“I need a socially conscious woman to ease my revolutionary mind,” sings Jim James on New Multitudes (Rounder). This beautiful, if somewhat solemn, centennial-year salute to Woody Guthrie finds the My Morning Jacket frontman supplying new music to previously unrecorded lyrics alongside Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-Matic), and Anders Parker (Varnaline). Although Guthrie’s New York years have inspired great albums by the Klezmatics and Billy Bragg with Wilco, New Multitudes focuses on the revolutionary folk singer’s more erratic Los Angeles stay during the early ’50s, when his health and personal life were deteriorating amid the culture-chilling Red Scare. Savor the skanky realism of “V.D. Blues” clanking against the idealism of “Hoping Machine” when the quartet makes a rare appearance together.
Wed., March 14, 8:30 p.m., 2012