By: Concert Vault
His life was full of tragic happenings, but Guthrie was always ready to let it go and move on to the next thing. His personal optimism, intellectual skepticism, and lyrical brilliance made him an American icon. He could praise the country ("Grand Coulee Dam" was written in the employ of the US government) equally as well as he could point out injustices ("Vigilante Man" and "Deportee" are scathing attacks on the treatment of migrant workers). Guthrie's songs embody an era, but they have lost none of their freshness, especially when the lyrics have been recently re-written (Loudon Wainwright's "I Am the Way") or the music was written to accompany his words just a few years ago (Wilco/Billy Bragg).