Woody Guthrie left behind notebooks full of words, snippets and entire lyrics. The Woody Guthrie Foundation, led by his daughter Nora, has been lending them to artists to create music around his words. You may remember the series' most successful installment to date, Wilco and Billy Bragg's collaborative Mermaid Avenue, released in 1998. You may also remember that a couple years ago, it was announced that Jay Farrar would be taking up the mantle. This was met with sniggers, as is most anything that brings former bandmates Jeff Tweedy and Farrar within one degree of separation of each other. But that ignores the magnitude of the Guthrie project, which has included albums from the Klezmatics, Jonatha Brooke, Akron/Family and others.
After a long silence, Farrar's tribute album now has shape and form and a release date and attendant tour. He joined with Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket) to create New Multitudes, which features all unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics and will be out on February 28th via Rounder Records.
The tour, unfortunately, comes nowhere close to St. Louis. In fact, it doesn't ever leave the coastlines. Here are the dates:
March 6 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore March 7 Los Angeles, CA - Music Box March 9 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom March 10 Seattle, WA - Showbox March 12 Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere March 13 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer March 14 New York, NY - Webster Hall March 16 Boston, MA - Paradise
New Multitudes Tracklist
"Hoping Machine" "Fly High" "My Revolutionary Mind" "VD City" "Old L.A." "Talking Empty Bed Blues" "Chorine" "Careless Reckless Love" "Angel's Blues" "No Fear" "Changing World" "New Multitudes"
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.