Folk music legend Arlo Guthrie makes a stop on his Lost World Tour at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall on Wednesday, May 6, at 8:00 p.m. This concert is the final installment of the Performing Arts Center's 2008-2009 Great Performers Series, presented by M&T Bank.
Tickets for Arlo Guthrie are $37-$32 each, with a discount for seniors and rush tickets for students. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave., by calling 716-878-3005 or online at www.buffalostate.edu/pac. Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Arlo Guthrie was born with a guitar in one hand and a harmonica in the other, in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York in 1947. He is the eldest son of America's most beloved singer/writer/philosopher Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease.
He grew up surrounded by dancers and musicians: Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays (The Weavers), Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, all of whom were significant influences on Arlo's musical career. Guthrie gave his first public performance at age 13 and quickly became involved in the music that was shaping the world during the 1960s.
Arlo practically lived in the most famous venues of the "Folk Boom" era. In New York City he hung out at Gerdes Folk City, The Gaslight and The Bitter End. In Boston's Club 47, and in Philadelphia he made places like The 2nd Fret and The Main Point his home. He witnessed the transition from an earlier generation of ballad singers like Richard Dyer-Bennet and blues-men like Mississippi John Hurt, to a new era of singer-song writers such as Bob Dylan, Jim Croce, Joan Baez, and Phil Ochs. He grooved with the beat poets like Allen Ginsburg and Lord Buckley, and picked with players like Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. He learned something from everyone and developed his own style, becoming a distinctive, expressive voice in a crowded community of singer-songwriters and political-social commentators.
Arlo Guthrie's career exploded in 1967 with the release of Alice's Restaurant, whose title song premiered at the Newport Folk Festival helped foster a new commitment among the '60s generation to social consciousness and activism. Arlo went on to star in the 1969 Hollywood film version of Alice's Restaurant, directed by Arthur Penn.
With songs like "Alice's Restaurant", too long for radio airplay; "Coming into Los Angeles", banned from many radio stations (but a favorite at the 1969 Woodstock Festival); and the definitive rendition of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans", Guthrie was no One-Hit-Wonder. An artist of international stature, he has never had a hit in the usual sense.
Over the last four decades Arlo has toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia winning a broad and dedicated following. In addition to being an accomplished musician-playing the piano, six and twelve-string guitar, harmonica and a dozen other instruments-Arlo is a natural-born storyteller whose hilarious tales and timeless anecdotes are woven seamlessly into his performances.
Arlo Guthrie's touring band includes his son Abe on keyboards and supporting vocals, as well as the Burns Sisters, Terry Berry on drums, and Bobby Sweet on guitar.
If you've been to an Arlo Guthrie concert in the past 20 years it's likely you've seen Abe's great smile, heard his adept and tasteful keyboard accompaniment along with his powerful supporting vocals. In a recent interview Arlo was quoted: "Abe is a great musician and covers the bass for me, and whatever else I need." Abe started performing professionally with his father in the early 80's.
The three Burns sisters - Annie, Marie, and Jeannie, have been singing together all their lives. At times others of their siblings joined in. Their mother, Teresa, who sang in the church choir, taught them and so it began. They met Arlo Guthrie in 2004 at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Woody's hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. This meeting sent them on a train ride with "Arlo Guthrie and Friends Ridin' on the City of New Orleans - Benefiting Victims of Katrina" appropriately.
Terry "A La Berry" Hall has been performing professionally since age 13. He toured the world for 14 years as drummer for Arlo Guthrie. He appears on 10 of Arlo's CDs and played at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The White House, The Today Show and shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, Joe Cocker, John Denver, Willie Nelson and Pete Seeger to name a few.
As a Berkshire native and sixth-generation musician, Bobby Sweet began performing at age 7 in his father's band. A sought-after lead guitarist, he has played shows with Vince Gill, George Jones, Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, The Bellamy Brothers, Waylon Jennings, and many others.
The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank and WBFO.