The 100th anniversary of the folk legend's birth has brought an outpouring of tributes, none better than this coffee-table collection. It wraps together a 154-page book and 57 tracks on three CDs, including 21 previously unreleased performances. These include his earliest known originals dating to 1937. As evidenced by "Them Big City Ways" and "Skid Row Serenade," the twangy upstart is speaking truth to power from the get-go. The music's the thing, obviously, but the essays, detailed notes on the songs and recording sessions, audio interviews and replicas of the troubadour's artwork and handwritten lyrics make this a terrific Guthrie starter kit.
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