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Woody's centenary is 2012, and this is the inaugural event celebrating the occasion. Co-produced by Woody's daughter Nora, this album features unpublished lyrics by the folk icon set to original music by Lou Reed ( The Debt I Owe ), Van Dyke Parks ( The Note of Hope ), Jackson Browne ( You Know the Night ), Ani Di Franco ( Voice ), Pete Seeger, Tom Morello, Kurt Elling and more!
Jackson Browne and Rob Wasserman are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth by releasing "You Know the Night," a new piece of music based on a 30-page notebook entry penned by the revered songwriter just after meeting the woman who would become his second wife. "There's a great photo of me with like 12 sheets of music taped to two stands and trying to sing this stuff and figure out when to sing, so in a way it was a real editing job," Browne told Rolling Stone. "There wasn't too much you could take out because it's his story."
"You Know the Night" has been edited down to four minutes for radio, but the full performance - and the version that will appear on Notes of Hope, a collection of other musical interpretations of his writing - clocks in at just under 15 minutes. "The four-minute version came out really good but the 15-minute version is, like, impossible to cut down," says Browne. "We took out all the biographical stuff, really. They should be providing everybody with both."
"[Guthrie] used to bully people's spirits," Browne says. "The people he sang for needed that. People he sang for needed to hear that one, they were not alone and two, there's better times possible down the road. So, this song, the 15-minute version, is infused with that. There is something about him sitting on a park bench and playing with the curls of this beautiful girl's hair and talking about what kind of life they wanted. I think it's so universal. It's what people do when they fall in love. It's gigantic. It's a love song but at the same time a kind of an idealist trek."
Reporting by Patrick Doyle -- Rolling Stone, August 26, 2011
On September 27, 429 Records will release Note Of Hope, an album of Woody Guthrie's writings set to music by artists like Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello and Pete Seeger, and spearheaded by Grammy-winning bassist Rob Wasserman. We spoke with bassist Wasserman about the ten years he spent working on the project, collaborating with Lou Reed, and whether or not Woody Guthrie would make a good rapper.
How did you get involved with the Note Of Hope album?
About 10 years ago, I was performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Bob Weir-we were doing a tribute to Robert Johnson with a bunch of other musicians. I also did a solo performance the next day and Nora Guthrie basically came up to me and asked if I'd like to work with her dad's words and come up with a more stripped down bass and voice project. She had a vision for something a little more sparse and spontaneous .
I was so happy and excited because actually for years I was a huge Woody Guthrie appreciator -- I read his book and was really inspired by him when I was a young kid, before I even played music, and it was sort of unusual that that would happen. Especially coming up to an instrumentalist after an hour bass performance, but I guess she just heard something that I could take to her words. They were unpublished, these journals, and then she started sending me words after that, and that's how it all started. -- American Songwriter, August 25th, 2011
Woody Guthrie, one of music's most important songwriters who inspired everyone from Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger to any aspiring musician who picked up a guitar, would've turned 100 next July. Now, his estate is planning plenty of tributes to mark the centennial occasion in 2012. Lou Reed, Tom Morello, Jackson Browne, Ani DiFranco, Nellie McKay, and more will pay tribute to Guthrie, who died in 1967, on an all-star tribute album, set to be released next year. Wilco, Billy Bragg, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and others are also planning tributes (via TwentyFourBit).
Note of Hope: A Celebration of Woody Guthrie is the first to mark the occasion, and will be released on September 27 by 429 Records. Grateful Dead and Ratdog bassist Rob Wasserman is leading the charge: he will be collaborating on all tracks and the contributors will set new music to lost Guthrie lyrics, which were discovered by Woody's daughter, Nora.
"The words Nora found are timeless and more relevant than ever -- it seems like Woody could see the future," Wasserman said in a statement. A full tracklisting is below -- head here to check out Browne's contribution.
What's more, Wilco's collaborative albums with Billy Bragg, titled Mermaid Avenue, will be reissued as a box set in 2012. The two-part records found them setting new music to lost Guthrie lyrics. It is slated for release next spring. And while details have not been revealed, the reissue will include an outtakes disc and the 1999 making-of documentary titled Man in the Sand.
Ex-Uncle Tupelo's Jay Farrar, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Will Johnson, and Anders Parker, meanwhile, will take a similar approach to Wilco's project with a collaborative album, as well, due out via Rounder Records next January. -- Spin, August 26, 2011
|1. Note of Hope (feat. Van Dyke Parks)|
|2. Wild Card In The Hole (feat. Madeleine Peyroux)|
|3. Ease My Revolutionary Mind (feat. Tom Morello)|
|4. The Debt I Owe (feat. Lou Reed)|
|5. Union Love Juice (feat. Michael Franti)|
|6. Peace Pin Boogie (feat. Kurt Elling)|
|7. Voice (feat. Ani DiFranco)|
|8. I Heard A Man Talking (feat. Studs Terkel)|
|9. Old Folks (feat. Nellie McKay)|
|10. On The High Lonesome (feat. Chris Whitley)|
|11. There's A Feeling In Music (feat. Pete Seeger & Tony Trischka)|
|12. You Know The Night (feat. Jackson Browne)|
I like Woody Guthrie and I like Pete Seeger and Jasckson Browne, but this compilation is probably the worst piece of recorded material I have ever heard. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Raymond M. Foglia
Saw a Woody Guthrie special on PBS and Jackson Brown and Rob Wasserman sang this incredible song "You know the Night" which was an actual letter from Woodie to his future... Read morePublished on July 27, 2013 by David Hubbard
I bought this CD for peanuts from a shop that was closing down. The first thing i noticed (on a High End System) was the bass. Fantastic. Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Cheleadave
Knitting Factory does Woody Guthrie might be a better title for this collection. If you're familiar with the cottage industry of Guthrie prose musical reinterpretations, this one... Read morePublished on December 1, 2012 by G. Brozeit
Although this space is mainly dedicated to reviewing political books and commenting on past and current political issues literary output is hardly the only form of political... Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by Alfred Johnson
Nice effort on the part of the collaborators to honor Woody. But this was not that. I am usually open to outside the box artistry, but I gave this one a once-through and gave it... Read morePublished on November 5, 2011 by kbhenriq
just got this a couple of days ago, and in listening for first time this morning, i had mixed feelings. did i like it? is it a bit jarring? Read morePublished on October 23, 2011 by Maureen Riley
I've spent a hour or so today with my copy of the new Rob Wasserman/ Nora Guthrie produced CD tribute to Woody Guthrie titled "Note of Hope" and I'm having a difficult time getting... Read morePublished on October 5, 2011 by Steve Ramm
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