Guthrie Center a taste of home for touring musicians


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GREAT BARRINGTON — Bobby Sweet is glad to be home.

The guitarist for folk singer Arlo Guthrie's band said Tuesday night the last two months on the road have been "exhausting."

Guthrie, a Washington resident, and his band were at the Guthrie Center for two nights of performing the folk classic "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" on Monday and Tuesday.

"We've packed a lot of shows in the past two months," said Sweet, who is a Housatonic resident. "So it's good to be home for a few days. But we're back out on Saturday at Carnegie Hall in New York."

The whole Guthrie entourage, a total of 15 people, takes up two buses and one big truck, according to road manager Bruce Clapper, who also hasn't been home for two months.

"But it's like a family out there," he said. "We all get along and we look out for each other."

The road has its fans, too.

"I have to admit, I'm having a better time on the road now than I did when I was a lot younger," said drummer Terry a la Berry, a Lenox resident.

"Why?" he continued. "When I was younger. I was into being a rock star and doing rock star stuff. Now, I just enjoy playing with these guys and hanging out."

Clapper reported that the Guthrie Center, as a venue, is well-suited, particularly for acoustic performances.

"It didn't use to be," he said. "Until we put all those black curtains over the windows. Before we put the curtains up, you didn't dare hit a drum in here."

"It really is a great acoustic venue, "agreed singer/songwriter JoAnne Redding, a big Guthrie fan who was at Tuesday night's show. "It's a really warm space, and the history is amazing, too.

"I told my husband," she said. "If I go before you, don't bother with a funeral. Just invite all our friends here and have a big party."

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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