Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie ready to hit the road again

The married music makers open up about new album Wassaic Way, working with Jeff Tweedy and keeping their family life in balance after 14 years of marriage

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion perform atop an artwork in a gallery at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass., during the Solid Sound festival in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion perform atop an artwork in a gallery at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass., during the Solid Sound festival in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Alongside a two-lane back road in the Berkshires region of Western Massachusetts sits a solid, simple frame home.

Sited on what appears to be at least a couple of acres atop a hill, its nearest neighbor is farther than you can throw a stone, but not so far as to be out of sight.

The house is far enough from the main highway to provide a peaceful retreat, but with easy access to civilization — whether you consider that North Adams, Pittsfield, Boston or beyond.

The silence — at least outdoors, anyway — is broken only by the occasional animal noise or the air-horn warning and rumble of one of the freight trains that pass through on a regular basis.

Inside, it’s a very different story.

That’s where Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are raising their kids — “counting the cousins, on any given day there are four to six. But normally, two: Olivia’s 11, Sophia’s 6,” Johnny told Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? in an exclusive interview.

And it’s home base for their business. Downstairs, in a studio-basement-rehearsal space, the married musical duo practice and record their music.

Things are really happening for Sarah Lee and Johnny. They seem like a duo on the verge of overnight success — albeit after one very long and ofttimes sleepless night.

But we’ll get to that in a minute. First, let’s clear up something: While Sarah Lee and Johnny aren’t household names, there’s something about them that rings the bell.

It’s that Guthrie thing, right? Continue reading

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Stew & The Negro Problem at Barbès: A refuge from the storm and a special surprise

Blizzard? Who cares, when there’s a chance to see Stew, Heidi and the gang in an intimate Brooklyn boîte

Stew and Heidi Rodewald perform with a version of their band, The Negro Problem, at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn in March 2011. And yes, that's Joe McGinty in the foreground.  (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Stew and Heidi Rodewald perform with a version of their band, The Negro Problem, at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn in March 2011. And yes, that’s Joe McGinty in the foreground. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

If the predicted nightmare blizzard doesn’t bring New York City to a screeching halt on Friday, you should be at  Barbès in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood to catch a surprisingly un-publicized gig by Stew & The Negro Problem.

(Click through to the jump for all the details.) Continue reading

Jon Brion’s long overdue New York City stand

Jon Brion

Jon Brion builds a song at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, Oct. 3, 2011. (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

The amazing composer/performer/arranger/producer Jon Brion is a fixture on the Los Angeles music scene, with his regular appearances at Largo— gigs that draw on his huge circle of musical friends. So it was a thrill to see that he was going to spend several nights in New York City this October. It was his first visit since 2002, when he spent a couple of night in residence at the Canal Room.

Jon Brion

John Brion

We got a chance to catch his set on Oct. 3, his third night at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. He did not disappoint, working his butt off in his one-man-band style, looping guitar, piano and drums and moving seamlessly through the pop landscape with net or set list.

Check out more photos of  Jon’s Oct. 3 show after the jump.

Continue reading