Johnny Irion - Ex Tempore
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Ex Tempore (Rte 8, 2007)

Johnny Irion

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

Johnny Irion first came to most people's attention with his work with wife Sarah Lee Guthrie. Now Irion's latest solo effort, written during a creative spree last year, sounds like the perfect chaser to Ryan Adams' latest effort "Easy Tiger." Irion's voice reaches the higher, roots-y range a la Neil Young during the tender Americana-saturated opener "Take Care" and the equally precious "Short Leash," the latter featuring Guthrie on harmonies.

Irion never fails to make the most of each song, especially with the toe-tapper "She Cast Fire" and the gorgeous, slightly poppy "Eyes Like A Levee." However, although a song like "Madrid" stands apart from the rest of the 12-track album, it's gems like the warm, soothing alt.-country approach to "Brush Yer Teeth Blues #56" which makes this album shine. The same can be said of the Whiskeytown-tinged "Good Cry."

Perhaps the album's consistency is its strongest point with Irion never opting for filler when he can put on a keeper such as "1000 Miles An Hour" that is one of his stronger vocal performances. Here Irion sounds eerily like Young with great results on a fantastic album.

CDs by Johnny Irion

Ex Tempore, 2007

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