Woody Guthrie took the tradition of the troubadour and added his signature to the songs by making them topical. He sang about the masses of Okies seeking the promised land in California; his songs criticized McCarthy and the Red Scare; and his repertoire told stories about hard work and the hardscrabble life of the poor. His influence is immense. All the folk singers who graced the Greenwich Village coffee shops - Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Rush - owe it all to him. As a matter of fact, songs that address social issues or are topical in any way, no matter what the style, can trace some of their inspiration back to Guthrie. Ross Altman, known as a singer/songfighter, embodies this tradition.
From Paul Hormick's April 2004 San Diego Troubadour article on the 2004 Adams Avenue Roots Festival
Photo by Larry Goren from Baseball from Flatbush to the City of Angels August 15, 2004.
Grey Goose Music
134 S. La Brea Ave. #4 * Los Angeles, CA 90036
323-931-9321 * .
Photo by Daniel Ogas
from the 31st Annual Adams Avenue Roots festival.
[note: I created this page, because years after hearing "Punch it Twice, It's alright" (on an NPR All Things Considered piece on songs about the 2000 election mess), which made me laugh and cry at the same time, I had difficulty finding anything about Ross Altman on the web, and I felt the responsibility to make sure more people found out about him (just trying to do my bit to leave the world a little better than I found it). I recently found Ross' e-mail address and ordered "Singer Songfighter", which contains "Punch It Twice" Much of the content here is stolen from the liner notes, or somewhere else. I haven't asked Ross' permission, yet, but I did mention I might do this when I ordered the CD.... Phil Budne]
More recently I found this page on Ross at the Santa Monica Folk Music Club site.