The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will present West Virginia musician, actor and storyteller Mick Souter in an original one-man performance, “The Roads and Rails of Woody Guthrie,” on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The show will begin at 2 p.m. After an intermission, the Four Seasons Vocal Arts Ensemble will give a concert at 4 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
In his musical and narrative journey, Souter appears in period costume and character as one of the legendary songwriter’s companions, sharing stories about Guthrie and his life as he traveled across the country. Souter accompanies himself on the guitar, harmonica, banjo, lap dulcimer and autoharp, performing a selection of Guthrie’s songs, including “Hard Travelin’,” “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad,” “Do Re Mi,” “Roll Columbia,” “So Long It’s Been Good To Know Ya” and “This Land Is Your Land.”
Guthrie helped launch the folk music revival of the 1950s and 60s, and influenced an entire generation of writers and singers. His songs celebrate the often-heroic struggles of people trying to carve out a living in the face of natural disaster, economic hardship and exploitation. The tunes tell the stories of the “Oakies” traveling Route 66 looking for a better life, the migrant workers, the early union movement, the building of the Columbia River dams, and working people everywhere.
Souter’s portrayal brings the songs and the character alive for audiences of all ages. He encourages the audience to participate by singing and clapping along with the music, providing family entertainment that is both enjoyable and educational.
The Four Seasons Vocal Arts Ensemble, directed by Timothy Waugh, was formed in Mercer County in 1998 to foster and advance great choral literature of all types and styles. The group has a repertoire ranging from classical sacred and spirituals to jazz and show tunes. The ensemble sings both accompanied and acappella soprano, alto, tenor and bass selections.
For more information about “The Roads and Rails of Woody Guthrie” or the Four Seasons Vocal Arts Ensemble concert, or to request a complete schedule of holiday activities at the Cultural Center, call (304) 558-0162.
Regular hours for the Cultural Center are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Archives Library is closed on Sunday. Check local listings for extended hours during special holiday programming. All events are free and open to the public. Evening and weekend parking is free.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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