November 19, 2011

Concert #478 - Country Joe McDonald at McCabe's Guitar Shop (Sept 26, 2008)

This was my first and only time to see Country Joe McDonald in concert. The show was announced as "Country Joe McDonald's Tribute to Woody Guthrie", so naturally, most of the set list was dedicated to material written by the legendary troubadour.

The songs were good, especially the ones we all knew, but I can't say that I was taken by Country Joe's performance - he appeared to be a bit apathetic, as if having to go through a boring daily routine. And then he read quite a bit from a book that may have been a Woody Guthrie biography, if I'm not mistaken. I had a problem with the reading part - when you go to a concert, you go for the music, not to sit there for many long minutes listening to someone reading from a book. I could have accepted a paragraph or two, but he just went on and on ...

The evening's best moment may have been "I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag", possibly the only non-Guthrie song of the concert, when most of the sell-out crowd joined in. Not unexpectedly, "This Land Is Your Land", quickly turned into a sing-along as well.

There's a Country Joe double CD out there, recorded live in San Francisco on May 12, 2007, that has many of the songs performed at McCabe's. Appropriately titled "A Tribute To Woody Guthrie", the collection features the following numbers:

Disc 1
1. "This Land is Your Land" Woody Guthrie 2. Introduction — Country Joe 3. "Every Time His Songs are Sung" Barry Lee Marris 4. Root beer story from Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie 5. "Talking Dust Bowl" Woody Guthrie 6. "Do Re Mi" Woody Guthrie 7. "Going Down the Road" Woody Guthrie 8. Car story from “Woody Sez” 9. "Let's Go Riding in My Car" Woody Guthrie 10. Cookies speak louder than words — letters by Malvina Reynolds and Woody Guthrie 11. Erotic writing — Woody Guthrie 12. "Woman at Home" Country Joe (music), Woody Guthrie (words)

Disc 2
1. "Capi/Commie" Joady Guthrie; Sayings by Woody Guthrie; “Old Paint the Horse with a Union Label” — author unknown 2. "Ladies Auxiliary" Woody Guthrie 3. "Union Maid" Woody Guthrie 4. About lynchings — Woody Guthrie 5. "Slip Knot"/"Vigilante Man" Woody Guthrie 6. "Pastures of Plenty" Woody Guthrie 7. "Roll On Columbia" Woody Guthrie 8. "New York City" Country Joe (music), Woody Guthrie (words) 9. "Tom Joad" Woody Guthrie 10. "Oklahoma Hills" Jerry Guthrie and Woody Guthrie 11. Oklahoma where it all began — Worden McDonald 12. "So Long It’s Been Good to Know Ya" Woody Guthrie 

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