OKEMAH – Folk singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, son of Oklahoma icon Woody Guthrie, will perform at 7:30 tonight as the 15th Annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival kicks off in the late, great troubadour’s hometown of Okemah.
Arlo Guthrie will play a solo acoustic show benefiting the festival tonight at the newly renovated Crystal Theatre, 401 W Broadway. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Songwriter Gretchen Peters will open the show. Tickets are $25 for balcony seating and $35 for general admission; gold circle seating is sold out.
A July baby like his dad, the younger Guthrie celebrated his 65th birthday on Tuesday.
“When you have a parent, living or dead, whose 100th birthday comes around, the first thing you think of is ‘I must be getting old myself.’ At least, that is what I thought. As I turn 65 this year the question ‘will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?’ has already been answered. It’s a comfort to be needed or at least fed as the years go by,” Arlo Guthrie said, referencing his contemporaries The Beatles in an email interview.
“How much anyone needs Woody Guthrie has also been answered. It turns out that at 100 years since his birth in Okemah there are still hundreds of thousands (maybe more, maybe less) of people who are in some way celebrating my father’s life and work. By any measure it seems he is being remembered fondly even as the voices of his critics fade. I hope the lives of those who attempted to discredit him have not become as irrelevant as those opinions sound these days. And while it may always be true that ‘No man is a prophet in his own country,’ my father seems to have at least become more profitable.”
To read more of my recent interview with Arlo Guthrie, click here.
Organized annually around Woody Guthrie’s July 14, 1912, birthday, the free Woody Guthrie Folk Festival continues through Sunday with musical performances, children’s activities, open mike, poetry readings, guitar workshop, fundraisers for the state chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and more.
This year, WoodyFest is part of “Woody at 100,” a series of all-star concerts, album releases, conferences and tributes of all kinds. The music legend, who died of Huntington’s disease on Oct. 3, 1967, at the age of 55, would have turned 100 on Saturday.
For more information on WoodyFest, go to www.woodyguthrie.com, and check out these videos of Arlo performing: