Dust Bowl Ballads

Dust Bowl Ballads

Woody Guthrie FW05212 / FH 5212

Recorded in 1940, and later reissued by Folkways Recordings in 1950, Guthrie’s first album chronicles the American Dust Bowl through his prosaic style of talking blues. Using only guitar and vocals, the album follows the exodus of Midwesterners headed for California and mirrors both Guthrie’s own life and John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath. Along the way, characters are forced into theft, murder, and unbearable hardship against a biblical backdrop of the American West. Hugely influential, Dust Bowl Ballads has been revered by Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. In Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People, Steinbeck wrote of Guthrie: "Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who will listen. There is the will of the people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit."

Year Released 1964
Record Label Folkways Records
Source Archive Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Copyright 2004 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / 1964 Folkways Records
Genre(s) American Folk; Struggle & Protest
Country(s) United States
Culture Group(s) Anglo-American
Language(s) English
Subject(s) Folk songs--United States; Protest songs

Download Liner Notes

101 Talking Dust Bowl Woody Guthrie 2:45 Not Available for Download
102 Blowin' Down This Road Woody Guthrie 3:06 Not Available for Download
103 Do-Re-Mi Woody Guthrie 2:40 Not Available for Download
104 Dust Cain't Kill Me Woody Guthrie 2:58 Not Available for Download
105 Tom Joad Woody Guthrie 6:34 Not Available for Download
201 The Great Dust Storm Woody Guthrie 3:24 Not Available for Download
202 So Long, It's Been Good to Know You (Dusty Old Dust) Woody Guthrie 3:09 Not Available for Download
203 Dust Bowl Refugee Woody Guthrie 3:14 Not Available for Download
204 Dust Pneumonia Blues Woody Guthrie 2:46 Not Available for Download
205 I Ain't Got No Home in This World Anymore Woody Guthrie 2:50 Not Available for Download
206 Vigilante Man Woody Guthrie 3:31 Not Available for Download
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