Album to be released on the Blackwing Music label May 18th.
Stockton, CA: Folk-rocker Johnny Irion’s new solo record Driving Friend is set to release on May 18, 2018. The album was backed by Blackwing, the artisan pencil makers with a diverse musical heritage. It was produced by Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips and features performances by members of Dawes, Wilco, and other renowned musicians.
Best known for his folk explorations with his wife Sarah Lee Guthrie and his rock venture with US ELEVATOR, Irion has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting artists across the folk-rock spectrum. Will Hermes of Rolling Stone Magazine praised his ability to write “songs that are hand crafted as lovingly as the jeans on the back of After the Gold Rush.” AllMusic offered further admiration, delighting in “how tuneful [his songs] are, how easy to catch onto, even on first listen.”
While he spent the past decade spent on collaborations and side projects, Driving Friend represents a reconnection with Irion’s musical roots. “It’s almost like starting over,” Johnny says. The album was recorded on an original 24-track Studer tape machine, and the analog behemoth is the central force around which the album revolves. “The thing about firing up the Studer,” Johnny muses, “is once it’s going, you might as well give it all you got… It’s a beast of a tape machine.” The result is an album filled with an almost tangible warmth to go with its undeniable heart.
Irion has teamed up with Blackwing to release Driving Friend. The album will be released on the Blackwing Music label and distributed to their unique network of lifestyle stores around the world. “The people who use our pencils are the same people who appreciate the sound of a vinyl record and the craftsmanship of a songwriter like Johnny,” said Grant Christensen, leader of the team at Blackwing. “We can’t wait to introduce our fans and stores to Johnny’s music.”
Driving Friend will be available 05/18/18.
About Blackwing Music: Blackwing Music was created to shine a spotlight on musicians who deserve attention through live performances, storytelling and album releases. A portion of every Blackwing Music album sold benefits the Blackwing Foundation to help fund and develop music and arts education in public schools.