eMusic Review 0
How to honor Woody Guthrie on the 100th anniversary of his birth? It’s no easy feat finding focus for a subject whose body of work practically defines “iconic.” The depth and range of this three-disc collection seeks not only to hit the highest points in Guthrie’s unparalleled repertoire, but also to present glimpses into his history that shed new light on the man and his music, along with a handful of recordings never before issued to the public.
The first disc is devoted primarily to Guthrie’s best-known works, diving right into “This Your Land Is Your Land” at the outset, but with a twist. The most commonly known version appears near the end of the disc, but the leadoff track is an “alternate version,” which, in fact, preceded the standard one. Recorded in 1944 (four years after Guthrie wrote the song), it includes illuminating additional verses that had been kept alive by artists such as Pete Seeger and Woody’s son Arlo until the Smithsonian finally released this take in 1997.
The rest of disc one reads like a Guthrie-centric American history lesson, though it’s worth noting that two of the best moments are songs geared toward children. “Riding In My Car” is… read more »