American folk music has always reveled in misery. After all, isn't our historical landscape littered with dead children, abused workers and mistreated minorities? But, hey, that doesn't mean we can't party. Few families have had more fun dishing out the hard truth than the Guthries. Grandpa Woody set the tone for subversion 70 years ago with "This Land Is Your Land" and its images of social injustice. Later, despite his stoner appeal, son Arlo reminded us of heavy shit with songs like "When a Soldier Comes Home." And now Sarah Lee, Arlo's daughter, delivers the darkness over sprightly melodies on her latest album of songs for kids and families, Go Waggaloo. Tapping her whole family — including her husband, Johnny Irion, their two daughters and Arlo — Sarah Lee leads cheery sing-alongs to traditional laments such as "Oh How He Lied" and the title track, which features the lines Mama died of natural causes, and Papa died of money losses. Join the jamboree at 8 p.m. when Arlo, Sarah Lee, Johnny and friends bring the Guthrie Family Rides Again tour to the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park). Call 913-469-4445 for tickets.
Sat., March 27, 8 p.m., 2010