Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion – Wassaic Way (2013)

Posted by on August 10, 2013as

sThis collaboration of roots pop married couple Guthrie and Irion with Jeff Tweedy and Patrick Sansone continues the bond of the Wilco musicians with the Guthrie family first established with 1998 and 2000’s Mermaid Ave. projects. It was then that Tweedy took Woody Guthrie’s unpublished lyrics and set them to new music. The approach here is different since Guthrie and Irion are more aligned with roots pop than rugged folk. Nowhere is that more clear than on the opening track; the playful, jaunty singalong “Chairman Meow” (not surprisingly the name of a cat), the disc’s first single. The album—the duo’s third– is divided between sunshiny, often West Coast styled strummy pop and a darker, more meditative style, the latter likely heightened by the influence of the Wilco guys’ more eclectic, experimental nature. There isn’t much here musically to connect the dots between the more earthy sound of Guthrie’s dad Arlo or grandfather Woody. But the sheer songwriting quality and the craft of the production that occasionally adds strings, pianos, and extra reverb is clearly the work of musicians who take their jobs seriously, even in the most romantic moments of “Wherever She Is It’s Spring.”

mp3 VBR~237 kbps | 75 MB | UL | CL

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