Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger convinced a sellout crowd at Wolf Trap last night that they weren't really in a suburban theater. The two folk singers were so intimate and inspiring they created the illusion that they were singing for a union meeting in a whitewashed Baptist church in eastern Kentucky.
The crowd fell for it. The audience swayed and sang unabashedly as if they had grown up on the same hillside instead of driving in from a hundred different Beltway developments.
The 33-year-old Guthrie, with his shaggy dark curls, is still the young jester to the 61-year-old Seeger. In reaction to the new draft registration law, Guthrie sang "Alice's Restaurant Massacre" for the first time in a decade. He interrupted the still-hilarious talking blues by soberly noting, "I never thought I'd be talking about the draft again."
Seeger and Guthrie sang pro-union songs, anti-nuke songs, goodbye songs, lullaby songs, railroad songs, coal mine songs, tender love songs and Bob Dylan songs. They sang songs so old no one knows when or where the songs started. And they sang the songs of Woody Guthrie -- Seeger's old singing partner and Arlo's daddy.