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    Arlo Guthrie interview

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    Arlo Guthrie out on tour An interview by Ryan O’Malley

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    He was born into a household that utilized music to not only tell stories, but also protest social injustice. On a fateful Thanksgiving Day in 1965, he was arrested in Stockbridge, Mass., for littering after the local landfill was closed. Rather than let the event derail his life, he turned the experience into an 18-minute satirical opus that has become a Turkey Day tradition known as “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” He put in a memorable set at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, in the midst of Vietnam War protests and political tension. Throughout his career, his songs have defined the counter culture and yet have been accepted and cherished by everyone from politicians to the state of Massachusetts, which named his song of the same name as their official state folk song.

    At 70, it’s safe to say Arlo Guthrie has lived a life that embodies what his family name has come to represent. His late father, the legendary Woody Guthrie, will forever be regarded as the father of folk protest music; and to this day, Arlo continues the Guthrie family legacy by performing both his and his father’s music, while bringing his own children (including daughter Sarah Lee and son Abe) on the road with him for most of the year. His current tour finds him landing in nearly every corner of this great land for what are sure to be memorable nights of stories and songs that have defined a generation. Recently, Ryan O’Malley had the opportunity to catch up with Guthrie to talk about his landmark career and what he feels about his family name in 2017.

    Ryan O’Malley : How do you feel about touring at this stage in your career? It seems you lean toward smaller tours with dates that are spread out nicely.

    Arlo Guthrie: The days of flying to cities, renting cars, doing gigs, and flying home or to the next gig are long gone. We bought our first tour bus in 1976 and have been traveling that way (for the most part) ever since. When we first got a bus, it was a novelty for folksingers. No one really did that. Now everyone at my level of touring is doing it that way. We’re still on the road for about nine months a year. But, I had to take less gigs in a row. We used to do four or more in a row. Now there’s never any more than three. Things like that are what make continuously touring possible.

    Ryan O’Malley : When you put together a set list, where do you find yourself drawing from the most? Songs people want to hear you sing, songs you want to play, songs honoring your father?

    AG: For any given tour, the setlist will pretty much be the same. We figure it out before we start, then modify it during the first few weeks. Then it settles into whatever it is until the tour ends. Then we start all over again. Each tour has a theme so we base the setlist on that, so people know what to expect at any given show.

    Ryan O’Malley : Your family has always played a vital role in your music, including your son Abe and grandson Krishna taking part in tours. What do you hope to see your children and grandchildren do when it comes to their own musical careers?

    AG: You’re right. All of my kids and grandkids have some history of going out on the road with me. At first, it was simply to let them become a part of what I was doing. Over the years, they’ve shown different degrees of interest in doing something similar. I’m just happy that playing music has become a part of their lives, whether they do it professionally or not.

    Ryan O’Malley : Do you feel like in the future the Guthrie name will be forever synonymous with the folk and protest scene? For example, if a grandchild would start up a speed metal band or something along those lines, do you think there would be any kind of reservations from a record label or the public in accepting something other than what they’re used to from the Guthrie family?

    AG: Nothing is forever, so we just do what we know now. My kids and grandkids have all played the kind of music that interested them personally – including speed metal, traditional and jazz. It’s all music. When they’re with me, we do my kind of stuff. When they’re on their own, they do their kind of stuff. There’s an audience for everything.

    Ryan O’Malley : One of your most recognizable traits is your willingness to be vocal when it comes to the political landscape surrounding you. That being said, what do you feel about the world and country you live in in 2017?

    AG: Well, we are not living in boring times. I have loved being a part of the everyday world we live in, and I still do. I’ve always had an anti-authoritarian trait running through my songs and my stage performances. It has come in very handy recently.

    Ryan O’Malley : When it’s time for you to retire from the business, what do you want to be remembered for?

    AG: There’s no such thing as retiring in the world of folk music. This is a die with your boots on profession.

    Ryan O’Malley : Lastly, how would you best describe the show you are doing on this tour and what’s in store for the people who come to see you here on this tour?

    AG: This tour is very low key – no light shows, no big staging, no big band. It’s just us swapping stories and songs and generally just having some down-home fun together. We get to accompany each other in real time. It’s mostly me and Sarah Lee doing the leads while Abe and our friend Terry back us up (being the band). You’ll hear some songs from my father, myself and Sarah Lee as well as some by Pete Seeger and family friends. There’s a song by Phil Ochs, some Bob Dylan, etc. That can change from night to night, but it’s usually something like that. Prepare to be happy.   https://youtu.be/MUa7_T7heNo

    TOUR DATES:

    MEMORIAL HALL OTR – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    CINCINNATI, OH

     TICKETS

    OCT19

    JO ANN DAVIDSON THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    COLUMBUS, OH

     TICKETS

    OCT20

    THE PALACE THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    GREENSBURG, PA

     TICKETS

    OCT24

    MUSIC BOX SUPPER CLUB – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    CLEVELAND, OH

     TICKETS

    OCT26

    AVALON THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    EASTON, MD

     TICKETS

    OCT27

    THE F.M. KIRBY CENTER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    WILKES-BARRE, PA

     TICKETS

    NOV6

    BOK CENTER – THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE: A BENEFIT FOR LEONARD PELTIER

    TULSA, OK

     TICKETS

    NOV9

    GRUNIN CENTER/ OCEAN COUNTY COLLEGE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    TOMS RIVER, NJ

     TICKETS

    NOV11

    PARK THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    CRANSTON, RI

     TICKETS

    NOV12

    CARY HALL – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    LEXINGTON, MA

     TICKETS

    NOV16

    THE FLYING MONKEY – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    PLYMOUTH, NH

     TICKETS

    NOV17

    THE CABOT PAC – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    BEVERLY, MA

     TICKETS

    NOV18

    MAHAIWE PAC – ARLO GUTHRIE & FAMILY

    GT. BARRINGTON, MA

     TICKETS

    NOV25

    CARNEGIE HALL

    NEW YORK, NY

     TICKETS

    JAN26

    KEY WEST THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    KEY WEST, FL

     TICKETS

    JAN27

    KEY WEST THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    KEY WEST, FL

     TICKETS

    FEB2

    THE PLAZA LIVE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    ORLANDO, FL

    FEB3

    CAPITOL THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    CLEARWATER, FL

     TICKETS

    FEB5

    NEWBERRY OPERA HOUSE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    NEWBERRY, SC

     TICKETS

    FEB7

    CHARLESTON MUSIC HALL – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    CHARLESTON, SC

    FEB10

    CAROLINA THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    DURHAM, NC

    FEB14

    HARVESTER PERFORMANCE CENTER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    ROCKY MOUNT, VA

     TICKETS

    FEB17

    THE BIRCHMERE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    ALEXANDRIA, VA

     TICKETS

    FEB18

    THE BIRCHMERE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    ALEXANDRIA, VA

     TICKETS

    MAR7

    ENGLERT THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    IOWA CITY, IA

     TICKETS

    MAR9

    SHELDON CONCERT HALL – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    ST. LOUIS, MO

     TICKETS

    MAR10

    THE CARLSEN CENTER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    OVERLAND PARK, KS

     TICKETS

    MAR24

    LENSIC THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    SANTA FE, NM

     TICKETS

    MAR28

    THE FOX THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    TUCSON, AZ

     TICKETS

    MAR29

    MESA ARTS CENTER – IKEDA THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    MESA, AZ

     TICKETS

    MAR30

    ORPHEUM THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    FLAGSTAFF, AZ

     TICKETS

    APR3

    BELLY UP TAVERN – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    SOLANA BEACH, CA

     TICKETS

    APR5

    SABAN THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA

     TICKETS

    APR7

    FREMONT THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    SAN LUIS OBISBO, CA

    APR8

    GOLDEN STATE THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    MONTEREY, CA

     TICKETS

    APR10

    FREIGHT AND SALVAGE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    BERKELEY, CA

    APR 11

    FREIGHT AND SALVAGE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    BERKELEY, CA

    APR12

    FREIGHT AND SALVAGE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    BERKELEY, CA

    APR14

    UPTOWN THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    NAPA, CA

    APR15

    CREST THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    SACRAMENTO, CA

    MAY3

    REIF CENTER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    GRAND RAPIDS, MN

     TICKETS

    MAY4

    HOLMES THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    DETROIT LAKES, MN

     TICKETS

    MAY5

    O’SHAUGHNESSY THEATER – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    ST. PAUL, MN

    MAY11

    THE MAYO PAC – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    MORRISTOWN, NJ

     TICKETS

    MAY12

    PATCHOGUE THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    PATCHOGUE, NY

     TICKETS

    MAY13

    TARRYTOWN MUSIC HALL – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    TARRYTOWN, NY

    MAY18

    THE COLONIAL THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    KEENE, NH

     TICKETS

    MAY19

    MCCARTER THEATRE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    PRINCETON, NJ

     TICKETS

    MAY20

    GRAND OPERA HOUSE – RE:GENERATION TOUR

    WILMINGTON, DE

    To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com

    Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

    To submit a story or to just say hello, email us at lmnandr@gmail.com

    Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.