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SPECIAL PROJECTS

These are special projects headed by Nora Guthrie and Woody Guthrie Publications.

David Amram: This Land CD | My Name Is New York Book & 3-CD Set | Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty | Woody at 100! Woody's centennial celebrations! | Nashville Sings Woody | This Land Is Your Land SITES Exhibit | Mermaid Avenue Sessions | Hard Travelin': Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Concert


 

DAVID AMRAM: THIS LAND
Released: February 23, 2015

Composed and Conducted by David Amram

Recorded Friday, September 21, 2012 and Saturday, September 22, 2012 - at Boettcher Concert Hall, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, Colorado, THIS LAND was composed and conducted by David Amram. This piece was commissioned by the Guthrie Family.

*Click here for more information


 

MY NAME IS NEW YORK: Ramblin' Around Woody Guthrie's Town
(Book & Audiobook) Released September 23, 2014

WOODY GUTHRIE lived in New York City from 1940-1967, a total of 27 years. Although he continued to ramble, New York was the city he called home, and always returned to. With friends Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Cisco Houston, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and others, he was at the hub of a new movement – introducing and popularizing rural, roots, topical, and protest music to modern urban audiences.

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND was written at a small boarding house on 43rd Street. His autobiography BOUND FOR GLORY and many of his most popular songs were written in various locations around town; JESUS CHRIST, TOM JOAD, VIGILANTE MAN, and RIDING IN MY CAR are among the 600 songs he composed here.

Now, for the first time, you'll actually be able to hear these stories told by those who knew him best, in many different ways and through various encounters and circumstances; music partners Pete SeegerRamblin' Jack ElliottSonny Terry, and Bess Lomax Hawes, Woody's first wife Mary Guthrie, Woody's merchant marine buddy Jimmy LonghiBob Dylan, Woody's second wife Marjorie GuthrieArlo GuthrieNora Guthrie and many others share their memories with you first-hand.

With this new audio tour, we invite you to walk the streets, ride the buses and subways, or sit down and relax on some of the stoops, park benches, or beaches where Woody Guthrie did – always strumming away on his guitar, always working on a new song.

Written and Narrated by Nora Guthrie. GRAMMY Nominated for Best American Roots Song, "New York Trains"!

Click here for more information and video on the project!


 

WOODY GUTHRIE'S WARDY FORTY: Greystone Park State Hospital Revisited

Released on November 11, 2013, this book by photographer Phillip Buehler, reveals a largely unknown slice of American icon and folk music legend Woody Guthrie’s life. Through never-before-published letters, historic and family photographs, rare personal interviews, and new photographs by Buehler, Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty brings into view the five years the singer, songwriter, and activist spent as a patient at Greystone Park State Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Afflicted with Huntington’s disease (HD), Guthrie lived the last 15 years of his life in hospitals, suffering from this degenerative neurological disorder. One of these hospitals was Greystone Park, where he was a patient from 1956 through 1961. He lived in Ward 40 and called it “Wardy Forty.” It was here that 19-year-old Bob Dylan met his idol and the torch was symbolically passed to a new generation of folk singer.

Click here for more information


 

WOODY AT 100! Celebrating Woody's centennial year

From California to the New York Island, this year-long celebration included everything from star-studded concerts, exhibits, educational conferences, public programs, new releases from the Woody Guthrie Archive, grassroots events, and much, much more. The celebrations culminated in an all-star concert at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

*Click here to visit our centennial website at Woody100.com


 

NASHVILLE SINGS WOODY!

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.

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


Press Release | Photo Gallery | Calendar of Events

 

 

 

 

*Click here to purchase this limited edition autographed print

To 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.

Closing 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 Guthrie Foundation.

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.

Old Crow 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.

Things really 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."

The Ribbon 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."

Cathy Fink 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.

After Harris' bluesy number, Tim O'Brien and Peter Rowan sang "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key," and "Hard Travelin."

The concert 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 Tock."

Guy Clark and Marty Stuart sang "Pretty Boy Floyd," and Clark backed-up Nanci Griffith and the Kennedys on the song "Do Re Mi."

Marty Stuart 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.

Ramblin' 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."

The concert 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.)

Michael Parrish, 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.

Last, 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 Conference."

*Click here to purchase this limited edition autographed print


 

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND: The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie (Exhibition)

The exhibition spans Woody's life from his birth in 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, to his move to New York City in 1940; it follows his extensive travels throughout the land up until his death in 1967, culminating reflectively on the lasting influence that his life and music has had upon American musical culture.  For example, in the last section of the exhibition, the topic of a specially produced video presents Woody's continuing influence on songwriters today with interviews of Billy Bragg, Wilco, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Ani DiFranco and Corey Harris
Woody's original notebooks, diaries, song lyrics and photos are viewed throughout to illustrate his prolific writing and often unconventional lifestyle. An abundance of original artwork, never before exhibited, adds to our understanding of his artistry. Memorabilia contributed by Guthrie family members includes some of Woody’s own instruments and personal effects. In addition, carefully located audio stations within the exhibition aids in contextualizing the "environment" further highlighting Woody's artistic process through recorded performances of his own songs along with excerpts of songs that helped to form his creative vision.

Old Political Machinery

Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin' exhibit Talkin' World Peace

Thanks to all of those who were able to see the exhibit and learn more about Woody Guthrie.

*THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF WOODY GUTHRIE HAS CLOSED INDEFINITELY


 

MERMAID AVENUE: VOLUMES I, II, and The Complete Sessions

We first became aware of Englishman Billy Bragg in 1992 when he was invited to perform at New York City's "Summerstage" birthday celebration for Woody.  Billy had a special comraderie with all the performers.  Although he had come out of a punk rock background, he could sing along with the country western singers, the folkies and just about everyone else that appeared in the show.  When he accompanied rappers Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy on "Vigilante Man", we were blown away.  He seemed open to anything and everything.  His wry sense of humor, reminiscent of Woody's, also caught our attention immediately.

Years later, after hearing more about his own work, we decided he would be the perfect candidate to set new music to some of Woody's unknown lyrics that we had found in the archives.  These lyrics had never been recorded, and there was no record of any music written.  We tried to select lyrics that most people wouldn't imagine that the "Dust Bowl Balladeer" would have written: songs about New York City streets, songs about film star idols, songs about drinking, loving, dying and even songs about spaceships!  Songs that would expand Woody's "historical" personae and give him a vehicle that, as a 20th century songwriter, was as yet unexplored.

After a few days looking through the archives Billy took on the project and invited roots-rockers Wilco to collaborate with him.  For a year lyrics and demos were sent back and forth to London, Billy's home town, until an initial selection of songs was made.  Recordings began in Chicago, Wilco's home town, and then in Dublin, Ireland where fiddler Eliza Carthey and bluesman Corey Harris came to add their talents.  Natalie Merchant recorded some additional tunes with Billy afterwards in Boston.

"Mermaid Avenue" was released in June, 1998.  The reviews, the performances, the spirit of it all was wild and cathartic.   Billy Bragg and Wilco brought Woody back to life with a sound that raised the roofs of the old barns.  Just what Woody would have done.

VOLUME II: In this second volume of material, Billy Bragg and Wilco explore Woody's previously unheard lyrics, taking us in new and ever more revealing directions.  "My Flying Saucer" and "Joe DiMaggio Done It Again" place Woody smack dab in Coney Island in the late 40's.  Perhaps watching the lit skies above the beach one night, or overhearing the local conversation while lingering on a street corner, Woody remains true to his journalistic approach.  Yet, all the while twisting the information into his own voice and retelling it with his own message. 

Some darker themes are also explored.  With "Meanest Man", Woody reveals an anger held in check by the goodness he feels in the people around him and "Feed of Man" is an outrage against greed and professed righteousness. Billy, as always, takes on the fascists in "All you Fascists" (watch out, guys!) and Wilco always seem to hone in on the beauty of Woody's love songs.  "Remember the Mountain Bed" evokes such sensual images it's no wonder it wasn't recorded by Woody himself who was often accused of pornography because his lyrics were so expressly, and exquisitely clear!

Some of these tunes came out of the original Dublin sessions recorded in 1998.  But, following their work on Mermaid Avenue I, Wilco decided to come back tot he Archives and search around some more.  They went back to Chicago to record "Secret of the Sea", the single from the album, among others, adding the new musical direction to their previous style.

Oh, by the way.  Who's the cat?  That's actually a photo taken by Woody of a neighborhood friend.  If you look over his shoulder, the apartment next to the corner store is where the Guthrie's lived on the first floor.  The corner store had a soda fountain and tables where Woody often sat with a cup of coffee, and wrote while checking out the street scene from the plate glass window.   Perhaps that's where he heard someone across the street yell, "Hey, Joe DiMaggio's done it again!"

THE COMPLETE SESSIONS: Released April 21, 2012 - this Deluxe Edition includes Volume's I & II, plus 17 previously unreleased recordings made during the Mermaid Avenue sessions; director Kim Hopkins’ 1999 film Man in the Sand, which documents those sessions; and a 48-page booklet with new liner notes by Nora Guthrie, full lyrics, archival photographs, and facsimiles of lyric sheets and sketches by Woody Guthrie.

*Click here to purchase Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions Deluxe Box Set


 

WOODY GUTHRIE: HARD TRAVELIN' (Concert & Educational Conference)

In September, 1996, Nora Guthrie and the Woody Guthrie Archive collaborated with the Robert Santelli and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, presenting a week long celebration of Woody Guthrie's music, culminating with an all-star concert at Severence Hall. The focus of the ten-day event, Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin', explored and illuminated Guthrie's influence on folk and rock music.  It was the first major conference on Woody Guthrie.  The symposium took place on the campus of Case Western Reserve University with the support of the American Studies department.  Throughout the week a series of films and lectures were presented, even a Woody Guthrie photo exhibition was presented at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.

Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls performing in ClevelandTwo major concerts were held with performers including Dan Bern, Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Arlo Guthrie, Indigo Girls, Jorma Kaukonen, Jimmy LaFave, Country Joe McDonald, Paul Metsa, Ellis Paul, David Pirner, Tim Robbins, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and Syd Straw.  The celebration initiated the Rock Hall's "Legends of Rock and Roll" series under the direction of Robert Santelli.

A limited number of items and memorabilia created especially for this event are available for purchase.  All proceeds from sales of these items go directly to support the Woody Guthrie Foundation.

*Click here to purchase this concert on CD - "Til We Outnumber 'Em"


 

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