In the summer of 1941, a musical group of labor activists known as “The Almanac Singers” climbed into a midnight blue Buick and blazed a trail across the United States, spreading the gospel of unionism and bringing folk music back to the people. The group, with members Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Mill Lampell, created a new kind of topical music, using old folk melodies to tell the stories of the times. They played in union halls, on picket lines, theaters and radio shows, planting seeds wherever they went.
Some seventy years later, folksingers Rik Palieri and George Mann will retrace the Almanac Singers’ 1941 tour, singing at some of the same places and towns, and inviting local musicians to join in, as in the original tour.
The Minneapolis stop on the “Almanac Trail” concert tour will be Thursday, August 8, with a free concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Eagles #34, 2507 East 25th Street. The free concert is being presented with the support of the Communications Workers of America Minnesota State Council. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
To capture the spirit of the Almanac Singers’ tour, Palieri and Mann sought the guidance of Seeger, now 94, and the Woody Guthrie Archives. Almanac Trail concerts, the musicians say, are “like an old-fashioned ‘Hootenanny,’” with labor history, music and fun for all generations.
For more information, including a how to buy a forthcoming CD, visit www.almanactrail.com.