Press - Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts - Mother Jones

Dylan buffs can also check out the three-CD Woody Guthrie: The Tribute Concerts, combining two all-star events celebrating the folk icon that were held at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1968 and the Hollywood Bowl in 1970. Given the enormous influence Guthrie had on the young Dylan in his earliest incarnation, Bob was a logical participant, but his three-song ’68 segment signified more than that: It was his first public appearance since a 1966 motorcycle accident and he was backed by The Band, still to release their debut.

Interspersing readings of Guthrie’s words by the likes of Peter Fonda and Robert Ryan with spirited musical performances from the usual suspects—Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, et al.—The Tribute Concerts is more a valuable reference work than a smooth-flowing program, though there is much fine listening to be had. Among the standouts are the impish Country Joe McDonald, the elegant and commanding Richie Havens and Odetta, whose grace and power resonate long after the show has ended.


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