Arlo Guthrie holds up his guitar during a performance in this undated photo, courtesy of his record company, Rising Son Records. Guthrie will perform with his son Abe, his daughter Sarah Lee and her husband Johnny Irion in Ninilchik on Friday.
Folksinger Arlo Guthrie, whose 1967 hit “Alice’s Restaurant” gave new meaning to a little bit of littering and a whole lot of social consciousness, returns to the Kenai Peninsula next month, thanks to Downward Dog Productions.
This time Guthrie, who will be joined on stage by musical family members, shares concert billing with special guest Beau Soleil, a Grammy-winning Cajun group. The musicians will perform at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds at 7 p.m. Friday.
“(Guthrie) has an Anchorage and a Fairbanks show and I was working with guys from the Alaska Oceans Festival, looking for something we could work together on, and they signed up Beau Soleil,” said Mike Hayes of Downward Dog. “We could have done two separate shows or put them together. Putting them together seemed like the best thing to do.”
Admission prices are $38 for KBBI and KDLL members, $40 nonmembers and $25 for ages 4-16. An early bird price of $35 for adults and $20 for kids is available until today at the fairgrounds.
Grammy-winning cajun band Beau Soleil will open for the Arlo Guthrie and his family on Friday.
“We’re also running a kind of special for families of four or more or group tickets,” Hayes said. To make arrangements, call 235-1921.
It was a sell-out crowd that welcomed Guthrie, the eldest son of folksinging writer and philosopher Woody Guthrie, when he performed in Homer’s Mariner Theatre in 2003. This time, Hayes is going for an outdoor setting.
“Ninilchik Fairgrounds has room for about 700 or so and it’s kind of a big lawn,” he said of the fair’s center stage area.
As before, Guthrie’s appearance is sure to draw a crowd. Long before the song and album “Alice’s Restaurant” catapulted him to stardom, he was performing his own brand of music, influenced by the likes of Pete Seeger, Leadbelly and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.
He rubbed shoulders with beat poet Allen Ginsburg and singer-songwriters Bob Dylan, Jim Croce and Joan Baez.
In 1969, Hollywood turned “Alice’s Restaurant” into a movie, directed by Arthur Penn.
But the hits didn’t stop there. There’s “City of New Orleans,” “Coming Into Los Angeles,” “The Motorcycle Song” and more and more and more.
Guthrie’s career didn’t stop there, either. He continues to travel around the world, playing the piano, 12-string guitar, harmonica and a dozen other instruments, and telling stories through song.
He is joined on stage by his son Abe, his daughter Sarah Lee and her husband Johnny Irion, all of whom have made names for themselves as musicians. Arlo and family also work to keep the spirit of Woody Guthrie alive through the efforts of the Guthrie Center, an interfaith church and education center in Great Barrington, Mass.
Openers Beau Soleil have a long history, as well. Since forming 30 years ago, Beau Soleil Michael Doucet on violin, guitar, accordion, mandolin and vocals; David Doucet on guitar and vocals; Jimmy Breaux performing on accordion; Billy Ware on percussion; Tony Alesi on drums; and Mitch Reed on bass, fiddle, banjo and electric guitar has scored one Grammy and nine nominations.
They have recorded 28 albums, been featured on movie and television soundtracks and are frequent guests on the syndicated public radio program “A Prairie Home Companion.” In fact,
Prairie Home’s Garrison Keillor refers to them as “The best Cajun band in the world.”
“They’re a real American treasure,” Hayes said. “Their stuff really stands out. As far as Cajun and zydeco goes, they’re at the top of the game.”
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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