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Woody Guthrie reflected through concerts in lakes area

Celebrate 100 YEARS of Woody Guthrie music with Tony Glover, Charlie Maguire and Pop Wagner at several Kitchigami Regional System libraries in the Brainerd lakes area.

The concerts, which are free, will be held: 2 p.m. Tuesday at Crosslake Community Library; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brainerd Public Library; 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Longville-Margaret Welch Memorial Library; 1 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Walker Public Library; 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Cass Lake Community Library; 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Wadena City Library; 10 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Pequot Lakes Public Library; and 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at The Warehouse in Pine River (with free tickets for the Pine River concert available at the Pine River Public Library.)

The artists will present a celebration of the music and the icon that Guthrie represented. Over the decades, his songs have run around the world and they’ve become the folk song standards of the nation, known and performed in many languages throughout the world, spreading messages of the power of the people. “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Hard Travelin,” “Deportees,” “Roll On Columbia,” “Vigilante Man” and “This Land Is Your Land” are among the songs that have become staples in the canon of American music.

Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Okla. He died on Oct. 3, 1967 while at Creedmoor State Hospital in Queens, N.Y. In his lifetime, Guthrie wrote nearly 3,000 song lyrics, published two novels, created artworks, authored numerous published and unpublished manuscripts, poems, prose and plays and hundreds of letters and news article which are housed in the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York. Having lived through the most significant historic movements and events of the 20th Century, the Great Depression, the Great Dust Storm, World War II, the social and the political upheavals resulting from Unionism, the Communist Party and the Cold War, Guthrie absorbed it all to become a prolific writer whose songs, ballads, prose and poetry captured the plight of everyman. While traveling through America during the 1930-50s, Guthrie’s observations of what he saw and experienced left people a lasting and sometimes haunting legacy of images, sounds and voices of the marginalized, disenfranchised and oppressed people with whom he struggled to survive despite all odds.

Maguire, Glover and Wagner will present a taste of Guthrie’s music and story through original pieces as well as through Guthrie’s own music.

Maguire’s been playing guitar since age 10 in New York. He’s written more than 800 songs and produced seven albums, telling stories, writing plays, performing in schools, cafes, street corners, state parks and singing for all ages as he highlights the lives and history of every day people. Maguire was tutored and mentored as one of “Woody’s Children” by Guthrie fellow traveler Lee Hays in the 1970s.

Wagner has a reputation as a singer, picker, fiddler, lasso twirler and poet. He appeared on Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion during the show’s formative years and for the last four decades he worked his cowboy magic throughout 44 states and 10 countries. His cowboy anthems crackle with the warmth of a prairie campfire and his old-time fiddle tunes set toes a-tappin’ while he serves up spellbinding rope tricks and tall stories. Wagner’s close brush with Guthrie occurred in numerous visits and concerts with Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, (Woody’s traveling buddy) over the past 40 years.

Glover met Guthrie on a visit that he made with friends at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, in 1962. He’s been a performing musician and writer since 1962. In the mid-60s, he recorded and toured as part of the seminal folk-blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover. He continues performing and recording. With his partner Dave Ray he released four albums since 1987, and the two performed in the Twin Cities and surrounding mid-west area before Ray’s death in 2002. Glover no longer plays with his acoustic trio V3, but still does occasional gigs with Spider John Koerner.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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