Woody Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings Vol. 1

Peter Blackstock

By Peter Blackstock

on 07.06.11 in Reviews
There’s no better place to start exploring Woody than here

Probably the strongest single-disc collection of Woody Guthrie originals, this 27-track first installment of a four-volume series, released in 1997, marked the first time Guthrie’s extended version of “This Land Is Your Land” had seen the light of day (with verses that previously had survived only through oral tradition). Elsewhere, there’s the click-clack buzzing charm of “Car Song,” the spoken rhythmic rambles of “Talking Fishing Blues” and “Talking Hard Work,” accounts of disasters at sea from the Titanic (“When That Great Ship Went Down”) and World War II (“The Sinking Of The Reuben James”), and Woody’s fresh takes on traditional classics like “Gypsy Davy” and “A Picture From Life’s Other Side.” The three subsequent volumes in the Asch Recordings series help to fill out the greater Guthrie story that a single disc simply can’t provide, but there’s probably no better place to start exploring the world of Woody than right here.