One of the most important folk musicians in American history, Woody Guthrie encapsulates the story of the Joads in just 17 verses of “The Ballad of Tom Joad.” This two-part song, along with many other amazing selections, comprise Dust Bowl Ballads, a true reliving of the experiences thousands of workers had during this time period.
Contemporary musicians have also tackled the timeless tale of the Joads and the musical legacy left behind by Woody Guthrie. In 1995, Bruce Springsteen produced an entire album dedicated to families who have experienced abandonment and betrayal in the American Dream. Each song on the album tells the story of characters dreamt up by Springsteen that tackle many problems in contemporary American society such as poverty, judgment, and violence.
While no songs on this debut album from Flobots distinctly reference The Grapes of Wrath, each story spoken and sung through the album incites a call to action towards the very troubles the Joads had to endure. Calling out governments and corporations alike, Flobots use their signature indie/hip-hop style to show solidarity in the common man, creating music as infectious as their message. The album is a definite listen for those interested in an energetic funk band with a political backdrop.
HOUSE / DIVIDED will play at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre from Jan 30-Feb 2nd. For more information and tickets, visit our website here.