Pete Seeger, Pete Seeger Sings Woody Guthrie

Peter Blackstock

By Peter Blackstock

on 07.06.11 in Reviews
Singing many of his friend’s best-known songs

That Woody Guthrie’s name and songs are as ubiquitous as they are today is due in no small part to the ambassadorial efforts of Pete Seeger. This collection of live recordings — released in 1968, the year after Guthrie’s death — finds Seeger singing many of his friend’s best-known songs. Though Seeger’s vocal delivery, generally clearer and cleaner than Guthrie’s, takes a little of the edge away from Woody’s originals, that clarity also helped draw increasingly large audiences to Guthrie’s repertoire over the years. The sound quality varies significantly as the disc progresses; the studio-worthy takes at the outset shift abruptly to a noisy field recording of “This Land Is Your Land,” though the audience sing-along lends intimacy to the track, putting you right there in the crowd with Pete. An entertaining medley of five songs that closes the record includes snippets of lesser-known tracks “Round and Round” and “Miss Pavlichenko” as well as the children’s song “Clean-O.”