There is nothing more "American" than folk music and no one more folk than Woody Guthrie. Guthrie was inspired by the Californian people, who were handed Hoovervilles and hardship in their search for hope. July 14, 2012 will mark the centennial of the birth of a man who, to this day, inspires the very fabric of folk music. Speaking against "the man" and empowering the working man are concepts that became fundamental to the spirit of the U.S., in part, by the prolific writing of Guthrie. "Pretty Boy Floyd" and "This Land Is Your Land" are among the many songs that have aged well in the American cannon these one-hundred years and have been covered by many other artists.
In celebration of Woody Guthrie's life, many events are taking place:
1. The Guthrie family will play covers of Woody's songs and original works in commeration of Woody Guthrie's life. "Guthrie Family Reunion" tour will take place on July 15th on the Central Park Summerstage, July 16th in Ocean City, New Jersey, and at the Newport Folk Festival.
2. From July 11-13, City Winery in New York City will host Woodyfest, a series of artists covering Woody Guthrie.
3. On September 22nd, Brooklyn College will host Woody at 100, a concert and conference.
The themes of Woody Guthrie's songs, and life, are still profoundly relevant (hello, Occupy Wall Street). So, every time you see that girl/guy (most likely in a flannel) singing in a coffee shop about "the man" and strapped to an acoustic guitar, remember the good ol' folks around the campfire singing Guthrie's songs.