February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Pete Remembers Woody (CD)

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Peter Seeger on CD cover playing guitarPete Remembers Woody. 2 CDs. range: 57:42-53:56 min. Prod. by Appleseed Recordings. Dist. by CDBaby.com. ISBN unavail. $20.
Gr 9 Up–This masterful album celebrates the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth in 1912. Producer David Bernz has compiled a number of stories that Pete Seeger (now in his 90s) told about Woody and himself, which were recorded in informal sessions over a span of time in their private homes. These reminiscences are interspersed with Woody’s songs, performed by a number of well-known folksingers and folk bands, such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Work o’ the Weavers, David Bernz, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Vanaver Caravan, Hope Machine, and Almanac Singers. Musical styles are primarily folk and bluegrass, with barbershop quartet and boogie as well. Cathy Fink’s mountain style banjo tunes introduce several of the story tracks, including those about Pete and Woody travelling and performing together, about Woody going to the public library at age 12 and amazing the librarian with how many adult books he read, and about Woody’s communist leanings. The song list includes “New York Town” (a 1940s recording of Woody and Cisco Houston singing together), “Woody’s Ghost,” “Which Side Are You On,” “Do Re Mi,” “The Sinking of the Reuben James,” “If I Had a Hammer,” “So Long It’s Been Good to Know Yuh,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “My Peace,” “Peace Pin Boogie,” “Woody’s Rulin’s,” and “I’ve Got to Know,” among others. Featuring outstanding vocal and instrumental performances, this important piece of music history should be in every public library.–Beverly Wrigglesworth, San Antonio Public Library, TX