Respected singer/songwriter Darryl Holter dips way back into the Woody Guthrie songbook for latest project “Radio Songs: Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles 1937-1939.” The L.A.-based Holter came up with new arrangements for some of Guthrie’s oldest songs and put everything together into an intriguing package.
“I began working with these songs after receiving a research grant from the Woody Guthrie Archives and BMG,” Holter explains. “During Guthrie’s time in Los Angeles he wrote dozens of original songs and performed them live on a daily radio show on KFVD. They tell us a great deal about the issues of the day and also reveal Guthrie’s growth as an artist.”
The best entries on the 10-track, 41-minute release feature a trio of guest vocalists. Holter teams up with Sara Watkins on personal favorite “California Stars,” Ani DiFranco on the almost-as-good “Looking for That New Deal Now” and daughter Julia Holter on “My Flowers Grow Green.” He also shines bright on “Do Re Me,” “One By One,” “Oklahoma Hills” and “Talking Dust Bowl Blues.” This is a fitting tribute to one of the most influential and enduring figures in American music. (Jeffrey Sisk)