September 10, 2013

ASCAP Audio Portrait: Sarah Lee & Johnny's Wassaic Way

Wassaic Way

Sarah Lee, Johnny, Jeff and Pat
Johnny Irion discusses his collaboration on Wassaic Way with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone.

Wassaic Way
Irion recounts how the last song he sent to Tweedy and Sansone became the title track.

Sleep On It
This song, like many of Irion's, started with the title.

Sarah Lee's Singing
Irion talks about Sarah Lee's singing, which he and his collaborators say has never sounded better.

9 Outta 10 Times
Irion's song of appreciation for a great soul with a tragic fate.

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion teamed up with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Patrick Sansone to create their third studio album, Wassaic Way, at Wilco's recording studio, The Loft, in Chicago. Guthrie and Irion, who are married and whose combined family include folk legends Arlo and Woody Guthrie as well as author John Steinbeck, feel like they’ve finally hit their stride on this collection of 11 poetic, sonically layered songs that find the pair pushing beyond the folky sound they established on previous albums. Any of the songs on Wassaic Way could be a single, which speaks to the strength of the songwriting, and also to Guthrie and Irion’s underlying goal: they wanted an album that moves them one step closer to getting at the heart of who they are as writers and performers. For more information on Sarah Lee & Johnny, please visit