On Sunday night at the Kennedy Center, a group of legendary folk and rock artists will convene to pay tribute to the man who laid the foundation for them: Woody Guthrie. But for Nora Guthrie, the folk master’s daughter, the concert will be more a meeting of old friends.
“We don’t really have stars in folk music,” says Guthrie, 62, director of the Woody Guthrie Archives, which is organizing the Centennial Celebration Concert in conjunction with the Grammy Museum and the Kennedy Center. “For me it’s much more personal than that. These are all people who know the material, they know the spirit, they know the cause and they’re all doing it on their own. They are the sons and daughters of Woody in their own right.”
The concert — which includes performances by Ry Cooder, Tom Morello, Lucinda Williams and Old Crow Medicine Show, among others — marks the culmination of a year of concerts celebrating Guthrie’s life and musical legacy. The performances have roughly traced Guthrie’s footsteps from his beginnings in Oklahoma to Texas, California, Canada and New York.