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Centro-Matic's Will Johnson to Join Jay Farrar, Jim James on Album of Woody Guthrie Songs

Woody Guthrie and Will Johnson kinda look alike, amiright?
Woody Guthrie and Will Johnson kinda look alike, amiright?

As far as collaborations go, it's hard to imagine that Centro-Matic's Will Johnson would be able to top his stint in Monsters Of Folk, with whom he backed up Conner Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogus, on the drums. But this morning we learn that Johnson's going to work on a project associated with some equally impressive artists.

As Listen, Dammit reports, Johnson will team up with Jay Farrar, whose band, Son Volt, has laid dormant for a few years since releasing their last album, American Central Dust; Anders Parker; and Jim James, who is going by his non-My Morning Jacket Yim Yames moniker. The purpose of the project is to create an album of Woody Guthrie songs, which is, interestingly enough, something Farrar's ex-Uncle Tupelo bandmate Jeff Tweedy has already done on his Mermaid Avenue collaboration with Billy Bragg.

Nevermind the potential copycat accusations. It will be interesting to hear Farrar's distinct voice singing Guthrie songs, and even more interesting to hear Johnson's contribution on whatever songs they choose to do.

According to Farrar's website, the record will be released on Rounder in January 2012, which will mark the centennial anniversary of Guthrie's birth.

We're still not sure what Johnson's role in the band will be. We reached out to Centro-Matic's publicist and were told that they're "not ready to talk about this project just yet."

Stay tuned.


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