Daughters of famed music icons form singing duo
Amy Nelson, Cathy Guthrie make music ‘their own way’
by: Paul Venema
SAN ANTONIO – Midway through their latest tour, a duo called “Folk Uke,” played to a sellout crowd at the Paper Tiger Club along the revitalized St. Mary’s Strip.
The duo, Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie are the daughters of county music icon Willie Nelson and folk music legend Arlo Guthrie.
Nelson plays guitar, Guthrie the ukulele, thus the name “Folk Uke.”
“It’s hard to tell what type of music we play,” Nelson said. “I think we just end up writing songs to make ourselves laugh about something.”
Their songs are sometimes edgy. Their sense of humor and wit, on and off stage, is dry.
“People expect stupid from us. So we just try to deliver the best that we can,” Nelson said, unable to hold back from laughing.
“We just try to lower the expectations immediately and have a good time,” Guthrie added.
Though they come from strong music roots, performing their famous father’s music is not a part of their act.
“When you cover a song you need to bring something else to it and make sure that you do it justice in some way, and I don’t think that I’m singing my dad’s songs very well right now,” Nelson said.
Both women are quick to add that their fathers are a constant source of encouragement.
“He’s very supportive of us and I think he’s proud,” Nelson said.
That support, coupled with their father’s names, continue to follow them to the ticket office.
“It helps us sell tickets and get first-time goers,” she said. “But it doesn’t help anybody want to come back.”
That is up to them.
Judging from the crowds they continue to draw, they’re doing a good job of that.