It’s Turkey Day. I woke this morning bright and early at 6:00am for nice morning ride and relaxing soak in the hot tub with the guys (despite my normal aversion to them I might pint out – click HERE for a little reminder) and now, I’m home enjoying the calm before the storm (when the rest of the family shows up) with my book (‘Road to Valor‘ – Aili McConnon) and cuppa joe. So begins the “Great Thanksgiving Vinylfest of 2016”, beginning with the ‘Alice’s Restaurant‘ soundtrack by Arlo Guthrie.
“But Terry, didn’t you play that last year?”
Yes, I hear you.
And I did (click HERE)…sort of. Besides that the original album is the greatest Thanksgiving album, like, ever – in fact, if you haven’t before, or just don’t listen to this album on the this holiday, I’m not you really celebrate this holiday and, therefore, I’m not sure we can still even be friends – this is different in that it is the soundtrack to the film based on that album…get it? So, yes, it’s the same album…only different.
Let me be clear: this is the soundtrack to Arthur Penn’s 1969 film (as well as the movie itself) that was built around Guthrie’s 16-minute folk-rock talking-blues narrative ‘Alice Restaurant’s Massacree‘ – which is included here – though this is a different recording from the classic one on the Reprise Records original album, with slightly altered nuances and production, and every bit as funny (the original album had the title track in two parts, which have been reassembled here).
The original soundtrack album was one of the finest non-orchestral soundtrack records of its era – no surprise, since Guthrie also helped play and write much of the instrumental background music in the film (Garry Sherman did some composing and arranging as well), much of which is pleasant, unassuming instrumental folk and folk-rock with some blues and country accents, broken up by a group a cappella version of ‘Amazing Grace‘ and a Joni Mitchell soundalike (Tigger Outlaw) singing Mitchell’s ‘Songs to Aging Children‘. Again, this is mostly easygoing folk and folk-rock, including a couple of brief reprises of ‘Alice’s Restaurant‘, as well as Pete Seeger doing Woody Guthrie‘s ‘Pastures of Plenty‘ and Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie dueting on Woody Guthrie’s ‘Car Song‘.
It may not be as instantly classic as the original, but, it is still good and as ideal for this holiday season. I’m still likely going to listen to the original album later on because, well, tradition is tradition, but this is certainly a good warm up leading up to that point.