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Various Artists

Ribbon of Highway Endless Skyway The Woody Guthrie Tribute Tour – 2008 (Music Road Records)

Reviewed by Linda Dailey Paulson

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Highlights from a tribute tour to Woody Guthrie featuring some of his finest songs interpreted by Joel Rafael, Kevin Welch, Eliza Gilkyson, Sara Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion and Jimmy LaFave from six different iterations of the live, three-hour show are captured on this double-disc set.

All the classics are here - This Train is Bound for Glory, I Ain't Got No Home, Deportee, Do Re Mi, This Land is Your Land and Goodnight Irene. And there are plenty of lesser known songs to pique the interest of those just beginning to explore the Guthrie canon.

A beautiful narrative consisting largely of Guthrie's own words joined the songs in the production and provided context for those unfamiliar with his life and work. This was provided by the late Bob Childers who passed in April. Translated to recording, the narrative comes across as being more akin to a radio broadcast than a stage production. Two great surprises on the two-disc set include appearances by Pete Seeger and Fred Hellerman. Simply a must.