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Zoe Mulford: Postcards (Blog)

Tour Notes: Hooting At the Guthrie Center

Posted on April 15, 2010 with 0 comments


Visiting Graham and Barbara Dean. We stopped in at the Thursday night Hootenanny at the Guthrie Center - otherwise known as the deconsecrated church where Alice Brock lived, and where Arlo Guthrie had the Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. The main room isn’t heated, so until the warm weather comes, the Hootenanny is held in the lobby.

Some observations:

1) Wood floors love an upright bass.

2) A solo singer and a willing audience can approximate a barbershop quartet. (The singer told us it was barbershop and then sang the melody through several times until we started picking up the harmonies. By the last time through, it was sounding not entirely unlike barbershop - though still probably more fun for the singers than the listeners.)

3) If you write a song called the “No-fat Ice Cream Blues”, you may send your listeners scurrying off to the all-night grocery for Ben & Jerry’s on the way home.

Attending was a young man who came to listen. He’d started out from Oregon and was on his way to Maine by way of Arizona. He described himself as “an itinerant freelance parachute packer”. He’d visited the Guthrie Center out of interest and stayed for the music.

The next day we ran into him taking pictures in Stockbridge. He’d been to the Norman Rockwell Museum and Alice’s Restaurant and was bound next for Walden Pond. My mother (who had been reciting Robert Frost over lunch) didn’t have the heart to tell him that Walden Pond is now surrounded by highways.