The Life and Music of Arlo Guthrie
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
As a modern-day troubadour drawn to experimentation, Arlo Guthrie has also carried forward the traditions inherited from his legendary father, Woody Guthrie. Rising Son examines Arlo’s role in preserving Woody’s legacy of social protest and examines his collaborations with his father’s friend Pete Seeger. The book also highlights the contributions of Guthrie’s mother, Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a dancer with the Martha Graham Company and the Guthrie family’s first archivist.
Drawing on substantial research, the author traces Guthrie’s efforts to free himself from corporate oversight of his music and art. In 1983, Guthrie created his own label, Rising Son Records, to reissue titles from his back catalog and create new music. Guthrie speaks frankly about record company blues and music industry tangles, offering lively accounts of the people he met and the places he performed. The narrative takes several detours, with Guthrie sharing memories written in the spirt of his signature shaggy-dog storytelling style.
Rising Son also illuminates the spiritual journey of a restless pilgrim: a man devoted to exploring and synthesizing the most benevolent principles of charity and kindness as practiced by different religious traditions. “What I’ve tried to do,” Guthrie has reflected, “is to use live music to change people’s lives.” This definitive biography invites new appreciation for Arlo Guthrie’s remarkable career as a musician, storyteller, and humanitarian activist.
“An elegantly written, well-researched listening companion for fans. The passages of Arlo Guthrie’s own words add a lot of texture to the book.”—Gustavus Stadler, author of Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life
“This book concludes Hank Reineke’s chronicle of Arlo Guthrie’s recording and performing career, following on from his previous volume, Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years. Taken together, these two volumes provide the most detailed account of the professional career of one of the most important singer-songwriters of the American twentieth and twenty-first centuries.”—Will Kaufman, author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical, Woody Guthrie’s Modern World Blues, and Mapping Woody Guthrie