GUIDE: The 2013 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival

by Natasha Ball


Woody turns 101 on the final day of this festival, a celebration of Guthrie’s influence on American folk and roots music. Guthrie’s birthplace of Okemah is flooded with thousands of music fans from across the country each year for four days of music, storytelling, and the great outdoors.

It’s a dry festival, and it’s as hot as all get out. Here’s what we, as regular attendees of the festival, have figured out: if you’re crafty, the latest copy of This Land (get yours) is large enough that, in addition to being your guide to this year’s festival, it can do double duty as a fan for you and your friends. Plus, you can bring coolers. (Fill them with iced watermelon.) If you’re staying overnight, ditch the room at the local hotel and pitch a tent at the campsite adjacent to Pastures of Plenty. The sounds of strumming guitars and the voices of your fellow campers and festival-goers play on until after first light.

The list of musicians for this year’s WoodyFest would make Woody proud (and maybe a little dizzy):

Trout Fishing in America. Ellis Paul. Jimmy LaFave. Vance Gilbert. Sam Baker. Annie Guthrie. The Burns Sisters. John Fullbright. Joel Rafael. Ramsay Midwood. Ronny Elliott. Tim Easton. Don Conoscenti. Audrey Auld. Garrett LeBeau. David Amram. Rebecca Loebe. Griffin House. Red Dirt Rangers. Steve Poltz. Milagro Saints. Otis Gibbs. K.C. Clifford. Grant Peeples. Samantha Crain. Radoslav Lorkovic. John Flynn. Parker Millsap. Nancy Apple. Lauren Lee. Monica Taylor. Oklahoma Geniuses. Hurray For The Riff Raff. Rebekah Pulley. Susan Herndon. Rob McNurlin. Butch Morgan. Happenstance. Greg Jacobs. Sam Doores + Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds. Still on the Hill. Randy Crouch. The Damn Quails.

2013 Guide to Woody Guthrie Folk Festival

Tuesday, July 9: Festival preview in Tulsa

Woody Guthrie Center, Cain’s Ballroom

  • 12–12:30 p.m. — Annie Guthrie
  • 12:45–1:15 p.m. — Audrey Auld
  • 1:30–2:00 p.m. — Ronny Cox
  • 7 p.m. — Todd Snider and Dustin Pittsley at Cain’s Ballroom

Wednesday, July 10: Okemah

Crystal Theatre

  • 7:30 p.m. Walking Woody’s Road Benefit Show, produced by Jimmy LaFave

Thursday, July 11: Okemah

Crystal Theatre, Okemah Methodist Church, Okemah Public Library, Brickstreet Stage in downtown Okemah, and Pastures of Plenty

  • 11:00 a.m. — Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation, a documentary screening followed by a discussion with David Amram and Gene Shay, at Crystal Theatre
  • 2:00 p.m. — Art of the Song Creativity Radio, with John Dillon and Vivian Nesbitt interview Butch Hancock at the Okemah Methodist Church, 202 N. 3rd
  • 5:30 p.m. — Orphan Train Presentation at Okemah Public Library

Brickstreet Stage

  • 11 a.m. — Greg Jacobs
  • 12 p.m. — Radoslav Lorkovic
  • 1 p.m. — Rebekah Pulley
  • 2 p.m. — Rob McNurlin
  • 3 p.m. — Nancy Apple
  • 4 p.m. — Ronny Elliott
  • 5 p.m. — Bob Childers Tribute

Pastures of Plenty Stage

  • 7 p.m. — First-Place Songwriting Contest with Paddy Mills
  • 7:30 p.m. — Don Conoscenti
  • 8:30 p.m. — Ramsay Midwood
  • 9:30 p.m. — Red Dirt Rangers
  • 10:30 p.m. — Butch Hancock

Friday, July 12: Okemah

Okemah Methodist Church Okfuskee County History Center, Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern, Brickstreet Stage in downtown Okemah, and Pastures of Plenty

  • 11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m.—Native American storytelling for kids and adults with Choogie Kingfisher, Gayle Ross, Mahenwahdose-Will Hill, and Winona Henderson at the Okemah Methodist Church, 202 N. 3rd
  • 2:00 p.m. —“Collecting Woody 2013” presentation by Barry Ollman at Okfuskee County History Center
  • 2:00 p.m. – Art of the Song Creativity Radio with John Dillon and Vivian Nesbitt, with an interview with Vance Gilbert at the Okemah Methodist Church, 202 N. 3rd
  • 3:00 — “What’s Happening at Woody Guthrie Center” with Deana McCloud, executive director, at the Okfuskee County History Center
  • 12:30—4:30 p.m. — Open Mic Stage at Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern

Brickstreet Stage

  • 11 a.m. — Butch Morgan
  • 12 p.m. — Oklahoma Geniuses
  • 1 p.m. — Susan Herndon
  • 2 p.m. — Parker Millsap
  • 3 p.m. — Still on the Hill
  • 4 p.m. — Alex Culbreth
  • 5 p.m. — Randy Crouch

Crystal Theatre Stage

  • 10:45 a.m. — 2nd Place Songwriting Contest with Kim Gentry
  • 11 a.m. — Rebecca Loebe
  • 12 p.m. — Otis Gibbs
  • 1 p.m. — Burns Sisters
  • 2 p.m. — Tim Easton
  • 3 p.m. — Milagro Saints
  • 4 p.m. — David Amram
  • 5 p.m. — Samantha Crain

Pastures of Plenty Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. — Vance Gilbert
  • 8:30 p.m. — Joel Rafael
  • 9:30 p.m. — Trout Fishing in America
  • 10:30 p.m. — John Fullbright

Saturday, July 13: Okemah

Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern, Okemah Methodist Church, Okfuskee County History Center, Brickstreet, Pastures of Plenty

  • 8:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m.—Mary Jo’s Pancake Breakfast at Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern
  • 11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m. – Children’s Concerts at Okemah Methodist Church, 202 N. 3rd
  • 11 a.m. — Red Dirt Rangers
  • 11:30 a.m. — Ellis Paul
  • 12 p.m. — Trout Fishing in America
  • 12 p.m. — Book Discussion: Bring Your Own God: The Spirituality of Woody Guthrie, with Rev. Stephen Edington at Okfuskee County History Center
  • 12:30 p.m.—4:30 p.m. – Open Mic Stage at Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern
  • 1:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m.; 3:00—4:00 p.m.—Woody Guthrie Poets, with musical Accompaniment by David Amram at Okemah Methodist Church, 202 N. 3rd

Brickstreet Stage

  • 11 a.m. — Happenstance
  • 12 p.m. — Monica Taylor
  • 1 p.m. — Lauren Lee & Liberty Road
  • 2 p.m. — Levi Parham
  • 3 p.m. — Hurray for the Riff Raff
  • 4 p.m. — Sam Doores + Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds
  • 5 p.m. — Damn Quails

Crystal Theatre Stage

  • 10:45 a.m. — 3rd Place Songwriting Contest with Dan Weber
  • 11 a.m. — Audrey Auld
  • 12 p.m. — Annie Guthrie
  • 1 p.m. — Grant Peeples
  • 2 p.m. — KC Clifford
  • 3 p.m. — John Flynn
  • 4 p.m. — Steve Poltz
  • 5 p.m. — Sam Baker

Pastures of Plenty Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. — Garrett LeBeau
  • 8:30 p.m. — Griffin House
  • 9:30 p.m. — Ellis Paul
  • 10:30 p.m. — Jimmy LaFave

Sunday, July 14: Okemah

Crystal Theatre

  • 12 p.m. — “Hoot for Huntington’s,” Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Hootenanny at Crystal Theatre, featuring many of the weekend’s performers

More about Woody Guthrie Folk Festival.

Woody Goodies

LISTEN: From This Land Radio comes this hour of Woody-centric listening, from a tour of the archives recently moved to Tulsa an invitation to dance from Nora.

LOOK: Creekehoma Yearbook, 1929. A page from Woody’s school days.

READ: House of Earth. An excerpt of Woody’s novel.

WATCH: The Red Dirt Rangers on the influence of Woody Guthrie on Oklahoma music.

WEAR: This tshirt kills fascists.

COLLECT: Our celebration of Woody’s 100th birthday.

READ: The King in Okemah. The crossroads where rock and folk royalty meet.

WATCH: Woody Guthrie Folk Festival performer and Grammy nominee John Fullbright sings and strums.

HANG: Woody Guthrie ramblin’ troubadour poster by artist Jeremy Luther.

READ: Woody Guthrie’s Social Gosepl Roots.

READ: The Myth of Saint Woody. “It’s easy to want to idolize Woody Guthrie.”

FRAME: An iconic Woody image.

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