Wonder Wheel, a record seven years in the making, reflects Woody Guthrie’s political stance and social agenda into a larger, global mirror, and brings a 20th century American figurehead to a 21st-century audience. The Klezmatics vibrantly bring Woody’s lyrics to life, filling them with Eastern European, klezmer, Latin, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean and folk flavor, giving them a universal life of their own. Featuring Celtic vocalist Susan McKeown and multi-instrumentalist Boo Reiners and produced by GoodAndEvil (Sex Mob, Elysian Fields, Felix Da Housecat), Wonder Wheel is an intense combination of the familiar and the exotic. But above all, it is completely natural, all-encompassing, and intensely human. These Coney Island-wrought lyrics add a less-known urban dimension to a man seen as the avatar of dust- bowl ballads. But, like thousands of his songs, they were left unrecorded, their music forgotten, until now.
(JMG Records, 2006)
“The Klezmatics are wonderful… ‘Gonna get Through This World’ is a piece of GENIUS.”
– Pete Seeger
– Robert Christgau / The Village Voice, New York
***** (5 Stars out of 5) Another amazing set … (ranging) from quietly poignant to rollicking and infectious.
– The Montreal Gazette
“a complete joy … Guthrie’s lyrics are transformed from dust-gathers to living, breathing, vital pieces of music … Woody’s Jewish in-laws would certainly have been proud”
– All Music Guide
“Skips merrily out of the speakers and becomes the life of the party.”
– The Chicago Sun Times