Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Woody on the Wire

Although Woody Guthrie succumbed to Huntington's disease 40 years ago, he is still very much hard at work.

It seems a wire recording (a pre-cursor to the cassette tape, where sound was magnetized onto metal wire) was made in 1949 by a young student named Peter Braverman, at Fuld Hall in Newark, NJ.

The result is the substance of Woody Guthrie's first ever live album: The Live Wire: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949.

In addition, artists are continuing to give life to the 2,400 songs that Guthrie wrote but never put to music. I personally became acquainted with the stellar collection of songs Mermaid Avenue in 1999, a project driven by Billy Bragg and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, in collaboration with Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter and caretaker of the archives.

For those lucky denizens of alphabet city, Billy Bragg and Wilco will be performing together for the first time in seven years to play a benefit show to raise money for Huntington's Disease on Oct. 17 at Webster Hall in New York.

Don't snooze on tickets, as this one will surely sell out early.

More Guthrie Goodies:

+ Billy Bragg & Wilco — Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key.mp3
(w. Natalie Merchant)
+ Billy Bragg & Wilco — Hoodoo Voodoo.mp3
(A deliciously non-sensical song, that is said to have been written for Guthrie's children.)
+ Billy Bragg & Wilco — She Came Along to Me.mp3
+ Billy Bragg & Wilco — Do You Remember the Mountain Bed?.mp3
+ Billy Bragg & Wilco — Someday Some Morning Sometime.mp3

A clip from the documentary "Man in the Sand" which documented the Mermaid Avenue sessions with Bragg and Wilco. Jeff Tweedy with the dread-locked Jay Bennett on piano accompaniment performing "Another Man's Done Gone."

Woody, you may be gone, but your music is still very much alive.

[New York Times] Article on 02-SEP-2007.


Beth said...

Oh, I'd love to go to that show!

bigshoulders said...

Me too, Beth!

Sadly, the show is on a Wednesday, but the silver lining is Wilco will be heading down south later that week!

They'll be in Charlottesville, VA on 20-OCT.