh will host a panel on Guthrie's
influence on country music, and Nashvilles NARAS chapter
will sponsor a program of rare film footage from the Woody Guthrie
Archives, with commentary by legendary manager/impresario Harold
Leventhal and Woody's daughter, Nora Guthrie.
With Music City's unique awareness of Guthrie's contributions to
American music, The Metro Public School system will integrate
a focused program of his folk and children's songs into their music
and art curriculum. Additionally, musicians Cormac McCarthy
and Sammie Haynes will present their Guthrie assembly program
Hard Times and Good Times in America throughout the city's
This unprecedented month-long tribute, highlighting so many different
aspects of Guthries legacy, is a heartfelt collaboration between
the city of Nashville, its artists and educational institutions,
and the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. It is our mutual
and singular hope that the combined events broaden and deepen our
national understanding of Woody Guthries legacy both in music
and in spirit. We celebrate not only his songs, but also his tremendous influence
on the development of American music. We also celebrate his visions
and hopes for all people; ideas which resonate far beyond our own
The Woody Guthrie 90th Year Celebration is presented by Gibson Guitar
and Baldwin Pianos, the leading American makers of fretted instruments
and pianos. Established in Kalamazoo, MI, in 1894 and based in Nashville
since 1984, Gibson is currently developing a Woody Guthrie model
guitar in collaboration with Woodys son, Arlo Guthrie. Baldwin,
one of the most prestigious names in the piano business since 1862,
joined the Gibson family in 2001. WRLT-Lightning 100 and The Tennessean/The
Rage are our proud media sponsors for these events.
to the top
GUTHRIE 90TH YEAR CELEBRATION 2003
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Theatre opening of Woody Guthrie Film Festival - Hal
Ashby's Academy Award Winning Film, "Bound for Glory" and opening reception (www.belcourt.org, 615-383-9140) |
Music Hall of Fame and Museum presents Kathy Jakobsen's exhibit
of oil paintings of "This Land is Your Land". (www.countrymusichalloffame.com)
Java Art Exhibit Opening, Reception at Fido.
"Bound For Glory," the pen and ink illustrations
from Guthrie's 1943 autobiography, Bongo Java Roasting Co.
(107 S. 11th St.)
"Join the CIO," Guthrie's labor cartoon series,
Bongo Java (2007 Belmont Blvd)
"Faces of Woody Guthrie: Rare Photos from the Archives,"
Fido (1812 21st Ave. S.)
Theatre - Jim Brown's documentary "Hard Travelin'" featuring Arlo Guthrie
Theatre - "Roll On Columbia" - a documentary of Guthrie's work for the Bonneville Dam Project |
Music Hall of Fame and Museum - Kathy Jakobsen's opening reception,
with book signing and program. Spotlight Series exhibit of
Woody Guthrie's guitar and original lyrics
Theatre - "Man in the Sand," a documentary of the
making of the "Mermaid Avenue" recordings, featuring
Billy Bragg and Wilco
Records West End- "Songs of Woody," In-Store Performances
featuring Nashville's Music Community (615-327-3722) featuring
Joel Rafael, Rod Picott, Alan Rhody, Craig Havighurst, Tom
Mitchell, and James Talley
Theatre - "A Vision Shared," Jim Brown's documentary
of an all-star music tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly.
Special benefit screening with discussion by Leadbelly's niece
Tiny Robinson and live performances from Beth Nielson Chapman,
Old Crow Medicine Show, and friends
Jakobsen & Nora Guthrie book signing/program at Davis
3rd & 4th
McCarthy & Sammie Haynes, "Hard Times and Good Times
in America" in Metro Public Schools
presents "I've Sung This Song" with Nora Guthrie
& Harold Leventhal, Ford Theater, Country Music Hall of
Fame and Museum
Sings Woody" featuring Arlo Guthrie, Nanci Griffith,
Marty Stuart, Janis Ian, Rablin' Jack Elliott, Peter Rowan
& Tim O'Brien, Guy Clark, and more; Ryman Auditorium (615-458-8700) (Click here for complete Artist
Woody" featuring Blackfire and Wenzel at The End
Music Hall of Fame and Museum presents "Can You Get from
the Dust Bowl to Music Row?" Journalist/historian Dave
Marsh leads a panel of experts and artists discussing how
Woody's songs relate to country's populist traditions; Ford
After Hours, "Hard Times and Good Times in America"
show with Cormac McCarthy & Sammie Haynes, Bongo Java
- Belmont Blvd (ages 12 & up)
Lightning 100's "Nashville Sunday Night Live" 3rd
& Lindsley featuring Paul Burch and others
to the top
EVENT SPONSORS INCLUDED: