Guthrie exhibit and tour offers many firsts
See items from Arlo Guthrie’s childhood, early career, and life-changing Woodstock performance that have never been publicly displayed — until now — at the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame in Boston’s Wang Theatre until August (end date still pending). “Arlo Guthrie: Native Son” showcases the musician’s first guitar, original handwritten lyrics, early family photos, and even a letter from Guthrie’s summer camp explaining that he was a “problem camper.” Guthrie, who attended school and summer camp in the Berkshires as a kid and then raised his own family there, has been known as a prolific songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor, and activist for six decades. The exhibit traces his roots and early life, breakout hit “Alice’s Restaurant,” and philanthropic efforts. It opens one day before Guthrie kicks off his What’s Left of Me tour at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre; the performance is a conversation between Guthrie and Bob Santelli, executive director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music, featuring never-heard-before stories from Guthrie’s life onstage. FARHOF’s mission is to honor history while nurturing the next generation of folk, Americana, and roots musicians. Tours of the Guthrie exhibit: $20 for 16 and older, $12 for children ages 6 to 16; advance booking required. www.farhof.org
A West Coast music fest and fireworks display
If you happen to be in the City of Roses (a.k.a. the other Portland) in early July, don’t miss its Waterfront Blues Festival, a four-day event with a world-class lineup of blues, soul, funk, and R&B artists. The festival, now in its 36th year, takes place at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, July 1-4, culminating in Oregon’s biggest July Fourth fireworks show during which fireworks — launched from a barge on the Willamette River — are choreographed to classic and new blues hits. The independently owned, operated, and ticketed music festival brings people of all backgrounds and generations together for a celebration of music, dancing, culture, and community. See performances by up-and-coming acts and music legends such as The Mavericks, Buddy Guy, Cory Wong, JJ Grey and Mofro, and Eric Gales. The event welcomes kids 12 and under for free and offers family and youth performances to inspire fans of all ages. Proceeds from this year’s festival support the local Meals on Wheels People program and the Jeremy Wilson Foundation (the festival has raised more than $10 million for local organizations over the past 36 years). Special four-day passes start at $120 (bumping up to $140 June 1) or $200 for early entry (30 minutes before the crowd) plus the four-day festival pass; single-day tickets start at $45 and go on sale in May. https://waterfrontbluesfest.com
A powerful travel companion
Looking to power your laptop, tablet, phone, and other small devices while traveling — in North America or Europe? Check out EZQuest’s new UltimatePower 120-watt GaN USB-C PD Wall Charger. This power brick can quickly recharge devices — anything from your Google Pixel phone to the latest MacBook Pro — meaning you can refuel gadgets even during short layovers at the airport. The charger has two USB-C ports and one USB-A port, and a plug folds into the body of the charger so the device is easier to pack. It also comes with a clip-on European adaptor and a 2-meter Kevlar Core braided cord that can withstand sharp twists and kinks. It’s powered by Gallium Nitride, which can handle higher temperatures and voltages, and has built-in Negative Temperature Coefficient Technology (translation: the charger won’t overheat, and it will stay cool even with constant use). It even protects against over-charging. This “smart” wall charger can allocate power based on the ports being used — one device plugged into a USB-C port will get up to 100 watts of power, whereas two devices plugged into the USB-C ports will get up to 60 watts each (for a total of 120 watts). The device’s only downside: It’s a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at 7.7 ounces, but it’s well worth a spot in your luggage. $69.99 (regularly $99.99) at https://ezq.com.
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.