Adam Miller - Songs of Woody Guthrie: American Balladeer


Adam Miller, one of the world’s premier autoharpists, will perform “The Songs of Woody Guthrie: American Balladeer,” at the

Madison Public Library
Thursday, September 10
7:00 p.m.

Woody Guthrie wrote over 1000 folksongs in his lifetime including “This Land is Your Land,” possibly the best known American folksong. 

Miller performs folksongs and ballads that are the songs of American’s heritage—a window into the soul of our nation in its youth. “I have always had a great interest in how folksongs travel through history, and how history travels through folksongs,” he explains.

A performer who enlightens as well as entertains, Miller points out fascinating connections between events in history and the songs that survived them.  And he gives audiences the whole story—providing surprising origins of seemingly innocent folksongs.  His numerous appearances at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival, the Tumbleweed Music Festival, the California Traditional Music Society’s Summer Solstice Festival, and the Kentucky Music Weekend have made him a national favorite.

Immersed in the oral tradition Miller is mostly self-taught, and learns just about everything by ear.  He began his lifelong pursuit of collecting old songs while still in grade school.  His childhood ambition was to learn every song he heard.  Now, he is a walking encyclopedia of American history and American folksongs.  Throughout his career, Miller has documented and kept alive thousands of songs and stories.  Some of the songs are so obscure that no one else sings them anymore.

This program is free and open to the public and is one in a series of programs the Public Library will offer in conjunction with “Dust, Drought and Dreams Gone Dry” traveling exhibit that was developed by the American Library Association Public Programs Office in collaboration with the libraries of Oklahoma State University and Mount Holyoke College. The exhibition and tour were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. This traveling exhibit will be at the Madison Public Library November/December 2015.