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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.
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!
Years Active: '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs By Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
||CleanTarget on Your Heart||Bright Examples||3:31||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanNever Far from My Heart||Bright Examples||2:59||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanHurry Up and Wait||Bright Examples||4:16||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanSeven Sisters||Bright Examples||3:04||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanSpeed of Light||Bright Examples||2:49||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanAhead of Myself||Bright Examples||3:10||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanButterflies||Bright Examples||3:54||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanBright Examples||Bright Examples||4:26||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanFirst Snow||Bright Examples||2:58||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||CleanCry Quieter||Bright Examples||3:18||$0.99||View In iTunes|