Artist: Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny IrionProduced by Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone of Wilco, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion will release their third full-length studio album featuring a collection of original songs with Tweedy singing and playing on various tracks alongside the duo, as well as multi-instrumentalist Charlie Rose and drummer Otto Hauser (Vetiver). Tweedy enlisted Pat Sansone and engineer extraordinaire Tom Shick (Wilco, Mavis Staples, Yoko Ono) to co-produce the recording, which showcases Sarah Lee and Johnny embarking on a new sonic frontier. Whereas the last record, Bright Examples, highlighted the duo performing with a band and recorded live, the new album is more studio-based and stripped down. The album was recorded in Spring 2012 at theWilco Loft and is due out in 2013. Additional information will be available in the coming months.
In 2005, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion released their first studio album together, Exploration.After five years of extensive touring as a duo as well as with the "Guthrie Family Rides Again" tour with Arlo Guthrie (the duo also went out with the "Guthrie Family Reunion" tour in July/August 2012), which hit more than 50 markets across North America, Sarah Lee and Johnny recorded their much-anticipated second studio full-length album, Bright Examples. Without Gary Louris (The Jayhawks) at the production helm this time around but sharing back-up vocals and songwriting credits, the duo teamed up with the psychedelic folk band Vetiver on Bright Examples (Ninth Street Opus, Release Date: February 22,
Produced by Vetiver's Andy Cabic and Thom Monahan, and recorded in the beautiful hills of
Woodstock, NY at the infamous Dreamland Studios, Bright Examples presents an entirely new electricsound showcasing 12 newly written original compositions. Sarah Lee and Johnny's inimitablesongwriting, signature vocal harmonies and roots-rock arrangements are exquisitely complimented byVetiver's west coast pastoral psych-rock aesthetic. Inspired stories are met with Vetiver drummer Otto Houser's "Motown meets Crazy Horse" drumming, intertwining electric guitars, drum machines, B3 organ, vintage acoustic guitars, pedal steel, and grand piano. Traces of albums recorded in the '60s and '70s by such artists as The Byrds and Neil Young are combined with contemporary influences from recordings by the likes of My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes.
Special guest appearances on Bright Examples include Mark Olson of The Jayhawks (vocals), Neal Casal (guitar, photography), Kevin Barker and Charlie Rose (pedal steel, flat picking guitars), and Rad Lorkovic (piano).
Sarah Lee and Johnny have been busy on the road and doing select shows promoting their latest family album, GoWaggaloo (October 27, 2009), which is currently out on Smithsonian Folkways. Go Waggaloo features 13 tracks of children's music from Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family featuring her husband Johnny Irion, their two daughters, and a host of other family and friends including her father Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Pete's grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger. Guthrie presents thoughtful yet playful recordings of traditional songs and new compositions on Go Waggaloo, including three songs featuring lyrics by her grandfather Woody Guthrie from the Smithsonian Folkways archives never before put to music and eight songs written by Sarah Lee and family.
Their debut album, Exploration, is an essential collection of unadorned American roots songs including 11 original compositions plus a previously unrecorded Pete Seeger song, "Dr. King." Exploration marks an inspired contemporary folk-rock album drenched with sweet caressing harmonies, high-lonesome folk melodies and an incredibly rocking rhythm section including members of The Jayhawks, Son Volt and Tift Merritt's band. The release was produced by Gary Louris and Ed Ackerson, and mixed by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliot Smith).
In 2009, Sarah Lee and Johnny independently released Folksong, a live HD DVD capturing theirunforgettable Valentine's Day 2008 show at Tales From The Tavern at The Maverick Saloon in SantaYnez, CA. Folksong is a 2 disc set featuring a HD DVD film of Sarah Lee and Johnny's set at TheMaverick Saloon and an accompanying audio-only CD of the 13 songs performed that specialevening. Folksong includes four newly written compositions.
Sarah Lee was two years old when she made her singing debut as part of a children's chorus on Arlo's1981 album Power of Love. Although growing up within a celebrated music family, it wasn't until aftergraduating high school that she discovered her love for making music. Together with Irion, the buddingartist realized her true calling of being a songwriter. Sarah Lee would forgo attending college, andpursued a career in music. Irion is no stranger to the indie-folk/rock scene, having been an influential member of such nationally known acts as Queen Sarah Saturday and Dillon Fence. Since the time Irion and Sarah Lee got married, he has released two critically acclaimed solo albums, entitled Ex Tempore (2007) and Unity Lodge (2001), and she released a self-titled solo recording in 2001.