The star-studded Washington, D.C., concert that will be the last of a series of U.S. tribute shows marking the centennial of folk legend Woody Guthrie's birth is scheduled for Sunday at the Kennedy Center.
This Land Is Your Land: A Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert boasts an impressive lineup that includes John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Donovan. Also on the bill of the sold-out event are Woody's son Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Rosanne Cash, Ry Cooder, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others
The concert, which is organized in conjunction with the Grammy Museum and the Woody Guthrie Archives, also is part of a new Kennedy Center performance series titled Songs of Conscience.
In a Washington Post article, Mellencamp and Browne discussed the influence and impact of Guthrie and his music.
"What I really enjoyed about Guthrie as well as the music was the way he conducted his life," notes Mellencamp about the "This Land Is Your Land" singer. "He wasn't afraid to stand up to people, he wasn't afraid to be unpopular, he wasn't afraid to speak his mind, he wasn't afraid to go against the grain."
Says Browne, "Woody was the first really to take it upon himself to speak out about injustices and portray the working life. He's really the first to have that kind of music sort of enter into American popular music…He [also] could portray the lives of simple, working people in really elegant and emotional terms."
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