“The most important thing I know I learned from Woody Guthrie”
~Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan liner notes)
Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.” Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress.Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.
I got to know Nanci Griffith through the seminal music paper Beat (norwegian music magazine), this music magazine has been extremely important in my musical upbringing. They made it ok to say that you loved country music. This was a big step for us rock/punk youth. Anyway, they praised Nanci Griffith very early and we listened and we agreed, this was very special indeed.
Her voice, her way of singing, especially other people’s’ songs, it was and is beautiful. My first entry into her world was John Prine’s The Speed of The Sound of Loneliness, it is still the best song in her catalogue. Hell, it would be the best song in almost anybody’s catalogue!
Speed of the sound of Loneliness (with John Prine who wrote this masterpiece):
Nanci Griffith, (born Nanci Caroline Griffith, July 6, 1953, Seguin, Texas) is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Austin, Texas.
Straddling the fine line between folk and country music, Nanci Griffith has become as well-known for her brilliant, confessional songwriting as her beautiful voice. A self-styled “folkabilly” singer, Griffith began as a kindergarten teacher and occasional folksinger. The country scene took her to heart in the mid-’80s, giving her a reputation as a quality songwriter through hit covers of Griffith’s songs by Kathy Mattea and Suzy Bogguss. Finding no luck with commercial country radio however, Griffith recorded several pop-oriented albums and then returned to her folk roots by the mid-’90s.
-John Bush (allmusic.com)
It’s time to present some of our new favourite videos, collected here for your convenience. When I say new it just means that they’re new to us. We just found’em and want to share them. They may be from the 30s and up to the present. Enjoy!
Colter Wall’s performs songs for CBC Music’s First Play Live. Set list:
0:00 Railroad Bill
2:57 You Look to Yours
8:14 Codeine Dream
11:47 Thirteen Silver Dollars
17:24 Mule Skinner Blues
20:59 Kate McCannon
King Leg – Great Outdoors (directed by Gregory Alosio & Dwight Yoakam), new to me but clearly a Yoakam influenced act, with a bit of Roy Orbison thrown into the Bakersfield stew:
Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live.
– Pete Seeger
He’s a great man, Pete Seeger.
-Bob Dylan (Paul Zollo interview April, 1991)
Harry Belafonte and Arlo Guthrie induct Pete Seeger into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:
Pete Seeger & Bruce Springsteen – This Land is Your Land – Obama Inauguration (2009)
As Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration, he told me the entire story of “We Shall Overcome.” How it moved from a labor movement song, and with Pete’s inspiration, had been adapted by the civil rights movement. That day as we sang “This Land Is Your Land,” I looked at Pete, the first black president of the United States was seated to his right, and I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. My own growing up in the Sixties in towns scarred by race rioting made that moment nearly unbelievable, and Pete had 30 extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was so happy that day. It was like, “Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man!” It was so nice. At rehearsals the day before, it was freezing, like 15 degrees, and Pete was there. He had his flannel shirt on. I said, man, you better wear something besides that flannel shirt! He says, yeah, I got my longjohns on under this thing.