Annie Guthrie and her father, folk singer Arlo Guthrie, were unsure what to expect, touring with more than a dozen family members for several months across the nation.
The Guthrie family performs at 8 p.m. May 1 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, one of their final stops as the tour wraps up in late May. Annie Guthrie looked back at life on the road over the last several months.
“We’ve made the most of it,” she said during a phone interview April 26 from her hotel room in Fort Bragg, Calif. “It’s been a lot of fun to be out there to play music as a family and spending time together.”
Spending so much time together can lead to trouble for some families. Not so with the Guthrie family.
“We still like each other,” Annie Guthrie said.
Three generations of the family will take the stage at the ShoWare Center. That includes 62-year-old Arlo, four of his children and several grandchildren, one of them just 2 years old.
“We’re having a really good time and it’s going really well,” Annie Guthrie said.
The concert is part of the “Guthrie Family Rides Again” tour that features Arlo, Abe, Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee Guthrie, Johnny Irion and the kids.
The entire family will perform songs they have written, learned together and come to love. Along with Arlo’s standards, the evening will include a selection of unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics put to music. Arlo Guthrie is the son of the late Woody Guthrie, a folk icon who is best known for his song “This Land is Your Land.”
The tour has taken Annie Guthrie back to her childhood days in 1984 when she traveled with her siblings during one of their dad’s tours. The children, however, didn’t perform during that tour.
Annie Guthrie later became the tour manager for her father and help come up with the idea to take three generations of the family on the road to perform.
“There can be up to 16 of us on stage at a time,” said Annie Guthrie, who plays the autoharp, guitar and writes songs.
Annie’s two children are part of the show. Mo, her 15-year-old son, plays the bass. Jacklyn, her 8-year-old daughter, sings.
Sarah Lee Guthrie and her husband, Johnny Irion, tour on their own but have joined the family for this concert series.
“The core of the group is my dad, his four kids and Johnny,” Annie Guthrie said.
Jackie Guthrie, wife of Arlo and mother of the four children, travels with the group but is one of the few family members who does not take the stage.
The entire family isn’t on stage throughout the concert. Various family members perform their own songs and then also join together on songs.
“We do songs we’ve never done before,” Annie Guthrie said. “We also do some of my dad’s older songs and Woody’s songs. And we each do our own material. It’s a good mixture.”
The tour opened in October and wraps up in May. The family took a break during the winter holidays to return to their homes in Massachusetts and Texas before hitting the road again in February.
“My favorite thing is the music and getting up on stage and listening to everyone play together,” Annie Guthrie said.
The concert is presented by the city of Kent Arts Commission and Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services as part of the city’s annual Spotlight Series.
If you go
What: Arlo Guthrie and family concert
When: 8 p.m. May 1
Where: ShoWare Center, Kent
Cost: $40 VIP, $37 premium, $27 reserved
Tickets: www.showarecenter.com or 253-856-5999