Folk-rock troubadour extraordinaire and local hero Johnny Irion comes by his American roots bona fides honestly. In addition to being married into the Guthrie family, he’s performed and collaborated with icons such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Jeff Bridges and John Goodwin (Crazy Heart), Jackson Browne, The Jayhawks, and Ramblin Jack Elliot. His latest album Driving Friend features Tim Bluhm as well as members of Dawes and Wilco.
Irion will gather a congregation of like-minded friends and collaborators at FreshGrass for a joyful dive into the American folk canon, certain to be peppered with nods to Guthrie and Seeger and the music and messages they championed.
“Johnny has found his own songwriting pulse…the coming together of action and reflection, compassion and empathy.” — No Depression
“Songs that feel as lovingly hand-crafted as the jeans on the back of After the Gold Rush.” — Rolling Stone
Johnny Irion is a rocker in and out of time. There’s something kind of timeless in the way he wrings out the sweetest melodies and deeper passions of both ‘60s California rock and Guthrie-era folk, and something so timely about the way he does it – there’s a reason Bernie Sanders asked him to sing at a rally in his sometimes-home of Santa Barbara.
Best known for his folk explorations with his wife Sarah Lee Guthrie — including their recent Wassaic Way produced by Jeff Tweedy — and his latest rock venture with US ELEVATOR — which Will Hermes of Rolling Stone praised for its “songs that are handcrafted as lovingly as the jeans on the back of After the Goldrush” — Irion has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting artists across the folk-rock spectrum, from his uncannily Young-Nilsson-esque voice to his melodic and lyrical mettle.
Irion has recently released a solo record, Driving Friend, with members of Dawes, Wilco, Nicki Bluhm, and The Gramblers.