Also available as part of a box set on Folkways (40112).
Compilation producers: Jeff Place, Guy Logsdon.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
Personnel: Woody Guthrie (vocals, mandolin, harmonica); Cisco Houston (guitar); Pete Seeter (banjo); Sonny Terry (harmonica).
Liner Note Authors: Guy Logsdon; Jeff Place.
Recording information: New York, NY (1944-1949).
Photographer: Arthur Rothstein.
Unknown Contributor Role: Lee Hays.
HARD TRAVELIN' is the third installment of Smithsonian Folkway's four-volume Woody Guthrie anthology. The anthology, made up entirely of recordings produced by the legendary Moses Asch, constitutes the definitive collection of Guthrie's work. Each disc focuses on a particular theme; HARD TRAVELIN' primarily contains songs with political and social themes. Among Guthrie's many talents was the gift for presenting leftist ideals as good old American common sense. A natural idealism and a wicked sense of humor both served Guthrie well in this regard, as this set amply demonstrates.
HARD TRAVELIN' features some of Guthrie's better-known songs, among them "I Ain't Got No Home" and "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You." The disc should serve as an eye-opener for casual Guthrie fans, revealing a treasure trove of obscure numbers of equal quality to Guthrie's famous numbers. Also included are a few true oddities, among them a song about the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and two Hanukkah songs (Guthrie, a Baptist, grew interested in Judaism after marrying a Jewish dancer). Those seeking a single disc including the greatest number of Guthrie hits, coincidentally, should consider the first volume in the anthology, THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND.