On October 27, 2009 Smithsonian Folkways will release Go Waggaloo a 13-track disc of children’s music from Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family featuring her husband Johnny Irion, their two daughters, and a host of other family and friends including her father Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Pete’s grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger. Guthrie presents thoughtful yet playful recordings of traditional songs and new compositions, including three songs featuring lyrics by her grandfather Woody Guthrie from the Smithsonian Folkways archives never before put to music and eight songs written by Sarah Lee and family.
This is Sarah Lee Guthrie’s first children’s recording and her first recording for Smithsonian Folkways, home of 42 albums featuring Woody Guthrie and more than 200 children’s recordings by Pete Seeger, Ella Jenkins, Lead Belly and many others.
Go Waggaloo continues the Guthrie family chain of song-making first forged by Sarah’s grandfather, Woody Guthrie. With song notes written by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, a touching introduction from Arlo Guthrie and notes from children’s music expert Stefan Shepherd, Go Waggaloo bridges generations of music lovers by combining traditional folk music with contemporary lyrics and instrumentation. Listening to Go Waggaloo one can hear a drum machine, songs about Xboxes and DVDs, and a spur of the moment song recorded on a cell phone by the Guthrie family on a road trip.
What distinguishes Go Waggaloo from similar albums is the effort made to entertain both children and parents. On Go Waggaloo, Guthrie epitomizes the gift of sharing music between parents and children, a longstanding tradition in the Guthrie family. Each member of the family participates in the creative process by singing on tracks, inspiring lyrics and contributing musical accompaniment.
If you have enough kid left inside yourself somewhere for these songs to make sense, consider yourself lucky. They are building blocks of who you are and where you come from. I love songs that are inspired and/or written by kids themselves and not by the people who think they know what’s good for you. It’s no small feat to create a record that will hold the attention of someone who is not used to listening to records. If you do it right, it’s a treasure. This is that – Arlo Guthrie.
Smithsonian Folkways are offering our readers the opportunity to stream the entire album for free until 3rd November 3rd from the Smithsonian Website.
Additionally, they are running a contest on their Facebook page where asking visitors to define what you think Go Waggaloo means. The first 200 people who comment each get a free download from Smithsonian Folkways. The contest can be found on the Smithsonian Facebook Site.