Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin': The Asch Recordings, Vol. 3 [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1998]
For the words, which suffice. Conjugating "Howdjadoo," naming fish he's read about and bugs he knows personally, describing women's hats from memory, creating a "Hanukkah Dance" for the daughter he calls "my little latke" (pronounced lot-key), his vocation was transmuting the folksy into Americanese. If he also wrote more songs than necessary with the word "union" in them, his heart was in the right place. Propaganda may be awkward, ineffective, annoying. But that don't make it wrong. A-