Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion – Bright Examples (2011)

SARAH LEE GUTHRIE 1A

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion
Bright Examples
Ninth St. NS010

Atmospheric stories from the New West Coast.

It’s remiss of me not to have heard of Sarah Lee Guthrie and husband Johnny Irion, as several of my friends are already fans and BRIGHT EXAMPLES is a bright example of the rootsy Americana music that I normally love and cherish.

There’s not a bad song on the album and a few are genuinely excellent, with Sarah’s voice being warm, dreamy, rich and traditional all rolled into one and her husband, Johnny Irion has a neat, laid-back tone that compliments her dulcet tones perfectly on the harmonies and he also adds some quite exquisite guitar playing.

A great example would be Never Far From my Heart which could easily have been recorded in Laurel Canyon but sounds as fresh as a daisy.

On a couple of songs Sarah manages to sound like a cross between Stevie Nicks and a young Nanci Griffith; try listening to the transcendent Butterflies to see what I mean and the New Orleans piano led Seven Sisters which would never be off public Radio if it actually was by the Fleetwood Mac singer.

Irion also takes lead on a couple of songs with Target on Your Heart including some pretty neat piano and pedal steel interplay; while title track Bright Examples sounds like a long lost Band track with it’s mournful harmonica and pump-organ.

Possibly my favourite track on the album is the delightfully sad song Company I’m Keeping which has a tearful young woman singing over some gently crafted backing from pianist Rad Lorkovic and drummer Otto Houser.

Lorkovic and Houser lead a long list of great guest musicians on BRIGHT EXAMPLES, including Neil Casal, Mark Olsen and Charlie Rose who all manage to add their own little bit of magic; but they never intrude on what is a very intimate album from a charming husband and wife duo.
www.sarahleeandjohnny.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s