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Music: “New Multitudes” Woody Guthrie Tribute

If you’ve kept up with exscapes, some of you may have read several posts about My Morning Jacket & Jim James concerts. Thankfully since they’re based out of Louisville, they frequently have concerts here in the Bluegrass (and I frequent these concerts!). I will never forget the first time I saw them (or any other time!). It was at Waterfront Park in Louisville, which is a huge park which has a great lawn next to the Ohio River. Right before the concert, I was sitting on a bench and this little girl in a princess costume came up to me, and ‘blessed’ me with her magic star wand. I had never even heard of My Morning Jacket before then, but have rocked out to them ever since.

Jim James (Yim Yames) is the lead singer for My Morning Jacket and often goes solo or partners with other musicians for albums and special concerts. He often gets involved with music projects, like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, has made a tribute album to George Harrison, and also has been part of the Bob Dylan movie, “I’m Not There”. Now Jim (or Yim) has been part of a new album which is a tribute to Woody Guthrie. The album, “New Multitudes” looks into the archives of Woody’s songs and picks out pieces unheard by many. Featured on the album are artists, Jim James, Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, and Anders Parker. They will also be doing a short tour of the album in in a few major cities. The album was released today, February 28th 2012 by Rounder Records. I guess I will be buying this album!

NPR featured an article about the new album, including a short response from Yim about one of the songs he sung on the album, “Empty Bed Blues”. Here is Yim’s connection to the song:

“I was going through this period of just having been injured and spending a long time in an empty bed recovering. I felt like the portions of life when you’re not in love or when you’re not experiencing romance or some kind of connection at that time had been so long for me. I felt like I was in an empty bed so much and the lyrics of that song really resonated. Shortly after the injury experience though — I fell in love … and had this new person that I was and am really in love with … so it was new then and in the beginning phases of a long-distance relationship … when they’re so far away, but you want them near you so very bad. You’re in your empty bed suffering and you want them close and you are really thinking about it with everything you have … and you believe that if they’d just come see you soon … that everything could be A-OK … that they could save your life somehow just by being there … and then they do.” (via NPR Article)

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