The JMC Inaugural Event features Will Kaufman’s WOODY GUTHRIE: HARD TIMES AND HARD TRAVELIN’, a captivating “live documentary” that sets the songs of Woody Guthrie in the context of the American 1930s - the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and the state of popular music itself. Such hard-hitting Guthrie songs as “Vigilante Man,” “Pretty Boy Floyd,” and “I Ain’t Got No Home” are brought into conversation with other relevant songs - from Joe Hill’s “The Preacher and the Slave” to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?.” Altogether the show highlights the blending of music and radical politics that marks Guthrie's most powerful work.

Kaufman3.jpgWill Kaufman is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Central Lancashire, England. He has given his Woody Guthrie presentations at such major events as the Glastonbury Festival, the Bath International Music Festival, the Chester Literature Festival, the Big Session, the Whitby Folk Festival, and the Piacenza Literature and Blues Festival in Italy. He has also performed at countless European and American universities, trades clubs, folk clubs, and union halls. Kaufman has written a number of books on American culture -American Culture in the 1970s (2009), The Civil War in American Culture (2006), and The Comedian as Confidence Man (1997). In 2008 Kaufman was awarded the Woody Guthrie Research Fellowship from the Broadcast Music Industry Foundation and the Woody Guthrie Foundation, which enabled him to write the first political biography of Guthrie, Woody Guthrie, American Radical (2011).