Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion

Washington, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Folk / Americana / Roots Music
Rte. 8 Records
A lot can happen in five years, and for the husband-and-wife duo Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, the time between Exploration, their first album together in 2005, and soon-to-be-released Bright Examples (Ninth Street Opus Records, Feb. 22, 2011), their new, full-length collaborative project, has been one nonstop whirlwind of activity. Not only has the couple toured extensively both as a duo and as part of the "Guthrie Family Rides Again" tour (with Sarah Lee's dad, Arlo Guthrie), they've also released the children's album Go Waggaloo (Smithsonian Folkways), a live DVD entitled Folk Song, a solo album by Johnny (Ex Tempore), parented their two young daughters and moved from South Carolina to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
"Never Far From My Heart," is a shining example of the close harmony and emerging pop sensibilities Guthrie and Irion embrace. A sunny, mutual love letter, it was written when they were saying goodbye to South Carolina and preparing for their move north.

"Speed of Light" turns up the beat considerably. A stomping, steady 4/4 rhythm frames an addictively melodic pop tune and chiming guitars meet up with soul touches. In an earlier era, back when AM radio was all about the perfect three-minute record, "Speed of Light" would have gone straight to the top.
The inspiration behind the finger-pointing "Target On Your Heart" may be known to author Irion but neither he nor Guthrie are letting on. Says Sarah Lee, "There's some good drama going on up here in Massachusetts to write about. That one took a while to grow on me. I didn't like that song at first but Johnny kept wanting to play it. Finally we ended up doing it, and it ended up my favorite song on the record." The song's sweet melody and Everlys-like harmonies make for a stark juxtaposition with the sometimes dark lyrics.
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