Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket), Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel) and Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) have teamed up for an album and tour paying tribute to Woody Guthrie.
The new tunes and tour are timed to coincide with what would have been Guthrie’s 100th birth year.
The 12-track album, New Multitudes, is due out Feb. 28 on Rounder Records. A limited edition album will also be available featuring original Guthrie lyric sheets, the 12-track release and 12 additional compositions recorded by Farrar and Parker.
New Multitudes is a collaborative effort inspired by Guthrie’s archives. Guthrie’s daughter Nora invited the four songwriters to go through the folk musician’s notebooks, scratch pads, napkins, etc.
An announcement on Yames’ website explains that the majority of the lyrics were “culled from Woody’s times in LA. Lyric wise, it’s a part of the story that is still mostly unknown. From Woody’s experiences on LA’s skid row to his later years in Topanga Canyon, they are uniquely intimate, and relate two distinctly emotional periods in his life.”
Will Johnson, Jay Farrar, Yim Yames & Anders Parker
The four songwriters will bring the music on the road in March for a short tour that begins March 6 at San Francisco’s The Fillmore. Additional West Coast shows include Los Angeles at The Music Box March 7; Portland, Ore., at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom March 9; and Seattle’s Showbox At The Market March 10.
The East Coast leg of the tour features shows in Alexandria, Va., at the Birchmere March 12; Philadelphia’s Union Transfer March 13; New York’s Webster Hall March 14; and Boston’s Paradise Rock Club March 16.
You can check out the tune “Old L.A.” on the New Multitudes Facebook page. Fans are encouraged to like the page to receive updates including interview footage and live performance videos.
Click here for the New Multitudes Facebook page.