Folk music, more than anything, stresses song over performer, making Woody Guthrie an anomaly within the field: a genuine folk superstar. Unlike, say, a Pete Seeger, Guthrie brought a presence to his recordings, a nasal everyman voice tormented by injustice but hopeful all the same. It's easy to see why a romantic young Bob Dylan would latch onto Guthrie — here was a hard-living man who had seen the world and lived to sing its awful tales. And just as second-generation punk rockers were emboldened by the simplicity of the Ramones, the directness of Guthrie's guitar playing cannot be underestimated. Aside from an occasional fret-walk, there is little here that an aspiring guitarist couldn't emulate in a matter of days.
By Kenneth Partridge on 04.17.14 in Lists
Kenneth Partridge lists 10 of music's most common Jesus archetypes, from Beyonce to Morrissey.
By Andrew Perry on 09.03.13 in Interviews
[To celebrate his receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award from the Association of Independent Music, we invited Billy Bragg to take control of eMusic's editorial for a week. This is our exclusive interview...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 05.23.13 in Reviews
The Smithsonian Folkways collection is a musical treasure, a chance to wander down the byways of music not only from America, but all parts of the globe. From Woody Guthrie to Leadbelly to Elizabeth Cotten, the label is...
By Aaron Meshon on 07.11.12 in Spotlights
Few songs are as closely associated with America as Woody Guthrie's classic "This Land is Your Land." Part appreciation, part protest, it celebrates all that is right about America while — in its oft-discussed four...