Thursday, 12 July 2012

Woody Guthrie at 100 - Tribute Concert


Hard Times and Hard Travellin’

Performed by Will Kaufman


7.30pm 31 July 2012 doors open 6.30pm

Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Congress House is a fully accessible building. There is no charge for attending this event.

You must register by contacting, calling 020 7467 1220 or by post to SERTUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS


Union, trades council, campaign organisation




Woody Guthrie is best known as a political singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical and political legacies are enormous and inseparable. Guthrie travelled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues songs. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, and the hardship suffered by working people. Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any. He was an active supporter of trade unionism and a trade union organiser.

Guthrie frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar, and he was a committed anti-fascist. His best-known song is This Land Is Your Land. Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence upon their work.

Will Kaufman is a singer and multi-instrumentalist and has performed his tribute to Woody Guthrie at countless trades clubs, folk clubs, union halls and universities in Europe and the USA. His WOODY GUTHRIE: HARD TIMES AND HARD TRAVELIN' is a captivating “live documentary” that sets the songs of Woody Guthrie in the context of the American 1930s.

Dr Kaufman is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Central Lancashire, England. He has given his Woody Guthrie presentations at such major events as the Glastonbury Festival, the Bath International Music Festival, the Chester Literature Festival, the Big Session, the Whitby Folk Festival, the Piacenza Literature and Blues Festival in Italy and, this year, at the TUC’s Tolpuddle festival.

Will is the author of the acclaimed Woody Guthrie, American Radical, published by the University of Illinois Press, in 2011.
Copies are available from Bookmarks, which will have a stall at the event.

Woodie Guthrie was born in 1912, so this year is the centenary of his birth.
His music is as relevant to today’s struggles as it has ever been.

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