Arlo Guthrie Information

Arlo Guthrie, an iconic American folk singer-songwriter, has left an indelible mark on the music world with his socially conscious lyrics, captivating storytelling, and enduring contributions to the folk movement. Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, his musical journey is intertwined with his commitment to social justice, his iconic protest anthems, and his undeniable influence on the folk music genre.

Arlo Guthrie’s artistic lineage is deeply rooted in his family heritage. He is the son of folk music legend Woody Guthrie, renowned for his iconic song “This Land Is Your Land”. Raised in a household that valued music as a means of expression and activism, Arlo developed a deep appreciation for folk music’s power to convey stories and advocate for change.

Guthrie’s career was launched into the spotlight with his 18-minute long song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (1967), a humorous yet impactful protest against the absurdity of the draft during the Vietnam War. The song showcased his storytelling prowess and his ability to address important societal issues through music. This track, often associated with Thanksgiving, remains a cultural touchstone and a reminder of Guthrie’s contribution to counterculture movements.

His debut album, “Alice’s Restaurant” (1967), further solidified his status as a folk icon. The album featured the extended song that gave it its name, as well as other tracks that showcased his unique voice and storytelling ability. Guthrie’s blend of folk, blues, and rock influences resonated with listeners who were drawn to his authentic approach to songwriting.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Guthrie’s music continued to reflect his commitment to addressing social and political issues. His songs often served as anthems for the civil rights movement, anti-war protests, and other causes. Tracks like “Coming into Los Angeles”, “The City of New Orleans”, and “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” became emblematic of his ability to tell stories of marginalized communities and voice concerns that resonated with a broad audience.

Guthrie’s influence extended beyond his music. In 1969, he famously performed at the Woodstock Festival, becoming a part of the cultural phenomenon that defined a generation. His performance of “Coming into Los Angeles” showcased his ability to captivate massive crowds with his unique blend of folk and rock sensibilities.

Over the decades, Arlo Guthrie’s music has continued to evolve while staying true to his folk roots. His discography includes albums such as “Washington County” (1970), “Hobo’s Lullaby” (1972), and “Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys” (1973), each reflecting his growth as an artist and his commitment to producing music that reflects the times.

Members of Arlo Guthrie’s band (Shenandoah):

  • Arlo Guthrie (vocals, guitar)
  • Terry A La Berry (drums)
  • David Grover (guitar)
  • Steve Ide (bass)
  • Greg “Gib” Giblin (bass)
  • Tommy “Pickles” Vig (piano, guitar, accordion)
  • Chris Larkin (clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone)
  • Carol Ide (vocals, percussion)
  • Michael Eck (banjo)

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Arlo Guthrie’s legacy is defined by his ability to use music as a tool for social change and storytelling. With his iconic voice, timeless songs, and unwavering commitment to his principles, he remains an influential figure in folk music and an inspiration to generations of musicians and activists alike.

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