Arlo Guthrie Tales Of '69


History has taught us to be wary of "recently discovered in the archives" material. It seems a little too convenient that in the 40th anniversary year of Woodstock a live recording (from a gig just prior to the fest) of one of its stars should surface. Still, this nine-song effort will appeal to Arlo's tie-dyed, diehard fans, given that it features three never-before-released originals. Naturally, it also includes versions of his best-known tunes, "The Unbelievable Motorcycle Tale," "Coming Into Los Angeles" and, of course, "Alice's Restaurant" (entitled "Alice-Before Time Again" here). There's plenty of sometimes banal or dated onstage banter (pot references abound) included but his core audience will lap this up. It has been Guthrie's charm as an entertainer rather than any songwriting ability that has sustained his career. This would make a perfect birthday present for a hippie uncle. (Rising Son)