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Precious Friend

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Editors’ Notes

A warm camaraderie runs through the tunes found on Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger’s Precious Friend, a double-disc live album taken from 1981 concerts in California, Illinois, and Michigan. The onstage chemistry between the two singer/songwriters reflects their long history together (Arlo’s father, Woody, was Pete’s mentor), as well as their shared affinity for social commentary, timeless folk tunes, and whimsical storytelling. The setlist features traditional material like “Hills of Glenshee” and “Tarentella,” gospel favorites like “Amazing Grace” and “Old Time Religion” (the latter rewritten to include nearly all the world’s faiths), and topical numbers like Tom Paxton’s “I’m Changing My Name to Chrysler.” Guthrie shines on a spirited take of his dad’s “Pretty Boy Floyd” and “The Neutron Bomb,” his own wry satire on Reagan-era militarism. Reaching back 30 years to his days with The Weavers, Seeger offers a brace of tunes by his old friend and partner Lee Hays, including such lesser-known gems as “Raggedy, Raggedy” and “In Dead Earnest.” The Seeger/Hays standard “If I Had a Hammer” is presented as a joyous sing-along.

Customer Reviews

An apt title

I have owned this cd for some years, and unlike the description given; have never tired of the stories and songs. Pete's infectious good nature comes through so clearly- you can almost SEE him, and Arlo's stories never fail to make me smile, in all the same places. I have had the good fortune to see these two live, so that may help- but this is one of my favorite albums. A great mixture of songs, both funny and serious- and an album I have returned to over and over for years.

great album

I loved this record when I was younger/used to listen to it over and over -- an all time favorite. I agree with the other review that the description is misleading -- if you enjoy Guthrie and Seger this album does not grow old or tiring. It is fun the whole way through.

one of my faves

I saw the TV show of the first collaborative double album concert and was completely entranced by the great duo. When I heard about this newer recording a few years later I jumped at the chance to purchase the vinyl recording. It did not disappoint and I have since worn that those records out and bought them on iTunes. The songs and stories are wonderful and make me happy and thoughtful. I have enjoyed sharing them with my teenage daughters who also like these albums. wish there were more!


Born: July 10, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Is it possible to be a one-hit wonder three times? The question is provoked by the recording career of Arlo Guthrie, which is best remembered for three songs in three different contexts. There is "The City of New Orleans," Guthrie's only Top 40 hit, which earns him an entry in Wayne Jancik's The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders. There is also "Coming into Los Angeles," which Guthrie sang at the legendary Woodstock music festival, and which featured prominently in both the Woodstock movie and multi-platinum...
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Precious Friend, Arlo Guthrie
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