Woody Guthrie and “Old Man Trump”

April 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street
$10 online or at the door

In December 1950, Woody Guthrie moved his family into a new apartment in Brooklyn’s Beach Haven. His new landlord was none other than Fred Trump, father of the current United States president. Over 60 years later, Donald Trump would proclaim on the campaign trail: “My legacy is my father’s legacy.” It was, among other things, a legacy of corruption and race-hatred. Woody Guthrie soon found this out. In 2014, musician and professor Will Kaufman discovered, buried in the archives, Guthrie’s previously unpublished song lyrics and other writings condemning Fred Trump’s racism. He has turned these discoveries into a music and spoken-word presentation, Woody Guthrie and “Old Man Trump,” bringing to life all the anger and contempt that Guthrie felt for those in power who deny justice to their fellow human beings on account of the color of their skin. Against the backdrop of Guthrie’s racial awakening and emergent activism, Kaufman introduces such previously unheard songs as “Trump Made a Tramp Out of Me” and “Beach Haven Ain’t My Home,” along with a host of other Guthrie songs about racial injustice and struggle.

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and Professor of American Studies Will Kaufman is recognized as the world’s leading authority on Woody Guthrie. He is the author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical (University of Illinois Press, 2011), Woody Guthrie’s Modern World Blues (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017), and Mapping Woody Guthrie (forthcoming 2019). Will has toured Europe and the United States with a pair of live musical documentaries – “Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin'” and “Woody Guthrie: The Long Road to Peekskill” – which he has performed at such high-profile showcases as the Glastonbury Festival, the Bath International Music Festival, the Whitby Folk Festival, and the Chester Literature Festival, as well as hundreds of music venues on both sides of the Atlantic. His Guthrie presentations have attracted the public praise of eminent musical figures such as Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Ry Cooder, Ralph McTell, Martin Carthy and Christy Moore. For more information, see willkaufman.com.

The Golden Notebook is partnering with the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild on this event and will have books by Will Kaufman for sale.

Concert Date and Time: Sunday, April 14, 4:00 pm
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Tickets: $10 online or at the door (please only cash or check at the door) – please purchase your tickets online now!

Will Kaufman
Photo credit: Woody Guthrie photo on right by Robin Carson.