Friday, November 02, 2007

"Hard Times Gave Us Good Times...last night at the University Of Chester""


Yesterday at the University of Chester, we met an American Academic called Dr Will Kaufman. And through this charasmatic guy, we were priveleged to meet Woody Guthrie, his music, his poetry, his thoughts.....all over again.

One word: superb.
Dr Kaufman ( I'm sure he's easier with "Will") re-visited Guthrie's songs: " This Land is your Land" " Vigilante Man" " I aint got no home" " Pretty Boy Floyd" and lots more, interspersing music with juicy commentary...that of American history in the 30's, the 40's.
SO we stared hard into the Dust Bowl, we shuddered at The Depression, we heard about the New Deal....but most of all, we touched the soul of the people of this time and this place.
We saw the displaced, the lost, destitute and homeless. We saw people who'd been unwelcome in their own land. We saw the Oklahoma "Okies" hard-travellin' to The Golden State.. and best of all, we saw the bravery of their spirit and the reality of their thoughts.
Last night, folks, our imaginations were ignited...we saw and felt and we wondered....and this in a timeless, universal context SO valid today.
All this...brought into our minds by Guthrie's poetry, his music but very especially by Dr Will Kaufman's fabulous telling of it all.
And PS:
" I thank Will Kaufman for introducing a new generation of Europeans to THIS side of the country. It's a wonderful job he's doing"
( Pete Seeger, Friend of WG and fellow Musician)

11 Comments:

Blogger Philippa said...

Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger, haven't heard those names in some time. I simply adore Pete's song, 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone?' He was a real activist during the 60s especially during the Civil Rights movement. I've been playing quite a bit of bluegrass music this week (whilst on half term)- we have tickets to see Led Zeppelin later this month (now postponed to Dec 10th as Mr Page has fractured his finger!!)so I've been reminiscing.

4:27 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Philippa:
Yes, I heard about that on the radio this am.
Very sad...my old Led Zeps have been nicked..... probably by a certain elder son.
They remind me of My London Years!
Hey Ho Hmm....the incredible chance to mix music eg LZ one day, then queuing outside the Albert Hall for Proms next.

5:09 pm  
Blogger Catherine said...

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. That would have been an interesting talk - I remember singing Woody Guthrie songs in the 60s, but even more, I remember his son Arlo - have the record "Alice's Restaurant" somewhere - that's a great piece of music

10:47 am  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Sounds like it was an amazing evening, full of insights and experiences. You're having a great time, aren't you? ;-)

5:33 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

What a great idea for sharing some social history.
You've had a wealth of creativity lately haven't you?
Lucky you.

10:20 pm  
Blogger Vid Digger said...

Haven't read anything about Woody Guthrie in ages. Just finished reading his Wikipedia page.

11:51 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Lovely hearing you all. Thankyou!

11:50 am  
Blogger Jon M said...

Love Woody Guthrie stuff. I have a huge book, Folk Songs of North America by Alan Lomax. Some superb commentary covering that whole era and more besides.

12:28 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

JonM:
Sounds good to me.
His is a fascinating story.. as much as those he tells.

2:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attn: all Woody Fans: If you can, go see WOODY SEZ: THE WORDS MUSIC AND SPIRIT OF WOODY GUTHRIE... Four American multi-instrumentalists sing the songs and talk the words in a really terrific presentation. They begin a summer tour of the UK in Norwich on 13 July, Brighton: 14 July, London, E4 Southbank: 16-19 July @ 16:30... A great show i saw in Edinburgh 07 and they are returning there again this year.. Their website is www.woodysez.com. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Woody and Pete fans.

12:23 am  
Anonymous Jean said...

sorry folks didnt mean to go in anonymously on that post about WOODY SEZ....

12:25 am  

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