I believe that how we’re feeling personally always dictates how we interpret art.
In the case of four musicians — Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), and Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) – they were able to go through the notebooks and scribblings of one of America’s great songwriters, Woody Guthrie, to find inspiration to create new songs. While performing live in studio, each musician talked about being drawn to particular pieces while looking through what some would consider sacred text.
Woody is a folk legend and it was a treat to watch these talented musicians – the group is named New Multitudes – channeling his legacy. It was incredible how beautifully their voices – and guitars – came together.
They took turns singing lead but it was clear that this is a group effort. We were drawn to “Old L.A.” for obvious reasons, but other highlights were “Chorine My Sheba Queen”, “Careless Reckless Blues” and “My Revolutionary Mind”. Find the full session here.
The band is clearly having fun. When our web video producer stopped the session to change a memory card on the camera, they made up a song on the spot…about memory cards, floppy disks, and flash drives.
Also, there was a really beautiful moment before the session even started. DJ Chris Douridas was hosting the session, filling in for Jason Bentley, and had never met Jim. Jim shook his hand and thanked him for encouraging him years back, before My Morning Jacket even existed. Chris worked at Dreamworks and has written an encouraging letter in response to some music Jim had sent along. Nice to know that some people never forget the kindness of others.
Talkin’ Empty Bed Blues
Chorine My Sheba Queen
My Revolutionary Mind
Careless Reckless Love