Musician to present songs of protest, Great Depression

Musician and music historian Bucky Halker will address the tradition of protest songs and the Great Depression in a free performance at 7:30 p.m. March 26 in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center auditorium.

Titled “I Ain’t Got No Home: Woody Guthrie, the Great Depression and American Protest Music,” the session will feature Halker playing songs from the early 20th century and explaining the context of the Dust Bowl and that era’s economic catastrophe on creativity.

“Incredibly appealing” is how music magazine Dirty Linen described the writer, lecturer and singer-songwriter who also has recorded seven solo albums. “Halker is a great singer. He has a knack for putting together arrangements that approach the all-important lyrics of these songs with the energy and enthusiasm they demand, not just the reverence of the scholar or folksinger.”

Halker, who earned a doctorate in history from the University of Minnesota, gives programs on working-class protest music from 1865 to 1950. He has earned many grants for his work preserving, presenting and recording music in the American folk tradition. He is the author of the book “For Democracy, Workers and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest.”

The event at SUNY Oswego is sponsored by the college’s Artswego Performing Arts Series. For more information, e-mail artswego@ or call 312-4581.

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(Posted: Mar 17, 2009)