Woody Guthrie continues to fascinate as all music fans celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday this year. An album by a band named New Multitudes may not get you too excited until you realize it’s a new American Folk super group. The band consists of Jay Farrar from Son Volt, Will Johnson from the band Centro-Matic, Anders Parker best known as the lead of Varnaline and Yim James aka Jim James leader of My Morning Jacket. This super group’s Mission Impossible is to create music around the lyrics of Woody Guthrie much like Wilco and Billy Bragg did so successfully with the Mermaid Avenue I and II CDs. I recommend picking up the 2- Disc Limited Deluxe Edition set which features 11 additional songs plus a 40 page booklet with Woody’s original lyric sheets & illustrations. There is going to be a very small tour to support the record. It promises to be a very memorable collaboration. I’ll continue to send out reminders on Woody Guthrie events as celebrations and reminiscences are planned throughout the year.
Turning our attention to other projects; if the sound of Zooey Deschanel-esque vocalist that has harmonies and folk stylings reminiscent of Fleet Foxes you might be interested in hearing Memoryhouse. Memoryhouse are a duo from Ontario, Canada and their first CD The Slideshow Effect comes out today. The lead singer, Denise Nouvion is a photographer (see her photos here). The arranger, Max Richter is a classical composer. I imagine it being the soundtrack for your perfect Sunday afternoon.
One of my favorite indie bands from the past ten years was Secret Machines. They were just a good power trio that knew its way around a musical hook and might have been as big as Muse had things turned out differently for them. One of the members from the band is back with something completely different. The band is called School of Seven Bells. Formerly a trio they are now a duo, guitarist/arranger Benjamin Curtis and vocalist Alejandra Deheza. Twin sister Claudia Deheza left the band. That probably makes for some possible awkward family get-togethers. Where Secret Machines was more downcast/spacey jam rock, School of Seven Bells is not afraid to get you dancing while adding some uplifting melodies.
Click on the cover art below to hear New Multitutes and Memoryhouse on Spotify. School of Seven Bells has not made their album available yet but click on their picture to hear their past music catalog.