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Alastair Moock tips his cap to Woody Guthrie - A.R.T. 5/16

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson  May 10, 2012 03:48 PM

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While A.R.T. is bringing Woody Guthrie back to life with it's latest production, Woody Sez, one of Boston's own folk performers will get his chance to bask in his idol's glow.

Following the 5/16 performance of Woody Sez at A.R.T.'s Loeb Drama Center, Alastair Moock will treat audiences to a live performance that will give patrons quite a double-bang for their buck.


The hoarse-voiced singer has been kicking around the Boston folk-scene since the mid-nineties, having released several albums of original music in addition to his latest --2011's These Are My Friends--which finds the artist continuing his venture into children's music.

Children's music, you say? That's not suitable for adults! Well, hold that thought. Johnny Cash made children's music, and Woody Guthrie did too. In fact, you could argue that real folk music should have an appeal to all age groups. After all, little folks are folks too. Guthrie's "Bling Blang" and "Howdi Do" were songs I sung to my kids, and after hearing Moock sing Guthrie's "Mail Myself to You," you might be singing them to yours too.

"I grew up on Pete Seeger, The Weavers, Arlo Guthrie, etc, so I was pretty steeped in Woody's music since I was little," says Moock. "But it was when I read his memoir Bound For Glory in high school that I really fell in deep. His lyrics — and prose — felt somehow intimate in a way that astonished me. He was funny, irreverent, straight-forward, unwilling to give or take b.s. It wasn't until later in my life that I realized how many other people out there felt the same way about Woody – like he was talking directly to them. Reaching people so deeply is a pretty rare talent in any art form, and Woody's still managing to do it nearly 50 years after his death."

The list of amazing musicians who feel the same grows and grows--from Dylan to Springsteen to Billy Bragg, and guys like Jeff Tweedy and Alastair Moock. There must be more to examine in this Guthrie figure than just good old-fashioned friendly folk music. But it might not be obvious at first--and this is where the digging begins.

Watch Moock perform a nice rendition of his original tribute too Woody Guthrie, "Woody's Lament" here:

Alastair Moock
After the 5/16 7:30 Woody Sez performance
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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About the author

Jonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »

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