Track Review: Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, “Chairman Meow”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

SLJ_Joanna Chattman_smaller
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
“Chairman Meow”
(Route 8)
Rating:  3.5 stars (out of 5)

In a blind listen, most listeners with a fair handle on Wilco’s catalog should be able to pick up on the fact that Jeff Tweedy had a hand in producing “Chairman Meow,” the new single by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Only a hop, skip and a string bend away from “Wilco (The Song)”, “Chairman Meow” has a similarly light-hearted, easy-going spring in its step. It’s fun, fuzzy — even a bit silly (the title is the name of a cat; think about it… ), but in the end it’s still a solidly constructed pop song, and one that arrives not a moment too soon for breezy summer replay. Not that Tweedy (or co-producer Pat Sansone, also of Wilco) deserves too much of the credit. Guthrie, daughter of Arlo and granddaughter of Woody, is part of a long line of songwriting legends, and she clearly has a firm hold of the reins in the family business.

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