In House #1739: Gob Iron's Death Songs For the Living; New Be Good Tanyas
A "gob iron," apparently, is British parlance for a mouth organ-- a harmonica, in other words. Gob Iron also happens to be the name of the duo formed by Jay Farrar and Anders Parker, recently resulting in the debut release Death Songs For the Living. Both men, of course, should need little introduction: Farrar was one of the founding members of Uncle Tupelo before going on to front Son Volt in addition to his solo work; Parker fronted Varnaline for four albums between 1996 and 2001 before releasing two full-lengths under his own name (the latest, Anders Parker, is out this week). A couple of years back, the pair met up at Farrar's St. Louis-based studio with the intention of recording a new Son Volt album. For whatever reason, that didn't happen, though they did rather spontaneously record several selections from what might be known as the Great Americana Songbook, featuring compositions from the likes of the Stanley Brothers, Stephen Foster, The Rev. JM Gates, and others. The fare isn't far removed from Uncle Tupelo's classic March 16-20, 1992 recording, and Farrar once again shows he has a way with this particular flavor, occasionally fortifying songs like "Hard Times," and "Nicotine Blues," with new lyrical content or melodies borrowed from other tunes. The set closes with the lone original, the Farrar-penned "Buzz & Grind," showing off a bluesy riff under a political theme. Farrar and Parker will be touring throughout November in support of the new release, out this week on Transmit Sound/Legacy Recordings.
Farrar & Parker are Gob Iron
In House #1739.
Focus: Debut release from Gob Iron, Death Songs For the Living, plus new music from Anders Parker, The Be Good Tanyas and more from The Harry Smith Project: Anthology of American Folk Music Revisited.
Gob Iron, from Death Songs For the Living: "Buzz & Grind" (MP3)
In House PODCAST #202