NEPA Scene Staff

Folk icons Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie perform at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on July 24

Folk icons Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie perform at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on July 24
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From a press release:

It was announced today that two of folk music’s most celebrated icons, Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie, will share the stage at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Friday, July 24 at 8 p.m.

Over the last half a century, the legendary Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretive folk songs and contemporary themes. A Grammy Award winner, she has led an impressive career with an extensive catalog from every decade, from the 1960s up to the present. She recently performed at The Theater at North in Scranton on Nov. 16, 2019.

Arlo Guthrie is an acclaimed artist whose timeless stories and unforgettable classic songs carry on the Guthrie family legacy. A distinguished figure in American music, he continues to entertain generations as he bridges an often divided world through his powerful spirit of song. He visited the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre with his family in 2017, a month after Collins sang there with Stephen Stills.

Collins and Guthrie are coming together now to perform their most definitive songs like never before – a collaboration that promises to be truly memorable for years to come.

Tickets, which are $46 for regular reserved seating and $52 for premium reserved seating, go on sale this Friday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Penn’s Peak box office (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe), and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Penn’s Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the ’60s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 55-album body of work and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century.

The 80-year-old singer/songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album “Wildflowers” has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Collins’ dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical “A Little Night Music,” won Song of the Year at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several Top 10 hits along with gold and platinum-selling albums. In 2008, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album “Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.”

Collins began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos,” but the hard luck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business.

In 1961, she released her masterful debut, “A Maid of Constant Sorrow,” which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile 35-year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time, she became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community and brought other singer/songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.

Prolific as ever, she recorded a DVD special “Judy Collins: A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim” in her hometown of Denver, Colorado. Along with the Greely Philharmonic Orchestra, she dazzled the audience with Sondheim’s beautiful songs and her lovely, radiant voice. The DVD and CD companion was released in 2017. She also released a collaborative album in 2016, “Silver Skies Blue,” with writing partner Ari Hest. “Silver Skies Blue” was nominated fora Grammy for Best Folk Album in 2017, her first Grammy nomination in over 40 years.

Collins’ most recent singer/songwriter collaboration is “Winter Stories,” (Wildflower Records/Cleopatra Records), including critically-acclaimed Norwegian folk artist Jonas Fjeld and masterful bluegrass band Chatham County Line. “Winter Stories” is a collection of classics, new tunes, and a few surprises, featuring spirited lead vocal turns, breathtaking duets, and Collins’ stunning harmony singing.

She has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring “Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Strength” and her extraordinary memoir, “Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music.” For her most recent title, “Cravings: How I Conquered Food,” provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating and the journey that led her to a solution. Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidtech of Weight Watchers, and Andrew Weil, to name a few), “Cravings” is the culmination of her genuine desire to share what she’s learned so that no one has follow her heartrending path to recovery.

In addition, Collins remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico called “Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman,” the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world and Collins’ classical piano teacher when she was young.

Collins is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern-day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.

72-year-old Arlo Guthrie is known to generations as a prolific songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor, and activist. Born in Coney Island, New York in 1947, he is the eldest son of Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, and America’s most beloved singer/writer/ philosopher/artist Woody Guthrie. Arlo has become an iconic figure in folk music in his own right with a distinguished and varied career spanning over 50 years.

Growing up Guthrie, Arlo was surrounded by such renowned artists as Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, to name only a few. Not surprisingly, he drew from these influences and, in turn, became a delineative artist bridging generations of folk. He and Pete Seeger created a legendary collaboration that was sustained for over 40 years. The last Seeger and Guthrie show was in Nov. 30, 2013 at Carnegie Hall, only a few months before Seeger passed away at the age of 94.

In 1965, a teenaged Guthrie performed a “friendly gesture” that proved to be fateful. He was arrested for littering, leading him to be deemed “not moral enough to join the army.” Guthrie attained international attention at age 19 by recounting the true events on the album “Alice’s Restaurant” in 1967. The “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” an 18-minute-and-20-second partially sung comic monologue opposing the war and the backward reasoning of authority, has become an anti-establishment anthem and an essential part of Thanksgiving on rock stations, receiving worldwide airplay. “Alice’s Restaurant” achieved platinum status and was made into a movie in 1969, in which Guthrie played himself, by the esteemed director Arthur Penn. 1969 also brought Guthrie to the rock festival of the ages – Woodstock. His appearance showcased his chart-topping “Coming into Los Angeles,” which was included on the multi-platinum Woodstock soundtrack and movie.

Beginning the ’70s with a number of albums for Warner Bros., Guthrie helped set the standard for the singer/songwriter genre burgeoning at the time. Perhaps the best known is “Hobo’s Lullaby” (1972), featuring a diverse body of work. Most notable is the definitive version of Steve Goodman’s “The City of New Orleans” that was a hit on all major charts. Another critically acclaimed album that charted on Billboard was “Amigo” (1976), which includes “Massachusetts,” honored in 1981 as the official State Folk Song.

Taking complete creative control, Guthrie left the major record label system in 1983 to fulfill his career as a truly independent artist and established Rising Son Records, one of the first indie labels in existence. Rising Son is still in active operation, serving as his record and production company. To date, Rising Son Records has released over 20 titles of his, both all-new material and remastered versions of his classic records, including the Grammy-nominated “Woody’s 20 Grow Big Songs” (1991), featuring Guthrie and his family, and “In Times Like These” (2007), recorded with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

“Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary” (2016), a two-CD set, captures the magic of that historic tour at one of his hometown stops at The Colonial Theatre in The Berkshires. The anniversary show was broadcast nationwide on PBS on Thanksgiving 2015 and released on DVD and Blu-ray. Released the same year, “Arlo Guthrie: The First 50 Years (Exceptin’ Alice)” is a limited edition two-CD set with a full-color hardcover book of personal photographs and reminiscences. “The Best of All Over the World” (2016), Guthrie’s latest offering, is a two-CD set of his best-loved songs, plus an additional track of him with the Guthrie Family.

In addition to his musical career, Guthrie is an accomplished actor with numerous television appearances. He has had recurring roles in two major network television series, “The Byrds of Paradise” and “Relativity,” and feature films, the aforementioned “Alice’s Restaurant” and “Roadside Prophets” (1992). He is the author of four children’s books and a distinguished photographer, showing his works in selected galleries.

Inspired by his parents’ activism, Guthrie bought the old Trinity Church (“the” church) that is now home to the Guthrie Center and the Guthrie Foundation. Named for his parents, the Guthrie Center is a not-for-profit interfaith church foundation dedicated to providing a wide range of local and international services. The Guthrie Foundation is a separate not-for-profit educational organization that addresses issues such as the environment, healthcare, cultural preservation, and educational exchange. In 2009, he was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award for making a difference through social action on behalf of worthwhile causes and demonstrating exceptional efforts in humanitarianism.