The first family of American folk is coming to Happy Valley.
The "Arlo Guthrie: Guthrie Family Rides Again" tour will be presented at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the State Theatre in State College.
The iconic folk singer will perform along with three generations of his family to commemorate the recent release of "Arlo Guthrie: Tales of '69" (Rising Son Records, 2009), a nine-track CD culled from a newly discovered lost tape of his pre-Woodstock 1969 performance in Long Island, N.Y.; and to pay homage to musicians such as Billy Bragg, Wilco, Eliza Gilkyson, Janis Ian, Wenzel and the Klezmatics as they perform many newly written songs featuring unpublished lyrics of Arlo's late father, Woody Guthrie.
Legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie will perform at The State Theatre Tuesday.
Among the Guthries who will perform in State College are Sarah Lee Guthrie and her family.
"I think it's a rare and unique opportunity that we were able to bring him to State College," Kristy Cyone, sales and marketing director at the theater, said. "There's not too many people out there that have never heard of Arlo Guthrie. When you talk about the classics, he's a staple that spans across the generations. The promotion company (Matthew Ziegler Greenhouse Productions & Heritage Square Trust, Arizona) really did a good job in getting the whole family to come."
Arlo Guthrie, who had hits with "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" and "City of New Orleans," in 1967 and 1972, respectively, will perform with his daughters Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee Guthrie; his son Abe, who has contributed keyboards and backing vocals to his father's live shows since the '80s; Sarah Lee's husband Johnny Irion; and several Guthrie grandkids.
"I've been to State College before, but I couldn't tell ya when - probably some time in the '80s," Arlo Guthrie, 62, said in a telephone interview from a hotel in Cortland, N.Y. "I remember the town, but I don't remember that particular venue (State Theatre). But, we love playing in college towns - they have great coffee. And we love playing smaller venues - the small venues used to be my bread and butter, man."
If you go
What: "Arlo Guthrie: Guthrie Family Rides Again" tour
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: State Theatre, State College
Admission: $33, $43 and $48. Tickets available by calling 272-0606 or online at www.thestatetheatre. org
The Guthries' music appeals to a wide audience, he said, adding it transcends age and social strata.
"Everything today is targeted to a niche audience or demographic, but our audience defies that," he said. "If you come to our show, you're gonna see babies, teenagers, older people, rich and poor. You don't see people getting together like that anymore - our show is like a window into an old world."
"We're going to have a great time playing some of our own songs and some of Dad's," Sarah Lee Guthrie, 30, said in a telephone interview from her home in western Massachusetts. "The Guthrie family means so many things to so many people, and there's going to be a lot of emotionally fulfilling moments in this show for everyone. I would certainly encourage families to come out. I think it's a going to be a wonderful concert for families to experience as a family. We get a lot of feedback from people who say after the show, 'Ya know, I really wish I would've brought my family to see this. So if ya got one, bring 'em."
Cyone credited State College native and Arizona resident Matthew Ziegler with the idea to bring the Guthries to State College.
"I've brought Arlo Guthrie to Arizona three times and have developed a good relationship with his agent and management," Ziegler said in an e-mail. "I feel like State College is a great market for Arlo as there are lots of baby boomers as well as progressively minded folks.
"Also, my Mom and Dad live in State College, as do a couple of old friends, so it feels pretty good to be able to bring a show back to my old stomping grounds.
"Getting Arlo to play was just a matter of waiting for it to route for his tour," he said. "He has a gig in Harrisburg, so it worked out well."
Cyone said tickets sales for the show have been "fantastic."
"Our seating capacity is 550, and at this point, there's no doubt we'll sell that many," she said. "As a matter of fact, we should be sold out real soon. It's going to be a great show."
Mirror Staff Writer Jimmy Mincin is at 946-7460.