Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie
This album won the Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album! The story of Wonder Wheel is a glorious tale of happenstance and discovery, populated by luminaries from different worlds and different eras. In the pantheon: American folk icon Woody Guthrie and world music superstars the Klezmatics, Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie, maestro Itzhak Perlman—whose chance meeting with Nora helped plant the seed for the project, Celtic vocalist Susan McKeown, and producers GoodandEvil (Sex Mob, Elysian Fields, Felix Da Housecat). 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. The result, seven years in the making, is Wonder Wheel—a record Nora describes as "Just as my father would have wanted." The album reflects Woody’s political stance and social agenda into a larger, global mirror, and brings a 20th century American figurehead to a 21st-century audience. Woody’s lyrics—set to music that’s filled with Eastern European, klezmer, Latin, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean and folk flavors—take on a universal life of their own. As GoodandEvil’s Danny Blume notes, the music is "an intense combination of the familiar and the exotic. But above all, it’s completely natural, all-encompassing, and intensely human."