New music from the great-nephew of John Steinbeck and the son-in-law of Arlo Guthrie
Now and then in American culture, the written word fuses the worlds of music and literature. Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize is only the most obvious example. An individual singer-songwriter can sometimes embody that fusion in his life and work. An examle Johnny Irion (EYE-ree-on), great-nephew of John Steinbeck and grandson-in-law of Woody Guthrie. Johnny's new solo album, "Driving Friend," includes members of Dawes, Wilco and the Mother Hips and ranges across a wide expanse of roots genres, from blues and gospel to folk and country. Whether Johnny Irion is singing about Santa Barbara, Pittsfield or the Rapture, his sharp wit, telling description, and sharp character studies take us to a musical hometown of his own.