Woody Guthrie Folk Festival announces 2004 concert schedule

(PRWEB) – Arlo Guthrie, Steve Earle, Slaid Cleaves and dozens of other American
and international folk music stars are scheduled for the seventh annual
Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, July
14-18, 2004, celebrating the life and rich musical legacy of one of America’s
greatest folk music songwriters and troubadours, Woody Guthrie. The festival
takes place in the late icon’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma, just west of
Oklahoma City.

The seventh annual festival marks the return of the Guthrie clan – son Arlo
Guthrie, granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie (performing with husband Johnny Irion),
and perennial guest of honor Mary Jo Edgmon, Guthrie’s younger sister – as well
as more than 50 other artists of every genre – folk, alt-country, rock, Red
Dirt, bluegrass and more – who cite Guthrie’s many songs and pages of prose as a
significant inspiration on their own creativity.The festival begins with a ticketed event, the annual Tribute to Woody Guthrie,
at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, at the historic Crystal Theater in downtown
Okemah. This year the tribute is titled "Happy Birthday, Woody" in recognition
of what would have been Guthrie’s 92nd birthday. Modeled after the successful
Guthrie tribute concerts held in New York in 1968 and Los Angeles in 1970 (which
featured Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger and more), this show features
festival artists performing Guthrie songs between narrated passages from Woody’s
poetry and prose. Scheduled to perform at this fund-raising event are Jimmy
LaFave, Slaid Cleaves, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, the Burns Sisters, Joel
Rafael and many more, backed by Terry "Buffalo" Ware and his band. This ticketed
event helps raise money to fund the rest of the festival. Tickets are $25
general admission or $35 Gold Circle seating (which includes a catered reception
with the performers after the show) and will be available beginning June 1
through Star Tickets outlets: +1 (888)
597-7827 and participating Albertson’s grocery locations in Oklahoma.

The next four days are filled with free concerts, throughout the afternoons at
several indoor venues in downtown Okemah and the main stage performances at
night at the Pastures of Plenty Amphitheater. Thursday, July 15’s main stage
lineup features acclaimed Austin stalwart Slaid Cleaves headlining an A-plus
evening of music that includes Bob Childers, Randy Crouch & Friends; Kris
Delmhorst; Hans Theesink (from Austria); Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band; and the
Lady Songwriters in the Round, featuring Karen Mal, Emily Kaitz and Audrey Auld
(from Austin, Arkansas and Australia, respectively). Amphitheater acts on
Friday, July 16, include Susan Gibson, Steppin in It, the Joel Rafael Band, Guy
Songwriters in the Round (featuring Don Conoscenti, Johnsmith and Christopher
Williams), Jimmy LaFave and the evening’s special guest, legendary roots-music
maverick Steve Earle. July 17, Saturday night’s main bill includes the Red Dirt
Rangers, the Burns Sisters, Michael Fracasso, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion,
David Wilcox and featured guest and friend of the festival Arlo Guthrie. Daytime
concerts feature such artists as Mary Reynolds, Ronny Elliott, Larry Long,
Brandon Jenkins and many more, plus a special performance by various Guthrie
descendants, billed as the Guthrie Family Jam Band.

The festival concludes with the annual "Hoot for Huntington’s," at noon Sunday,
July 18, in the Crystal Theater. It’s a free-form jam by festival performers.
Admission is free, but donations to the Oklahoma chapter of the Huntington’s
Disease Society of America are encouraged. The event raises awareness of
Huntington’s disease, the genetic neurological disorder from which Guthrie

Evening festival performances begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Pastures of Plenty
Amphitheater, just east of Okemah. The shows are free, though there is a $10
parking fee at the amphitheater. Morning and afternoon performances take place
at the Crystal Theater and the Brick Street Café in downtown Okemah. Musicians
can sign up to perform at open-microphone events from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday at Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern, also downtown.

In addition to the many musical performances, other events include the
children’s festival, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Okemah’s
City Park, featuring many activities for kids (petting zoo, rock climbing wall,
games, food, crafts), plus special kid-friendly performances by festival artists
such as the Red Dirt Rangers, Mary Reynolds and Larry Long. Panel discussions
and workshop schedules will be announced soon.

This annual concert event brings together artists and fans who embrace the
energized and vigorous spirit of Woody Guthrie (1912-67), author of such
American musical chronicles as "This Land Is Land," "So Long, It’s Been Good to
Know Ya," "Oklahoma Hills," "Pastures of Plenty" and thousands of others. His
songs and writings have inspired creative people of every genre around the
world, and he hammered out the template most socially conscious folk and rock
musicians have used to shape their own creativity and expressions, from Bob
Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to Billy Bragg and Steve Earle.

The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival is organized and produced by the Woody Guthrie
Coalition, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation, and the event is made possible in
part by grants provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Viersen Family
Foundation. Other sponsors of the 2004 festival include Taylor Guitars,
Intellitouch Tuner, Okemah National Bank, Parks Brothers Hardware, Oklahoma
AFL/CIO, New Dominion LLC, Grape Ranch, John’s Bar-B-Q, Johnnie’s Charcoal
Burgers, Okemah Casino and Okemah Care Center.