Austin has a unique culture, full of diverse music, art, and food. There are many restaurants around town that offer exclusive venues with palates of many different styles. On February 21st, the Long Center and Arlo Guthrie will play host to a special ‘restaurant.’ But this is no ordinary restaurant; it’s a song.
On the menu for the evening is folk singer Arlo Guthrie, who will be playing his 50th anniversary tour of “Alice’s Restaurant,” along with his other famous folk songs. To create this full course performance, Guthrie must start with the basic ingredients of folk music.
Folk music has its roots in tradition, going way back to the early years of our country and even beyond. It stems from country, blues, Cajun, gospel etc. A dictionary definition: a folk song is one that uses traditional melodies and/or modes to speak on a particular topic. Mix together your topic with a guitar, drums, some good ole’ vocal chords, and you’ve got yourself a base for folk music.
As an appetizer, you may be serenaded by some of Arlo Guthrie’s own creations – “The Motorcycle Song,” “City of New Orleans,” and “Coming into Los Angeles” being some of his most famous. The main course though, is his classic hit “Alice’s Restaurant.”
This 18 minute (sung) monologue discusses an incident in Guthrie’s life where he helped out a friend (Alice, the owner of a restaurant) by taking out some trash, but instead got arrested for littering. It then goes on to describe the draft for the Vietnam War- adding drama and suspense to the nearly 18-minute piece.
As a sweet treat, there may be covers of other folk songs to savor, including some by Arlo’s father, Woody Guthrie. Folk singers tend to be a family affair; it’s no different for the Guthrie family. Arlo’s son Abe Guthrie will grace our Austin stage with his keyboard skills.
Folk music can be a delight for all ages and have topics that are still prevalent in today’s world. Come join the Long Center and Arlo Guthrie as we celebrate 50 years of Guthrie music. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.