Montreal Gazette

June 27th, 2006

5 Stars! Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie

By Mike Regenstreif

***** (5/5 Stars)

Another amazing set of unknown songs surfaces the Woody Guthrie Archives. Set to music by the Klezmatics, these songs include Headdy Down, a kid’s lullaby, Mermaid’s Avenue, a joyous celebration of the various immigrant cultures that were interacting in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn when Guthrie lived there after World War II, and Come When I Call You, a reflection on the effects of war that sounds like it could have been written just this week. Pass Away, Holy Ground and Heaven have Guthrie movingly musing on issues of spirituality and mortality. Drawing on Klezmer and other world and folk styles, the Klezmatics cast a wide musical net in composing and arranging the music. The performances range from quietly poignant to rollicking and infectious.