Wake up and sing with Red Yarn!
|Red Yarn recently launched the popular Family Ramble concert series in Portland. At the Ramble in April, he’ll debut Wake Up & Sing, an album of sunny songs about childhood play, animal adventures, and parenting.
Wake Up & Sing is an homage to Furgeson’s favorite old children’s records and songbooks, as well as to the great American folk canon championed by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and other bards.
In March 2015, Furgeson made a pilgrimage to the Hudson River Valley to see the environments that inspired some of his musical heroes, from Seeger’s Clearwater to The Band’s Big Pink house in Woodstock. Furgeson spent two days at GRAMMY Award winning producer Dean Jones’ No Parking Studio (in Rosendale, NY), intending to record a six-song EP. Jones coaxed out 12 songs, as Furgeson dug deep into his notebooks of folksong adaptations and rhymes he’d written for his young son. Over the next year, Furgeson and Jones bounced tracks back and forth, crafting 11 of them into a full-length album.
Wake Up & Sing refines the lush and lively folk-rock sound Red Yarn established with his two earlier Deep Woods albums. Furgeson’s rootsy vocals, driving guitar and banjo work, and tight harmonies with his wife Jessie Eller-Isaacs, are still on display, but each song is reframed within Jones’ strange and whimsical sonic palette. The sound is rounded out by Jones’ drumming, Jed Greenberg’s bass and fiddle, as well as guest appearances by 2016 GRAMMY Award nominee Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellowgold), Portland kindie mainstay Mo Phillips, and Jane Scarpantoni on cello (REM, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen). Furgeson’s longtime collaborator Ryan Bruce created bright linocut prints for the album artwork, echoing the simple designs of old Folkways records by Seeger and Guthrie.
Dedicated to his “little Yarnies” – the Portland preschoolers for whom he has performed on an almost daily basis for the last four years – Wake Up & Sing shows a bright and kind-hearted side of this rising family music star.