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October 30, 1970 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-30

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Page Two,

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, October 30, 1970

41

PaeTo H .HIA ALYFia, coe 3,17

records-

From f
By ANN L. MATTES
Arlo Guthrie's talent has often
been discredited because of a
resemblance to the singing style
of Bob Dylan. Too often these
critics fail to remember who
played a decisive role in Dylan's
development: Woody Guthrie.
The art of Woody has permeated
the work of both singers, and
as far as that influence is felt,
the similarities appear.
In Washington County (Re-
prise, 6411) Arlo pays tribute to
both his father and his con-
temporary. "Lay Down Little
Doggies," the .last cut on the
Side One, was written by h i s
father, and Arlo sings it with-
out much .alteration, including
the "Okie" accent. The song
contains the colorful imagery of
the Dust Bowl songs that made
the elder Guthrie so popular, a
witty tribute to a herd of cat-
tle. that the singer is bringing
to a packing-house. The trip is
two months in the travelling, up
the Texas flatlands from Mex-
ico 40 Dodge City. He addresses
the animals as he would com-
panions:
Here now we come to the end
of our trail.
Your hair, your hide and car-
cass to the stockyards I'll sell.
'r see you in tin cans when
you get shipped around.
So lay yourselves down, little
doggies, lay down.
When Guthrie died in 1967,
a second edition of an auto-
biography written in 1943 came
out. In reviewing his life, a
critie in the "New Republic" had
this to say about the man:
"Quite unlike most of our
errent folk singers, Guthrie
was from the land, was the
possessor of his own un-
borrowed language, knew po-
verty like his own skin and
protested against nothing-
about which he hadn't inti-
mate knowledge. Bob Dylan
and Joan Baly may be super-
ior artists and Dylan at
least is much more complex-
but as members, of an affluent
ad "wised-up" generation
they can't have experienced
what Guthrie ;did. He was
moved by the kind of patrio-
tism native to the American
populist radicals - "This
Land is Your Land" - a love
of country anchored in a not
yet undermined belief in the
American possibilities of bro-
'therhood and justice."
The inclusion of the New Dy-
lan tune, "Percy's Song," brings
the influences a full circle. Back
,0 967 Dylan-went to New York
to visit Woody Guthrie, hos-1
pitalized by Huntington's Chor-
ea. Referring to these visits,
Dylan once said, "Man, I could
whip anybody! I was at the
high point of my life from see-
ingWoody. He ain't a folk sing-
er - he's a genius genius gen-{
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ther to son: A

permeating soul

"All I know is we gotta git
together, and stick together.
This country won't ever git
much better as long as it's
dog eat dog, every man for his
own self, an' to hell with the
rest of the world. We gotta
get together, damn it all, an'
make somebody give us a job
somewhere doin' something."
One of the Arlo's songs that
reflects both Dylan and Woody
is "Gabriel Mother's Hiway,"
which is a beautiful spiritual
that contains a delicate balance
between two accoustic guitars
and two basses. The song in-
vokes the people to join together
in order to "make a heaven out
of the earth."
Even better and as catchy as
Aretha Franklin is "Valley to
Pray," written by Doc Coutson,
John Pilla and Arolo. Trumpets,
autoharp drums and bass all
contribute to the swinging rhy-
thin.
The "Introduction" is a
brief instrumental work follow-
ed by a few lyrics that sounds
remarkably like the accompani-
ment of the Beatles' "Let It Be"
with its electric hymn music.
This opening leads directly into
"Fence Post Blues," a nonrelig-
ious song which has a great Arlo
piano accompaniment. This song
praises the simple country life
Stockbridge, Mass., his songs
are less like poetry and more like
a narration. This particular trait
of "talking" to his audience may
also derive from his father's
style. Both father and son pos-
sess an exuberance and opti-
mismaabout life, an enthusiasm
that is contagious. As a matter
of fact, the elder Guthrie was
one of the first advocators of
"getting together" for a com-
mon political cause. Addressing
a group of jobless men, he urg-
ed:

of a wheat farmer and beckons
others to stay on the land. (I
must have been here before, but
I wonder where the hell I've
been.")
Washington County, strange-
ly enough since it's the title
song, is another instrumental
filled with banjo strumming
that lasts all of one minute and
59 seconds.
Side Two contains three other
songs that haven't been men-
tioned. "I Could Be Singing" is
a love song that insists that the
new world is taking over the
Spiros, the Chicago police and
the Kent State guards, but it
isn't entirely convincing. "If
You Would Just Drop By" is the
only sad song on the album, a
lament self-evident from the
title. But even in this song, when
"up is down," Arlo still doesn't
give up hope. The last song ends
with another lively tune,say-
ing "this is the time of earth
when Itwant to be around, sleep-
ing in the sun with everyone."
Few current folk albums con-
tain the uplifting spirit that
Arlo Guthrie's melodies present.
Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen,
Randy Newman, Bob Dylan all
effuse an air of tragedy. For
those brief moments when it
isn't raining in Ann Arbor, this
album reflects sunshine.
C;

thisw i

October 28-November 1 quirk auditorium
for reservations: 487-1220 during box office hours (week-
doys 12:45-4:30 pm m
s40ANE ILAERS SEIES PRODUETION
THE P'RIME OF

OWEN

McBRIDE
IRISH pub songs
and ballads

1.50

EXPRESS 'OURSELF

ius." During this time Dylan be-
gan to sing at the Village cof-
fee houses that were to estab-
lish his own career as a folk
singer.
The contribution of "Percy's
Song" to Arlo's album is an act
of appreciation. The song it-
self is similar to the conversa-
tional blues songs that all three
helped to popularize (e.g.
"Alice's Restaurant" and "Mort-
gage Nightmare"). The lyrics
contain a feeble protest of a
99-year sentence that a friend
received who was the driver in
an accident that killed f o u r
people. The melodic refrain -
"Turn, turn again . . . turn,
turn to the wind and the rain."
- creates a melancholic m o o d
CORRECTION
The Contemporary Music
Festival, which has been hold-
ing its three concert series this
week, is not part of the Con-
temporary Directions series
held throughout the year.
The Daily regrets its error
in assuming the two were asso-
ciated.
Soph Show '70
Caon-Can
open in only
6 days
get
tickets for
opening night
today in the
FISHBOWL

that leaves the listener uncom-
fortable, if not agitated.
And, it goes witnout saying,
that Arlo owes an additional
debt to the talent of Dylan.
Washington County bears a
special resemblance to the John
Wesley Harding album in its re-
ligious feeling. But unlike t h e
songs "Frankie Lee and J u d a s
Priest" and "I Dreamed I Saw
St. Augustine" on the D y 1 a n
album, Arlo's religious songs
are not touched with the cynic-
ism and grotesque incidents that
pervade Dylan's. Also, Guthrie
is not as much concerned with
his personal life as he is with
his audience.
Perhaps partially as a result
of the community he lived in at

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>-

I

I .:

II

r.
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ti
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9

This SUNDAY, NOV. 1
DEBBIE FREEDMAN
and
JACK QUINE
in a concert of
CLASSIC and MODERN FOLK music
TWO SHOWS: 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.
AT
SHALOM HOUSE
1429 HILL ST.

I

I

HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL
WED., OCT. 28: The Cat People
dir. JACQUES TOUTNER (1942)
Girl believes she turns into a cat as a result
of a curse.
THURS., FRI., OCT. 29-30:
The Day the Earth Stood StillI
dir. ROBERT WISE (1951)
Michael Rennie tries to save Earthmen
from themselves.
SAT., SUN., OCT. 31-NOV. 1:
The Mask of Fu Manchu
This Sax Rohmer favorite replaces the
unfortunately unavailable Psycho,
COMEDIES FESTIVAL STARTING MONDAY
7 & 9:05 ARCHITECTURE
662-887 7AUDITORIUM
Subscribe To
THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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MASS MEETING
CINEMA III
DESI ARNAZ
and HIS BAND
"it kind a chokes me up"-
-FRED MERTZ
"Counterrevolutionary"
-FIDEL
"After seeing this 1 wish
never let him go." -LUCY
-ALSO-
ROMAN POLANSK I'S
CulI De Sac
"A Halloween horror"-
-L. TAFFER
FRI. & SAT.-7 & 9:30
75c
AUD. A-ANGELL HALL

*4

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SPORTS CAR IN

U.S.A.

V4, Four on the Floor,
OVERSEAS IMPORTED CARS
936 N. Main St.

I

4
M

COLOR by Deluxe
MAX VON SYDOW * LIY

[lJni1 United Artists I
ULMANN 0 BIB ANDERSSON

Exporing the
basic human
failing

dR3M

DIAL
8-6416

It's out now!
1970-71
STUDENT DIRECTORY
CONTAINS LISTING OF:
(1) Students, their majors and home address
(2) Student organizations

University of Michigan School of Music
presents
1970 Festival of
Contemporary Music
THIRD CONCERT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 8:00 P.M.
Hill Auditorium

4
m

Guest composer:

Alberto Ginastera

Ives: Psalm 54
Ginastera: Two Chorales from the opera Bomarzo

I

NEAR
BARMR AND LOWIS
AND WALTER SON
THESE GREAT SONGS;. :
Hello DollyI
Jus Lee" ve imTa 3I.

11

i

(bfartt Irl.., f1Ht Mo ^?X88 i Si a ':: : f = -

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