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Editors’ Notes

Sarah Lee Guthrie is the daughter of Arlo Guthrie and, therefore, the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie. Her husband Johnny Irion’s great uncle is John Steinbeck. With this storied background, the couple play music that is heavy on roots and authenticity, though for 2010’s Bright Examples they sling towards retro-pop with the use of Vetiver and their producer Thom Monahan coming on board. The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris and Mark Olson also add their alt-country graces. These songs are produced to be records. Each track has the feeling of being a full performance, even though recorded mostly live in the studio. The extra jangle to “Target on Your Heart,” the beautiful keyboard lines beneath “Butterflies” and the vocal choirs of “First Snow” make this album quite the listening experience. Guthrie takes control of many of the cuts, providing a near soft-rock, country-rock feel to the band tracks. Irion pulls out his Neil Young-like ragged touch to “Bright Examples.” Even nodding towards pop, these folks keep a touch of the road and their family legacies intact.

Customer Reviews


I've been listening to this one non-stop. It was great on the first listen. Better on the second. Third and fourth listen confirm it - this one's a modern classic!


Genre: Psychedelic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Husband-and-wife folk-pop duo Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion both had creative family pedigrees and ongoing solo musical careers when they met in Los Angeles through a mutual friend, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. Guthrie was the daughter of Arlo Guthrie and the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie, while Irion came from a family of musicians and had an uncle, writer Thomas Steinbeck, who was the son of novelist John Steinbeck. Guthrie and Irion married in 1999 and first started performing together...
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Bright Examples, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
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