Arlo Guthrie – Amigo (1976)

Arlo Davy Guthrie (born July 10, 1947) is an American folk singer-songwriter. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, he is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice.

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With Amigo, Arlo Guthrie’s ninth album, he cemented his place as an important artist in his own right. Like Woody, Arlo has always tempered his sense of tradition and what’s important, with a playfulness and sense of humor. The opener, “Guabi, Guabi,” a traditional African tune, is as quirky and lighthearted as it is straightforward, whereas “Grocery Blues” is a typical, if humorous and effective Guthrie novelty song. On the other hand, what places Amigo a slight notch above his previous work is the strength of his original material. “Massachusetts” is a gorgeous paean to his home state, while “Darkest Hour,” an evocative tale of love, lust, power and intrigue, is folk storytelling at its finest. However, it’s at the end of the first half of the record that Arlo does the memory of his father most proud. “Victor Jara,” the story of the martyred Chilean folk-singer and activist, is one of the best and most moving topical songs of the decade, while “Patriot’s Dream” is a stirring call-to-arms to the fading protest movement of the ’60’s. While side two may lack the sheer power of the first, it possesses a certain charm of its own. “My Love” and “Ocean Crossing” are tender love songs, “Manzanillo Bay” is a lovely, south-of-the-border travelogue and there’s even a respectable cover of the the Rolling Stones’ “Connection” to close the album. His last studio recording for three years, Amigo is a passionate, touching and funny collection of songs, and remains the pinnacle of Arlo Guthrie’s career, as well as a perfect illustration of his many sides and strengths.

Tracklist

  1. “Guabi Guabi” – 2:27
  2. “Darkest Hour” – 4:04
  3. Massachusetts” – 3:10
  4. “Victor Jara” – 4:17
  5. “Patriots’ Dream” – 2:51
  6. “Grocery Blues” – 2:09
  7. “Walking Song”  (Leah Kunkel) – 3:08
  8. “My Love” – 2:43
  9. “Manzanillo Bay”  (Rob “Rabbit” Mackay) – 4:24
  10. “Ocean Crossing” – 3:22
  11. Connection (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 2:40

All tracks composed by Arlo Guthrie; except where indicated

Personnel

Additional Personnel

  • Lloyd Cliff – engineer
  • Donn Landee – engineer
  • John Pilla – producer
  • Lenny Waronker – producer

Notes

Released: August 1976
Genre: Folk
Length: 35:46

Label – Reprise Records

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