January 30, 1996 |
Arlo Guthrie reached a career crossroads in 1983 when Warner Bros. Records dropped him from its roster along with a number of other folk and roots-rock artists from the late '60s and early '70s, such as Gordon Lightfoot and Bonnie Raitt. The not-so-subtle message: They all were passe amid Michael Jackson, Culture Club and the rest of rock's splashy new generation of video-friendly performers. But even if the son of legendary folk pioneer Woody Guthrie was no longer hip, he was no idiot.
May 7, 1995 |
Nanci Griffith has been unplugged for years. Which is to say that Nanci Griffith is what was once known in America as a folk singer. For more than two decades the term has languished as a symbol of an earnest, bygone era long ago supplanted by the power chords and swagger of rock and all that has come after.
March 24, 1994 |
Sometimes central casting gets it right. Need a guy who can always get the bad guy? Get The Duke. How about someone who can stare down a tank? Get Clint. Need an "aging hippie?" There's Arlo. That's the description for Guthrie's character, Alan Moon, on the new TV show "Byrds of Paradise." Equally at home on the boob-tube, in a crossword puzzle or on the road, Guthrie will bring his wry folk songs to the venerable Ventura Theatre on Friday night.
July 23, 1993 |
"I'm still not proud . . . or tired," said the now white-haired Arlo Guthrie early in his show at the Universal Amphitheatre on Wednesday, citing his old promise (or threat?) from "Alice's Restaurant" and setting the tone for a friendly, funny and at times insightful evening's entertainment. You've heard of progressive rock? Guthrie is the master of digressive folk.
November 29, 1992 |
* * * Zoot Sims, "Suddenly It's Spring," OJC. Like many other lyrical, gently swinging tenor players--among them Stan Getz and Al Cohn--Sims was a Woody Herman alumnus. He was in exquisite company on this 1983 date, with the simpatico piano of Jimmy Rowles, the impeccable bass of George Mraz and Akira Tana on drums. Production is inexcusably sloppy: Walter Donaldson's "It's Been So Long" is listed as "so long" and credited to Woody Guthrie! The Brahms "Lullaby" is billed as "Brahm's . . .
August 24, 1992 |
"Marjorie wants this book to be a happy laugher and a goofy dancer, a high flinger, a bumpy jumper, a shy teaser, for all her kids already skipping, and for your kids' kids when they start hopping." --Woody Guthrie, in the dedication of a recently discovered collection of his children's songs, soon to be released as an album and songbook. (Marjorie was his wife and "organizer."
February 13, 1992 |
You'd have to say that Arlo Guthrie was born to be a folk singer. After, all, his late father, Woody Guthrie, pretty much inspired the idea of the professional folk musician. Because his last name is freighted with so many sonorous associations--such as "legacy" and "folk tradition" and "Bob Dylan's hero"--the significance of the first name of the second-generation Guthrie doesn't get the consideration it deserves.