Various: Note of Hope – review


2012's Woody Guthrie centenary opens early with this outstanding tribute to the great American troubadour. Bassist-cum-producer Rob Wasserman provides crisp, jazzy settings for extracts from Guthrie's journal, while the array of voices includes a sultry Madeleine Peyroux, an in-form Jackson Browne, rapper Michael Franti with an ode to sticky sex and the late Studs Terkel narrating an encounter with a stock market profiteer. It's an evocative, intimate portrait of both Woody and postwar America, and shifts the view of Guthrie from dust bowl balladeer to Orwellesque commentator and chronicler.


Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Various Artists: Joy of Living: A Tribute to Ewan MacColl review – an engrossing portrait
This centenary collection of Ewan MacColl covers serves brilliantly to show off his songwriting skills

Neil Spencer

25, Oct, 2015 @8:00 AM

Various: Inside Llewyn Davies OST – review
The likes of Marcus Mumford and Justin Timberlake don't bring enough grit to the Coen brothers' latest soundtrack, writes Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

03, Nov, 2013 @12:01 AM

Various: Oak Ash and Thorn – review
Kipling's poems and Peter Bellamy's music inspire a promising generation of new folkies, says Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

13, Feb, 2011 @12:05 AM

Various: Harbour of Songs – review
Folk singers and writers combine on a charming album inspired by an artists' boat, writes Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

21, Jul, 2012 @11:05 PM

Various: Stand Up People – review
Forgotten vinyl treasures from former Yugoslavia offer an insight into Roma history, writes Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

25, May, 2013 @11:05 PM

Various: Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War – review
A two-CD set of American civil war music aims for compassionate neutrality and freewheeling authenticity, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

05, Jan, 2014 @12:05 AM

Article image
Various: Stand Up Now review – eco-minded farmers and singers join forces
The peoples’ music stands proud in this heartwarming set of traditional and original music gathered from Britain’s farms, woods and cities

Neil Spencer

28, Aug, 2021 @3:00 PM

Article image
Various: Sonic Blooms: UK Alt-Folk and New Roots Rising review – a rewarding sampler
(Folk & Honey)

Neil Spencer

26, Nov, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Farewell, Pete Seeger

Ed Vulliamy and Rufus Wainwright salute the American folk singer Pete Seeger, one of the last heroes of a generation that still believed in change

Ed Vulliamy and Rufus Wainwright

02, Feb, 2014 @10:00 AM

Article image
The Man Who Recorded the World: A Biography of Alan Lomax by John Szwed – review

Alan Lomax brought stars such as Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie to the world's attention. But, asks Sean O'Hagan, was he really the selfless pioneer that this biography claims?

Sean O'Hagan

09, Jan, 2011 @12:05 AM