Waxahatchee covers "Talking Dust Bowl Blues" for a tribute to Woody Guthrie's 'Dust Bowl Ballads' - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

A re-imagined version of Woody Guthrie’s 1940 album Dust Bowl Ballads be out September 10 via Elektra Records. The album, called Home In This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads, includes contributions from artists such as Mark Lanegan, Shovels & Rope, Chris Thile, and The Secret Sisters, who have already released their rendition of “Dust Can’t Kill Me.” Today, the Alabama angel Waxahatchee shared her take on “Talking Dust Bowl Blues.” 

The song echoes Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, and in her performance of it, Katie Crutchfield embodies a character leaving a little farm that felt like heaven and describes the troubles she encountered on the journey. The character arrives on the west coast broke and “so dad-gum hungry I thought I’d croak,” and Crutchfield’s slight southern drawl makes her storytelling even more convincing. The song’s soft acoustics and Americana influence posses the same ramshackle charm as the original recording. 

The album was curated by Randall Poster, a Wes Anderson collaborator, music supervisor, and producer. “Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads is as relevant as ever,” he says in a statement. “While profiteers exploit our natural resources, there is a growing sensitivity to the harsh farming practices that put our well-being at risk and a concerted movement toward regenerative agriculture that can reinvigorate the soil and push back on climate change. I asked some of my favorite artists to help render these songs, hoping that this collection will reinforce the enduring power and prescience of Guthrie’s music and reveal the power of song.”

Waxahatchee will be playing two sold-out shows at Union Transfer this October. You can watch the lyric video for the song and see the complete track-list below. 

Home In This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads Tracklist

  1. Dust Bowl Blues – Shovels & Rope
  2. I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore – Lost Dog Street Band
  3. Blowin’ Down This Road – Watkins Family Hour
  4. Pretty Boy Floyd – John Paul White
  5. Dusty Old Dust – Lee Ann Womack
  6. Do Re Mi – Colter Wall
  7. Talking Dust Bowl Blues – Waxahatchee
  8. Tom Joad Part 1 – Chris Thile
  9. Tom Joad Part 2 – Lillie Mae
  10. The Great Dust Storm – The Felice Brothers
  11. Dust Cain’t Kill Me – The Secret Sisters
  12. Dust Bowl Refugee – Swamp Dogg
  13. Dust Pneumonia Blues – Mark Lanegan
  14. Vigilante Man – Parker Millsap
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