The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redefined

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LISTEN: Country Joe McDonald, Arlo Guthrie, Jack Elliott, & Pete Seeger,

Sep 11, 2017

Artists: Country Joe McDonald, Arlo Guthrie, Jack Elliott, & Pete Seeger
Song: “Goin’ Down the Road (Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This A-Way)”
Album: Woody Guthrie: The Tribute Concerts
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Label: Bear Family

In Their Words: “On Sundays, my father would come home from the hospital and lots of musicians would come over for a hootenany. Old friends, young-uns … you never knew who was going to show. It was a mix of talents and instruments — bring something, play something, sing something. This track reminds me so much of those days. Here, Pete Seeger is backed by a young Ry Cooder, trading verses and breaks with Country Joe McDonald and Swampwater fiddler Gib Gilbeau. Jack Elliott and Arlo hold it together because, hey, like Dylan, they’re usually the ones who know all the words!

That’s what Woody’s original 1940s hootenanies were like when the young-uns then included Pete Seeger, backed by elders Woody or Lead Belly. ‘Goin’ Down the Road’ is a perfect example of this classic, easy-going approach to music learning, which spurred the ’60s community of folk and folk-rock musicians who continued to ‘hoot up’ (aka jam) on this song.” — Nora Guthrie

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