February 20-26, 2003
Ribbon of Highway/ Endless Skyway Tour
Every school kid in the United States knows This Land Is Your Land. It feels like it has been with us forever, yet the writer, Woody Guthrie, long departed, would just now be 90 years old. Today, as people look around and wonder what the system has to offer, his populist songs like Pastures of Plenty and Deportees are all the more important. Earlier this month, a show at Nashvilles Ryman Auditorium celebrated the life and inspiration Guthrie offered to America. The show was hosted by daughter Nora and closed by son Arlo, with granddaughter Sarah Lee joining in early on. Between the direct descendents, we heard from artists who feel spiritual kinship with Woody Guthrie. Some had taken part in the ongoing co-write a song with Woody project that lets some of todays best writers finish incomplete songs from the Guthrie archives. Among his modern collaborators is Ellis Paul, who gives us Gods Promise. Paul is also part of the Ribbon of Highway/Endless Skyway Tour that was at the core of the Nashville extravaganza. Jimmy LaFave, a native Oklahoman like Guthrie, has scripted scenes of Woodys life for the tour, from the Dust Bowl and Great Depression through World War II and his final illness all contain the joy of life Guthrie managed to find despite the troubled times. Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves, Sarah Lee and husband Johnny Irion join Paul and LaFave in this two-hour tribute to Woody, sharing what they find inspirational in his life and work.
Thu., Feb. 20, 8 p.m., $24-$26, Sellersville Theater 1894, 136 N. Main St., Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com.