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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sarah Lee Guthrie: Folk for the Whole Family

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Brand New Folk: Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
  • Brand New Folk: Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

With all the hub-bub around freak-folksters like Devendra Banhart and alt.folk chanteuses like Jolie Holland, it's nice to see traditional folk hasn't been forgotten. However, it has been updated by third generation singer-songwriter Sarah Lee Guthrie (daughter of Arlo, granddaughter of Woody). Guthrie's upcoming release Go Waggaloo contains plenty of geetar-pickin', twangy vocals, and down-home flavor, along with modern references to such newfangled thingamajiggies as DVDs and Xboxes. Conceived as a kid-friendly album, it's pleasant enough to be listened to by the whole family. As Guthrie's PR states, "Go Waggaloo... epitomizes the gift of sharing music between parents and children, a longstanding tradition in the Guthrie family. Each member of the family participates in the creative process by singing on tracks, inspiring lyrics and contributing musical accompaniment."

The album comes out October 27 on Smithsonian Folkways, yet in the meantime, you can catch Guthrie and her husband Johnny Irion (who happens to be the grandnephew of John Steinbeck, whose 1939 novel about migratory sharecroppers during the Great Depression, "The Grapes of Wrath," dovetails nicely with Woody Guthrie's classic Dust Bowl-inspired songs) at "This Land is Your Land," a Sept. 18th folk jamboree at the Masonic Hall, which also features Pete Seeger and the Waybacks. Listen to an MP3 of Sarah Lee Guthrie's ""Cuz We're Cousins" here.

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Eric Arnold


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