HV History Unfolds: Dropkick Murphys, Violent Femmes New Song “Gotta Get to Peekskill”
The new collaboration covers an important moment in Hudson Valley music history.
Celtic punk rockers Dropkick Murphys and folk punk rockers Violent Femmes are fighting the KKK on a new song called "Gotta Get to Peekskill." The song appears on Dropkick Murphys' upcoming release Okemah Rising which comes out May 12.
The album was recorded in 2022 during The Machine Still Kills Fascists album, which like the upcoming release, is an acoustic album of unused lyrics and words by Woody Guthrie.
Story Behind "Gotta Get to Peekskill"
In 1949, Guthrie was on the scene for the riots before Paul Robeson’s concert near Peekskill. Robeson was a vocal opponent of the Ku Klux Klan and was scheduled to perform a benefit concert for Civil Rights Congress in August in Cortlandt Manor near Peekskill when several protestors, many of whom were members of the KKK, violently attacked concert-goers.
A press release further explains the historical event that inspired the original song: “Woody’s defiant lyrics reference the 1949 Peekskill Riots – a confluence of American racism, antisemitism and anticommunist paranoia that brought the Ku Klux Klan to the banks of the Hudson River in violent opposition to a Paul Robeson concert – and the resolute solidarity of the musicians (including Guthrie and Pete Seeger) who joined Robeson in a rescheduled concert the following week.
Check out Dropkick Murphys featuring Violent Femmes "Gotta Get to Peekskill below.