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Woody Guthrie Was Tight as Hell so The Smithsonian Is Honoring Him

Presumably because the Smithsonian is also tight as hell.

Man, Woody Guthrie was so cool. He grew up in Oklahoma, which is not really that cool, but then he became one of the best folk musicians of our time, which is cool. He mentored Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, which makes him the Socrates to Dylan's Plato, which is also exceedingly cool. He openly critiqued his landlord, who happened to be President-Elect Donald Trump's dad, Fred Trump, for making money by being a racist dick, which is an uncool thing to do, but Guthrie responded in a very cool way. Nice going, Guthrie!

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Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the record label of the Smithsonian Institution, (who knew that exists? Very cool!) is putting together something called Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs, a—you guessed it—26-song collection of covers of the songs Woody Guthrie wrote in 1941 for the Bonneville Power Administration. "Sounds lame," you might think. You would be wrong. Guthrie got paid to write the songs to promote the benefits of dams, which though they are sometimes bad things are, in this case, cool, because Woody Guthrie is cool. Do you see how that works? Frickin' cool.

In closing, we give to you a cover of "Grand Coulee Powder Monkey" (a song about about the guys who handled the dynamite on the dam) featuring Scott McCaughey on vocals, Peter Buck and Black Prairie's Jon Neufeld. It is, as you would expect, cool.