Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Doug Collette
New Multitudes arises from a distinctly unusual multi-faceted collaboration. The initial entry in the centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie's birthday began as a Gob Iron project helmed, as was Death Songs for The Living (Transmit Sound/Legacy Recordings, 2006) by Jay Farrar and Anders Parker. Given access to the Guthrie archives by Woody's daughter Nora, the duo began marrying original music to selected lyrics of the iconic folksinger from which point the project broadened into what became the New Multitudes project including Jim James, nee Yim Yames, of My Morning Jacket and Will Johnson of Centromatic and Monsters of Folk.
The deluxe edition of that album contains a second cd that, short as it is, with a playing time of just over thirty minutes, nevertheless holds its own weight in proportion to the main production. It works as both the Gob Iron sequel and an adjunct to New Multitudes, in part because the packaging of the double cd-set extends the graphics in proportion to the extra music. Enclosed in the same earth tones as the streamlined set, the lyrics, in both printed form and reproduced in Woody's own handwriting, are interspersed with the man's own artwork. Thus, the item morphs from a piece of product, singular as it may be, into a unique item worth owning as a piece of history on its own terms. ... read more...
Rolling Stone (p.62) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Four singer-songwriters tag-team in a folk-rock vein, and the high points are when voices unite..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Opener 'Hoping Machine', indeed, is irresistibly evocative of Uncle Tupelo at their more stately, Farrar lending a song of optimism-despite-it-all, an appropriately striving melody and hesitant arrangement."
Lyricist: Woody Guthrie.
Tributee: Woody Guthrie.
Personnel: Jay Farrar (vocals); Jim James (vocals); Anders Parker (vocals); Will Johnson (vocals).
Audio Mixers: Jim James; John Agnello; Kevin Ratterman; Matt Pence.
Recording information: Tape Kitchen, NY; The Hill, MO.
Photographer: Anna Webber.
The centennial of Woody Guthrie's birth arrives in 2012, and among the many tributes dedicated to the seminal folk figure and songwriter is this set of previously unreleased Guthrie songs done by Jay Farrar, Jim James, Will Johnson, and Anders Parker.