Woody Guthrie and the Blues

Elijah Wald

Abstract


Most writing on Woody Guthrie focuses on his songwriting, his life, or his politics, but there is little focus on his musicianship or his knowledge of musical history. Guthrie’s relationship to the blues tradition is central to his work — as evidenced in his guitar, mandolin, and harmonica playing as well as his knowledge of blues history and his associations with Sonny Terry, Lead Belly, Josh White, the Golden Gate Quartet and others. Guthrie’s engagement with the blues is a crucial aspect of his broader relationship to racial issues.


Keywords


Woody Guthrie; blues; guitar; harmonica; mandolin; race; racism; stereotype; Sonny Terry; Lead Belly; Josh White; Golden Gate Quartet; Blind Lemon Jefferson

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