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Kicking up dust: Depression–era Guthrie sings in Park Slope

Okie spirit: Randy Noojin embodies the spirit of Woodie Guthrie, bringing audiences back in time to a union hall full of migrant workers.
Photo courtesy of Josh Adler

Woody Guthrie walks — and apparently he sounds a bit like the Boss.

Capturing more than just the Depression–era struggles of “Okie” migrant workers, musician Randy Noojin’s one-man tribute to folk-singer Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl experience is a politically relevant and musically rich performance.

“His voice is closer to Bruce Springsteen on ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad,’ than Guthrie,” said co-producer Josh Adler of Noojin’s Woodie Guthrie in “Hard Travlin’ with Woody” — in which the crooner will play the character of Guthrie as he performs to a crowd of migrant workers at a supper hall.

“But it feels completely urgent, feels very present — it’s not just the music, Randy is so honest and he’s so grounded in his portrayal.”

His voice has that gravely soulfulness of Springsteen, and according to Adler, the upcoming show at Freddy’s bar in South Park Slope is also the perfect spot for a portrayal of the folk singer famous for appealing to working class laborers.

Guthrie is known for his social activism, often writing songs for the disenfranchised. And there’s no bar where “This Land Is Your Land” will sound better than Freddy’s, a hub for opponents of the Atlantic Yards development that after much protest relocated last year from its previous home inside the mega-project’s footprint.

“It’s very applicable — and kind of amazing the circumstances that Guthrie and his stories tell from the Dust Bowl and Depression era.”

“Hard Travelin’ with Woody,” at Freddy’s [627 Fifth Ave. between 17th and 18th streets, (718) 768 –0131, freddysbar.com]. Oct. 7, 7:30 pm. Free.

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