Annie Guthrie Biography
Behind the Folk Music:
You might think “Of course! Why wouldn’t the four offspring of legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie play music together?”
Well, it wasn’t planned. The G Babes did not grow up playing music together although they each took some sort of lessons here and there. Many people imagine that they sat around the living room jamming every night after dinner… Maybe Bob Dylan or Pete Seeger would stop by and sit in for a Guthrie Family Jam Session… but it didn’t happen like that...
Abe Guthrie the first-born Babe, fell into music at a young age. He started off playing drums and eventually wandered his way to the keyboard. In the 80’s, he founded XAVIER with fellow band mates Randy Cormier and Timothy Sears. They quickly became a Western Massachusetts High School Sensation! By age 15, Abe knew that music was where he belonged. He hit the road with his father and has joined him on the road ever since. He had also been producing, co-producing and engineering many projects including such notable artists as Rory Block, Bobby Sweet and Folk Uke.
Cathyaliza Guthrie, famous for playing the radio as a teen, took piano lessons when she was young but never intended to use them for anything. She went to college in San Diego, CA where she studied business, worked at Croce’s Restaurant and occasionally joined her family on the road. It wasn’t until Cathy moved to LA and was successfully running Rising Son Records that she discovered the ukulele or perhaps the ukulele discovered her… In 2000, Cathy and Amy Nelson founded their own band FOLK UKE.
Annie Hays Guthrie has been playing the guitar for 17 years. It all started while taking piano lessons as a young girl. Annie was practicing for her lessons when her mother Jackie (Mrs. G) handed her a guitar and taught her a few chords… Piano lessons soon turned to guitar lessons. While in high school, Annie hit the road with her dad, Xavier, and her sisters. After having two kids and running Rising Son Records along with Cathy (as referenced above), Annie got a bass for her birthday and has been playing for 2 years now and writing songs like crazy.
Sarah Lee Guthrie also took piano lessons growing up. While attending jr. high at the River School, Sarah Lee played keyboards and sang in her first band, Electric Tofu. Annie joined them on a few occasions playing rhythm guitar. She also hit the road where her version of Pete Seeger’s ‘Sailing Down My Golden River’ was recorded live at Wolftrap. In her mind, that’s where it was going to end. Although music came easy to her, Sarah Lee wanted to pursue another path. She moved out to LA and registered for college, when Mrs. G called her up and said, “You don’t really want to go to college, do you? Why don’t you go on the road with your dad?” And she did… Sarah Lee is now married to and performs with Johnny Irion. Together they recorded “Exploration” which has just been released on New West Records.
Krishna Milo Guthrie has been a special guest and Babe-In-Training. Krishna is Abe’s first born. At 2 he got his first drum set. He made his first appearance with his father and Pop (Arlo) on stage at age 3. Since then he has joined them for a song or two when they play close to home. Krishna is currently in a punk band called Bogie.
Abe was forced into the G Babes by Cathy, Annie & Sarah Lee (the girls) also known as 1, 2 & 3 appropriately named by their father in the order in which they were conceived. The girls joke. “If you take the BS out the Babes you get Abe.”
The G Babes try to play together once a year. It all started at the 2003 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, OK. Folk Uke was scheduled to perform. Cathy called up her sister Annie because she wasn’t sure if her band mate would chicken out. Annie volunteered the rest of the siblings to help out (without talking to them first). Somehow it all worked out and the G Babes, then known as The Guthrie Family Jam Band had their first gig.
“They’re not good, but they’re funny and that counts for something in this family” – Poppa G Daddy