Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family Will Stir Your Imagination With ‘Go Waggaloo’ Out On Smithsonian Folkways

johnny irion, sarah lee guthrie
Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie

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,” writes Arlo Guthrie in the introduction. “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.”

Featuring original Woody Guthrie drawings on the cover art and booklet, ‘Go Waggaloo,’ will entertain every member of every family.