The Wanderers

The Wanderers

 Beaverton, Oregon, USA

We're a folk duo, doing "brother duets" style singing, and have been performing together for 50 years. We do Woody Guthrie's Columbia River songs and classic American folk songs and sing alongs.


We Wanderers have performed together for 50 continuous years doing classic American folk songs, sing alongs and Woody Guthrie's Columbia River songs. Our influences include The Kingston Trio, Chad Mitchell Trio, Peter,Paul and Mary, The Weavers, Woody Guthrie, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Terry Gilkyson and the Easyriders, Bud and Travis, Utah Phillips. Our classic American folk songs programs pay tribute to those who influenced us by presenting many of their songs and we love to get audiences singing along.

Our most unique program features Woody Guthrie's Columbia River song collection, which we personally researched, recovered and published. In May 1941, Guthrie was hired by the federal agency the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, OR to write songs for a documentary movie the agency planned to produce. Guthrie was hired temporarily for 30 days and in that month, Guthrie wrote 26 songs including some of his most famous anthems: Roll On, Columbia, Pastures of Plenty, The Grand Coulee Dam and Hard Travelin’. After the movie debut in 1948 most of Guthrie’s lyrics and recordings disappeared. Bill Murlin is a former Bonneville Power Administration public information officer. While working at the agency, Murlin researched the Guthrie legend and eventually he recovered all 26 song lyrics that Guthrie wrote. Additionally, Murlin recovered recordings of Guthrie singing 17 of his Columbia River songs, including some songs never previously heard. The lyrics and recordings were published as assembled collections in 1987-88. More than 22 years later these two volumes stand as the authoritative source for these Columbia River songs.

Murlin and Allen began presenting these songs and their stories as programs and concerts in the Northwest in 1987 and continue to this day. The stories include information gathered from primary sources including Guthrie’s first wife, Guthrie’s government driver and the man who hired him for the song-writing project. Quotes from Guthrie’s writings and letters are sprinkled throughout the programs.


'Live and Kickin' - our newest CD
It's About Time - CD
Tracks at

Set List

Our sets differ depending on the program. Typical Woody Guthrie shows run about 45 minutes to an hour or more and include songs like: Roll Columbia Roll, Ramblin Blues, The Biggest Thing Man has Ever Done, Jackhammer Blues, Pastures of Plenty, Guys on the Grand Coulee Dam, Portland Town to Klamath Falls, The Grand Coulee Dam and Roll On, Columbia. Interspersed with the songs are stories of how and why Woody Guthrie wrote his Columbia River songs. Our facts come from Guthrie's writings, government documents and interviews with prime sources. We also feature some first-person Guthrie characterizations.

Our Classic American Folk songs programs can range up to two hours and include: Six Wheel Driver, Summer Song, Memories are Made of This, Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound, Starlight on the Rails, When I'm Gone, Cloudy Summer Afternoon, One More Town, Way Over Yonder in a Minor Key, and many others.
The two programs can also be combined.