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Ex Tempore

Johnny IrionAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $7.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2007 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2007 $7.00  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rcam Records
  • ASIN: B000SQJ2AU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,364 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Take Care
2. Short Leash
3. She Cast Fire
4. Roman Candle
5. Eyes Like a Levee
6. Madrid
7. Brush Yer Teeth Blues #56
8. Good Cry
9. 1000 Miles an Hour
10. Always Lookin' Out
11. Fragile Humans
12. Bunny's Home

Editorial Reviews

Though Johnny Irion's music has been closely tied to that of his wife, Sarah Lee Guthrie (Arlo's daughter, Woody's granddaughter), on Ex Tempore he makes a bold step toward asserting his own artistic identity. The results are often surprising, occasionally stunning. Bending and blending genres, Irion isn't afraid to combine steel guitar, lush Beach Boys harmonies, and flute--all in the same arrangement--on the opening "Take Care." Sarah Lee's vocal counterpoint provides gospel call-and-response on "Short Leash," while chamber strings swirl around the most ambitious cut, "Roman Candle." "Always Lookin' Out" begins with a sound collage and proceeds into an incantation of the title. With his reedy, tremulous tenor, Irion sounds like an early Neil Young, particularly on "1000 Miles an Hour," though the melodies and piano of poppier fare could please fans of Elton John. Backing musicians include members of Chatham County Line and Tift Merritt's band. --Don McLeese

Product Description

Some records are made out of obligation; others are motivated by sheer desire. Ex Tempore, the new album from writer/artist Johnny Irion, falls into the latter category. The title was inspired by the rapid pace of its creation, a pace that undoubtedly contributed to the immediacy of this song cycle, a varied yet cohesive collection intermingling piano balladry, Americana, chamber pop and folk-style fingerpicking, with the occasional blast of skronky rock to clear the air. These songs are suffused with artistic aspiration. There's a palpable sense of life being lived--its ups, its downs, its everyday rhythms--in every note and measure of Ex Tempore; you couldn't ask more than that from a record. Digipak.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Americana country-folk meets early '70s pop-rock August 17, 2007
Format:Audio CD
It's difficult not to think of Neil Young when Irion's high and reedy voice makes its entry on the album's first track, an impression furthered by pedal steel, acoustic guitar, piano and a loping waltz rhythm. Still, the breathy harmony vocals and a meandering flute suggest something beyond mere imitation or tribute, and indeed the album plays out a variety of influences. At times you'd swear this was a rootsy country-folk album, at others a sophisticated early-70s pop release, and at a few transcendent moments, both at once. The piano, strings and drums of "Roman Candle" bring to mind Badfinger, early Elton John and the chamber-pop of The Left Banke. Bouncy drums, pedal steel and harmonica back a yearning croon and sympathetic French horn on "Eyes Like a Levee," and the a similarly sweet vocal on "Brush Yr. Teeth Blues #56" provides a tender catalog of a child's moments before sleep. A number of songs feature the sort of plodding piano-and-vocal that John Lennon made so effective at the end of the Beatles and the start of his solo career, though Irion rocks more straightforward with fuzzbox and sax on the glam-blues "Madrid." Beyond the Harvest-inspired Americana and '70s pop confectionary, Irion adds elements of soul, gospel and funk, making this an unusually rich and eclectic CD for country rock and pop fans. [©2007 hyperbolium dot com]
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