Concerts

Arlo Guthrie

Certain unforgettable snapshots frame Arlo Guthrie's life and career. They're prefaced by the lingering legacy he inherited from his father, Woody Guthrie, one of America's most indelible folk singers, the patron saint of protest, and the man who inspired generations of young men like Bob Dylan to pick up their guitars and rail against injustice. While that's a formidable mantle to inherit, young Arlo created his own iconic image with "Alice's Restaurant," a humorous homespun tale with an upstart attitude that later became an album, a film, and his signature song.

Then there's the scene from the movie Woodstock in which Arlo, now a full-fledged counterculture commando, rips into "Coming Into Los Angeles," a narrative detailing his attempt to smuggle in some illegal contraband while passing on the plea, "Don't touch my bag if you please, Mister Customs Man." Now, fast-forward to the present, and the graying, bespectacled, but still shaggy-haired populist troubadour has become an elder statesman of sorts in the effort to keep America's musical traditions thriving. No doubt Dad would be proud. And even in this era of dashed hopes and dire desperation, if you can't get everything you want — as that winsome refrain from "Alice's Restaurant" once promised — the ever-affable Arlo can still guarantee one fine time.

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Lee Zimmerman