The tributes to Woody Guthrie are coming fast and furious these days. On the heels of word that Billy Bragg and Wilco are recording a second album's worth of previously unknown material drawn from the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York, several high-profile stars are planning to grace an Austin, Texas, stage in Guthrie's honor April 6.
The Paramount Theater show is scheduled to feature righteous babe Ani DiFranco, Texas troubadour Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Sara Hickman, Jimmie LaFave, Darden Smith, Mary Cutrufello, Monty Warden and Guthrie's son Arlo, among others.
Additionally, in Guthrie's hometown of Okemah, Okla., plans are afoot for "Woody Guthrie Festival 2000," a free event July 1216 that will feature Arlo Guthrie, the Kingston Trio, Country Joe McDonald, John Wesley Harding, the Red Dirt Rangers, Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer and Still on the Hill.
Guthrie is hardly a new subject for celebration; even before his death in 1967, he was feted in a Carnegie Hall concert that brought out such folk luminaries as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Odetta, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and others for renditions of his songs. In 1988, came Folkways: A Vision Shared, featuring Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Willie Nelson offering their takes on some of Guthrie's songs.
Also, currently in the Museum of the City of New York, is an exhibit on Woody Guthrie curated by the Smithsonian Institution. The display continues through April 23.