by Brian DeSpain
Here’s a first at AmericanaFest: The Dropkick Murphys playing a show on September 14 in a conference room at The Weston Hotel in Nashville among the adjacent panel discussions.
Since there was a Q&A during the set, technically it was a panel discussion, just much louder.
Frontman Ken Casey remarked, “This is our first seated theater tour” to audience laughter. The band tour supporting their Woody Guthrie lyric-driven album This Machine Still Kills Fascists is scheduled to conclude at the Ryman Auditorium on November 19.
The album, set for a September 30 release, takes lyrics of Woody Guthrie and set them to music. This is where punk rock makes the crossover to Americana. And both musical genres, punk rock and folk tradition, both have that element of protest that fit like hand in glove.
Evan Felker of Turnpike Troubadours guests on “The Last One” an acoustic/banjo/harmonic number about the working class with the band’s characteristic deep drum beat and Celtic flavor.
Another track, “Rose Tattoo” elevates banjo in the mix.
The Dropkick Murphys paid a visit to Okemah, Oklahoma, the hometown of Guthrie, and during their AmericanaFest set on Wednesday, accepted an invitation to perform at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in 2023. The annual festival takes place in mid-July.
Other artists have previously done recording projects involving Woody Guthrie’s writing.
Wilco & Billy Bragg were the first to be given access by the Guthrie estate to record the Mermaid Avenue albums. New Multitudes, an ensemble of four musicians (including Will Johnson) were next. Jonatha Brooke did the same with her album The Works. So there are quite a variety of musical approaches with Guthrie’s writing.
Check for the music and tour dates here: https://dropkickmurphys.com