Indie rockers Waxahatchee have just released a lyric video of Woody Guthrie‘s “Talking Dust Bowl Blues”. The single comes from the forthcoming album Home in This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads, a reimagined adaptation of Guthrie’s original 1940 album Dust Bowl Ballads. Other contributors to the new release, due out 10 September via Elektra Records, include a plethora of stylists from different genres, including the country soul of Swamp Dogg to grunge’s Mark Lanegan to Americana’s the Secret Sisters. The complete list is below. The Woody Guthrie Estate have endorsed the project.
What all the acts have in common is a shared belief that contemporary farming practices exploit our natural resources and contribute to climate change and most everyone’s detriment. The album will be released in partnership with Kiss the Ground, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to awaken people to the possibilities of regenerative agriculture and inspire participation in this movement through media, communications, education, immersive programming, and advocacy.
Waxahatchee’ Katie Crutchfield sings Guthrie’s fanciful tune about an epic journey across the country with a rural drawl. She delivers lines such as “Commence coastin’ pickin’ up speed / It was a hairpin turn I-I-I-I didn’t make it” in a single breath to mock her role in the situation cleverly. One can’t flee the dust-blown fate awaiting farmers no matter where one goes. The song (and the album) may not seem especially relevant today as dust storms are usually a thing of the past. Still, as extreme weather conditions continue to flourish partly because of our wasteful agricultural practices, Guthrie’s material seems as pertinent as ever.
1. Dust Bowl Blues – Shovels & Rope
2. I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore – Lost Dog Street Band
3. Blowin’ Down This Road – Watkins Family Hour
4. Pretty Boy Floyd – John Paul White
5. Dusty Old Dust – Lee Ann Womack
6. Do Re Mi – Colter Wall
7. Talking Dust Bowl Blues – Waxahatchee
8. Tom Joad Part 1 – Chris Thile
9. Tom Joad Part 2 – Lillie Mae
10. The Great Dust Storm – The Felice Brothers
11. Dust Cain’t Kill Me – The Secret Sisters
12. Dust Bowl Refugee – Swamp Dogg
13. Dust Pneumonia Blues – Mark Lanegan
14. Vigilante Man – Parker Millsap