'This Land' (Newport Classic Recordings), subtitled "Symphonic Variations On A Song By Woody Guthrie," is by the living legend known as David Amram, who, now 85 years-old, has conducted 75 of the world's greatest orchestras. A friend to Kerouac, Ginsburg, Dylan, Seeger and, yes, Guthrie...composer-in-residence at the New York Philharmonic since 1966...pioneer of the French Horn in jazz since the 1950s...a world music, folk, classical and jazz icon.
With musicians in strife over their songs being inadvertently associated with certain political front runners, Bernie Sanders may be able to avoid the controversy. The Vermonter-Socialist can simply use his own Burlington-based label recording of "We Shall Overcome" and even the Guthrie classic "This Land is Your Land."
The musical vineyard that is Woody Guthrie speaks to a history of America that still rings true today. As the events in Ferguson, M.O. unfold, pop stars and obscure voices alike come together at the VMAs to stand up for what they believe in, not unlike Guthrie in a more rural country.