Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Woody Guthrie

Every year for the last many, in the middle of July, right around Woody Guthrie's birthday, I make the trek to Okemah, OK and the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival. Woodyfest, as it is affectionately known, is a different breed. It's free. Attendees pay to camp or park at the main stage, (but not both) but from then on out, the music is all without charge. The artists are not paid to play there. Lodging, a meal and travel, yes, but their time and performance is donated. So only people who really want to be there play there. And once they get the Woody bug, they come back again and again, whenever their schedule allows. It's a real treat to be a part of this odd band of true hearted troubadours. They play with joy, they sing with passion, they beg you to think, they inspire you to act, they break your heart, then turn around and make you laugh. Just like Woody did. Happy birthday, Woody, my world would not be the same without the music you inspired.

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