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Guthrie, Irion record new disc

Friday, November 19, 2010 – Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion will release their second full-length album, "Bright Examples," on Ninth Street Opus on Feb. 22, 2011.

Produced by Vetiver's Andy Cabic and Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart) and recorded at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, N.Y., the CD includes 12 original songs showcasing a new electric sound for the duo. Their country-rock songwriting and vocal harmonies intertwine with Vetiver's West Coast psych-rock bent.

The songs were chosen from more than 50 they'd accumulated over the past 5 years. "It was really great to have that many songs," said Guthrie, "but at the same time, what do you do with the rest? They weren't any less good. We just picked the songs that we thought went together well."

Special guests include Gary Louris and Mark Olson of The Jayhawks (background vocals), Vetiver's drummer Otto Houser, singer-songwriter/guitarist Neal Casal (guitar, album photography, also photographer for Ryan Adams: A View of Other Windows), Kevin Barker and Charlie Rose (pedal steel, flat picking guitars) and Rad Lorkovic (piano).

Producer Thom Monahan said, "Prior to making 'Bright Examples,' I was away traveling for quite some time, and I listened to the demo of Never Too Far From My Heart over and over again. I was horribly homesick, and that song was no small amount of comfort to me. I'd listen to those lyrics and realize how hard it is sometimes to recognize a love that's right in front of you. That song and those voices were my whole world. I'd feel a little better, a little less alone, every time I heard it."

"Johnny and Sarah Lee are pretty inspiring people (and parents) who live those melodies to their marrow. You can hear it when they sing. They're singing to each other as much as they're singing right to you. A moment of calm in a frenzied world, 'Bright Examples' is like home to me. May it carry you through all the nights you're away from the ones you love."

Guthrie and Irion released their first full-length studio album, "Exploration." Over the course of the last five years, they have consistently toured as a duo and were featured members of the "Guthrie Family Rides Again" tour in 2009/2010. Last year, Guthrie released her debut family album "Go Waggaloo" (Smithsonian Folkways. They also released a live HD DVD, "Folksong" (2009), and in 2007, Irion put out his second solo album, "Ex Tempore."\\

CD reviews for Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion

Bright Examples CD review - Bright Examples
"Bright Examples" is as American-sounding as music gets, evoking lazy Sunday afternoon drives through the country and time spent drinking iced tea on the front porch. Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie are a husband-wife duo; Sarah Lee is also the daughter of Arlo Guthrie and granddaughter of Woody. Production and instrumentation were done by members of the indie folk rock group Vetiver, fans of their 70's-esque songs such as Roll On Babe will hear their influence on the CD. »»»
Exploration CD review - Exploration
Sarah Lee Guthrie, the feminine half of this duo, is the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie and the daughter of Arlo Guthrie, so she was at least born with a genetic inclination to create credible music. Although her dad and granddad's repertoires are packed with left-leaning folk songs, only the cover of Pete Seeger's "Dr. King" hints at her familial roots here. Instead, it's the presence of co-producer Gary Louris (of The Jayhawks), which offers the best indicator of what "Exploration" sounds like. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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