MARAYA ZYDECO

MARAYA ZYDECO

BandBluesAmericana

Stunnig blues and zydeco band, formed and living in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain.
The leader is Michael Lee Wolfe, expatriate from Pittsburgh, Pennsilvania. He's been in Spain for the lasts 25 years. The band has the great accordion player MARAYA ZYDECO.
They are ready for touring all over the world

Biography

Lee Wolfe is an american with the distinction of being a historic figure in the asturian folk movement, as well as producer, promotor and well-heeled singer and guitarist (www.leewolfe.org). He has more than 15 cds to his name that represent an ongoing conversation between his experiments with the traditional music of his adopted land of Asturias and his own deep north american musical roots.
Not long ago he was approached by the Catalan record label Quadrant Corner. Led by critic, empresario, producer and musicologist Mr. Josep Ramon Jové, Quadrant presented Lee Wolfe with the proposition of putting his own veteran touch to the songs of the great Woody Guthrie. Nobody blinked. Lee Wolfe went to work sorting out and rearranging the music of Guthrie while Jove booked the studio. In the spring of 2009 Quadrant released "Woody Guthrie Revisited."
To rework the songs of an artist who is already widely recognized as the most direct influence over songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Wilco, the Grateful Dead, Little Feat and just about everyone else is an ambitious proposition. And an ambitious task.
The key to this recording is the confidence that Jove and Quadrant placed in Lee Wolfe from the start. While he has played in folk, blues and jazz festivals and led many bands to wide critical acclaim among the specialized music press, Wolfe has never been anything close to a star. North central Spain is rich in melody and tradition but is not a great launching pad for commercial success. Jove however has been following Wolfe´s career from the sidelines and has long been a fan and a believer in the conviction of Wolfe´s own songs as well as his ability to comunicate from the stage.
The recording was done completely live, in the spirit of Woody Guthrie himself. Lee Wolfe enlisted two long-time colaborators to help realize his vision of the Guthrie catalogue: Maraya Zydeco on acordeon and Cordero on percussion.
The result is a rollicking old-time barn burner with lots of bluesy acordeon and a wide variety of beating going on with bodhran, spoons, shakers, pandereta and various drums. On top of it all is Lee Wolfe. Not Frank Sinatra by any means, Wolfe delivers these songs with a carisma uniquely american but in a voice closer to Dylan and Leadbelly, which is what Quadrant Records had hoped for. The arrangements include a wide variety of guitar stylings with generous helping of dobro and slide, 12 string, flatpicking and fancy fingerpicking with at least one old riff stolen from Paul Simon.
For those familiar with the work of Woody Guthrie there is a lot of new territory to discover here; for first timers, just come and enjoy. Check out Wolfe´s uptempo intense take on Deportee, or the celtic resonance to Pastures of Plenty. For blues fans, Jarama Valley and Pneumony Blues go highly recommended. Wolfe pulls a rowdy, acoustic take from U2´s high octave version of Jesus Christ while the band does a beautiful chamber working of Hobo´s Lullabye. Goin´Down the Road and Pretty Boy Floyd both bring to mind the rollicking acoustic jamming of the Grateful Dead... There are 16 tunes in all. Woody´s Guthrie music reexamined, or as Dylan might say, revisited.

Discography

http://everygoodsong.bandcamp.com/