Will Kaufman – “Woody Guthrie & ‘Old Man Trump'”

Thursday 15th Novemeber
Will Kaufman – ‘Woody Guthrie & ‘Old Man Trump”
£10/£12 [+10% booking fee]
Doors open 8pm – tickets available on the door
Seated show



A New Live Documentary Performance from Will Kaufman: “Woody Guthrie and ‘Old Man Trump'”

In December 1950, Woody Guthrie moved his family into a new apartment in Brooklyn’s Beach Haven. His new landlord, it turned out, was none other than Fred Trump, father of the USA’s President.

Over 60 years later, Donald Trump would proclaim on the campaign trail: “My legacy is my father’s legacy.” It was, among other things, a legacy of corruption and race-hatred. Woody Guthrie soon found this out.

As he wrote:

I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts

When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project

Will Kaufman – singer, multi-instrumentalist, and Professor of American Studies – is recognised as the world’s leading authority on Woody Guthrie. He is the author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical (2011), Woody Guthrie’s Modern World Blues (2017), and Mapping Woody Guthrie (forthcoming 2019).

In 2014, Will discovered, buried in the archives, Guthrie’s previously unpublished song lyrics and other writings condemning Fred Trump’s racism. He has now turned these discoveries into a new music and spoken-word presentation, following on from his celebrated shows, Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travelin’ and Woody Guthrie: The Long Road to Peekskill.

Woody Guthrie and ‘Old Man Trump’  brings to life all the anger and contempt that Guthrie felt for those in power who will deny justice to their fellow human beings on account of the colour of their skin.

Against the backdrop of Guthrie’s racial awakening and emergent activism, Will introduces such previously unheard songs as ‘Trump Made a Tramp Out of Me’ and ‘Beach Haven Ain’t My Home,’ along with a host of other Guthrie songs about racial injustice and struggle.

All in all, we hear Woody Guthrie speaking and singing from beyond the grave, warning us about the dangers of ignoring and repeating history.

Listen up all you Jim Crow fascists and you race-hate mongers, too:
Will Kaufman is a-comin’ and he’s got his eye on you.
Won’t brake for no excuses, won’t stand no messin’ around,
Your bigot ways can’t save you ’cause Will Kaufman’s gonna run you down.

Ry Cooder

No one can understand the American people without listening to Woody Guthrie. Will Kaufman’s doing important work here.

Tom Paxton

I thank Will Kaufman for introducing a new generation of Europeans to ‘the other America.’
It’s a wonderful job he’s doing.

Pete Seeger

Will does it all so well!

Steve Tilston




Bookings are closed for this event.

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