Wow, I have never done this before… Cool!
This album is not yet released… But you can stream the whole thing on Team Coco… So go ahead and do that now… and then come back and read. I’ll be waiting for you right here… It’s cool.
And check out the great Rounder Records for sure!!! Fantastic label!
This is the first time I have posted about an unreleased record… for many reasons.
One, you might be pissed because you could not immediately listen to it… That problem is solved. Hopefully you are listening now.
Two, you might think me pretentious…
Three, I could get in trouble for leaking something I should not have… and occasionally, I will admit, I get things a “little early.” But this is out in the world on Conan’s site, so that problem is solved, too…
Believe me, I’d love to have record companies or artists feel like they NEED to send me promos and pre-releases because my opinion matters so much. Hint, hint… wink, wink… nudge, nudge…
Thanks to my little big brother… He’s taller than me… for the heads up on this. This one is for you, Dan.
New Multitudes – New Multitudes
I’d link you to Amazon, but until I’m getting a cut… never mind.
I am not sure what the title is… it is not clear, but the band, New Multitudes, is a supergroup of sorts, made up of Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk).
The album comes out on February 28th and is essentially a Woody Guthrie tribute record with a twist.
“The four songwriters were invited to scour through a plethora of Woodie Guthrie’s old notebooks, scratch pads, napkins, and so on for lyrical inspiration.”
In order to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birth, Nora Guthrie chose the four “to add instrumentation to her father’s lyrics—specifically, his earliest songwriting years in Los Angeles.”
“New Multitudes was originally a Farrar solo project and the third volume in the Mermaid Avenue series by Billy Bragg and Wilco.”
Yes, Dan… it was also you who hooked into those records… You are the best!!!
Check out my post on April 4, 2011 for the first in that series… Amazing stuff.
“Farrar looked through over 3,000 handwritten lyrics that Guthrie’s estate has preserved before choosing to focus on his California period. He also made a conscious decision to write instrumentation in a style more similar to Guthrie’s than other tribute projects…”
This album fits beautifully in the “trilogy” but also works on its own.
The opener “Hoping Machine” immediately puts Michael Stipe and REM in mind and then moves off into its own glorious voice. If you do not know the band that Jay had with Jeff Tweedy before Wilco, you MUST check out Uncle Tupelo… Such talent and one of my absolute favorite bands… So bummed I did not get to see them in Chicago at all… but they were just getting started as I was leaving… Which is a whole other story for another time. Regrets… frustrations… should have, could haves… sigh…
“Fly High” is such a beautiful song, and thinking about how prolific Woody Guthrie was with his recorded material is mind-bending… Add all of these unfinished or unrealized lyrics and poems and writings, and that prolific nature becomes truly staggering to ponder.
Jim James has such a unique sound… As soon as you hear his voice you know who it is… My Morning Jacket has become one of my favorite bands, and while Yim Yames is a funny and obvious alias for his side projects … “My Revolutionary Mind” is all him… Jim, Yim or whomever…
I do not really know Will Johnson and though I did not instantly love “VD City” I will check out his other stuff.
So far Anders Parker, another unknown for me, has my favorite tracks… “Old L.A.” is also great… my favorite so far… and the Michael Stipe is just there… right in his voice… But unlike Stipe you can understand all his vocals! I have just added Gob Iron to my Spotify… Varnaline is not there so I will find it other ways.
“Talking Empty Bed Blues” is a perfect showcase for Jim’s yearning. Mmmm… Gorgeous.
“Chorine My Sheeba Queen” and its multi-voice opening is almost like Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. Just for a minute… It is a somber song for sure.
“Careless Reckless Love” – Okay, Jay… this is my favorite one from you so far… Though I’ll need to go back and listen to the great opener, too! If you do not know Son Volt, Jay’s band after Uncle Tupelo, they are yet another must listen! Alt. Country rules!!!!!
“Angel’s Blues” – Dude, you had me at hello… I am so on the path to track down everything you have done!!! I am hearing so many great things in this.
“No Fear” – Don’t love the lyrics on this one, actually, but I do like the music…
“Changing World” – This one picks up nicely… Was unsure at the start if I’d dig it. And it is interesting as a bookend to the previous song… the lyrics contradict each other… which goes to show you how artists are continually exploring and growing and looking both within and outward for discovery…
“New Multitudes” – Great closer… I adore this song!!!! I hear a little Dead… a little C,S, N and Y… a lot of great sounds on this one. I’m playing this one again… There is something specific I was hearing that was on the tip of my tongue and is now stuck in my brain… I hate that! Something with those harmonies…
I’m walking away and gonna see if it pops in after a break… AAGGHH! Nope… see the brain does not always work… It will come to me… AAGGHH!
In the meantime, really listen to this one… This is Alt. Country at its best… Hell, this is MUSIC at its best.