Arlo Guthrie and Friends: Ridin' On the City of New Orleans

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Arlo Guthrie & Friends will travel the Amtrak City of New Orleans train for twelve days in December, performing along the way to benefit the small venues in the train’s namesake city that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Arlo Guthrie & Friends will travel the Amtrak City of New Orleans train for twelve days in December, performing along the way to benefit the small venues in the train’s namesake city that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Arlo was the first to record Steve Goodman’s song, “City of New Orleans” and make it a national hit. The song is based on a version of the train prior to the creation of Amtrak.

Arlo & Friends will start at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on Dec. 5 and arrive in New Orleans to perform at Tipitina’s on Dec. 17th. Arlo, his son Abe with his band, Xavier, and daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, will hold seven concerts along the route. Some of Arlo’s friends will step aboard along the way, including Guy Davis, Ramsay Midwood, Kevn Kinney with Drivin' n' Cryin', John Flynn and The Burns Sisters, riding on this “southbound odyssey.”

Tour Route

Mon. Dec. 5     The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, Ill. 7 p.m.

Wed. Dec. 7    Lincoln Cultural Center, 240 S. Warren Ave., Kankakee, Ill. 7 p.m.

Sat. Dec. 10    Canopy Club, 708 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana/Champaign, Ill. 4 p.m.

Sun. Dec. 11    Keller Convention Center., 1202 N. Keller Dr., Effingham, Ill. 4 p.m.

Mon. Dec. 12    Copper Dragon, 700 E. Grand Ave., Carbondale, Ill. 7 p.m.

Tues. Dec. 13    The New Daisy, 330 Beale St., Memphis, Tenn. 7 p.m.

Sat.    Dec. 17    Tipitina’s, 233 N. Peters St., New Orleans, La. 8 p.m.

Additional guest artists for benefit shows along the route will be announced soon. Purchase concert tickets at

Focusing on small clubs and venues, Arlo and friends will work with manufacturers and arrange to bring donations to New Orleans. They will help to facilitate the restoration of the musical infrastructure in New Orleans and the surrounding area. MusiCares, The Recording Academy’s safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, will help distribute “the gear,” along with Tipitina’s Foundation.

“When I think of New Orleans, I think of music,” Arlo said in a public note a few weeks ago. “New Orleans is the city that truly began America’s contribution to the history of music worldwide. When I wonder what they might need in New Orleans to get back on their feet, the stuff that gets ruined under water, I think of all the sound boards, the cables, the lighting, the microphones, the instruments.”

“I am determined to help restore all of those little places and bring the music back as soon as possible,” he continued “I contacted Amtrak to help us take today’s City of New Orleans from Chicago all the way down to New Orleans.”

Amtrak is proud to be partner in this series of events. “Passenger trains have always carried the music and the musicians to and from the delta, spreading the sound of the Crescent City to Memphis, Chicago and the world,” said William L. Crosbie, Amtrak Senior Vice President of Operations. “We are honored to receive Arlo’s request and excited about helping this important rebuilding effort with today’s Amtrak City of New Orleans train.”

Amtrak has more than 350 employees based in the New Orleans area -- many of whom lost their homes in the hurricane. Most are back to work since Amtrak began restoring service to New Orleans in October, starting with the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans-New York City Crescent.

It was Arlo’s hit “City of New Orleans” song that prompted Amtrak to bring back that name for the train in 1981, after a 10-year hiatus.

Gibson Guitar is partnering on the effort with instruments and tour support.

"Arlo is synonymous with some of the world's greatest music of our time, so it makes sense to support him on this tour which will restore the music and the spirit of the city," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.

For more information and to see how you can help, visit

On-line financial donations can be made through the Guthrie Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3, at Checks can be sent to: The Guthrie Foundation, 10741 US Highway 1, Sebastian, Fla. 32958. Please put in the “Train 2 NO” in the memo line of the check. For more information call Rising Son Records, 772-589-1774 or email

ARLO GUTHRIE & FRIENDS: RIDIN’ ON THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS (Bringing Back the Music - Benefiting Victims of Katrina) in partnerships with Amtrak, Gibson Guitar, MusiCares, Tipitina’s Foundation, Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment, a variety of music related companies, and you will help keep this American cultural treasure alive.

About Guthrie Foundation

The Guthrie Foundation, a not-for-profit educational foundation, is housed in the Old Trinity Church, Great Barrington, Mass. The foundation was formed by Arlo to help provide local cultures with the means to preserve traditional music, stories, medicine, dance and spiritual practices in the face of an ever-encroaching globalization. For information visit

About Amtrak

Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail services to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 22,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit

About MusiCares

Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy, MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For information visit

About Gibson

Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. Gibson’s digital guitar represents the biggest advance in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Mich., and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.’s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton and Wurlitzer. For information visit or

To set up interview please contact: Music Media: Cash Edwards, 512/447-0544 or Amtrak Contact: Marc Magliari, 312-880-5390


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Cash Edwards