American folk-music ambassador Johnny Irion is gearing up to release his first solo album in over 10 years. The folk rocker’s forthcoming album, Driving Friend, is due out across all formats on May 18. This raw and well-crafted album, recorded with members of Dawes, Wilco and The Mother Hips, encompasses a range of American musical genres, from blues and gospel to folk and country.
Last year, Paste premiered the album’s lead track, “Cabin Fever.” Now, the musician returns to give us an exclusive first look at the single’s music video, co-directed by Justin Allen and Bill Wright, and shot by Allen in Becket, Mass.
Novelist John Marks says of the music video:
A man alone is a disaster waiting to happen, but Johnny uses his guitar to stave off the zombies of loneliness and pick his way over the mountain of solitude. Another cabin just over the hill, of course.
The video’s narrative follows Irion holed up inside an abandoned cabin, fighting against the odds of a heavy winter snow, accompanied by his adorable four-legged friend. As Irion enters the safety of a wooden lodge, he comes across a group of bizarre and furry creatures—which, Irion ultimately discovers, might just be in his head. The playfulness of the video is the perfect accompaniment to the single’s Southern-rock twang.
Irion now prepares to embark on an extensive U.S. tour which kicks off on April 20 at the Connect: Beyond The Page Festival in Asheville, N.C. The musician will be performing in cities across the country from April to July, including select shows with Jay Farrar and Autumn Defense, and a set at the Newport Folk Festival.
Again, Driving Friend is due out on May 18. A portion of proceeds from each record sold will go to the Blackwing Foundation, an organization devoted to helping to fund music and arts programs in public schools. You can preorder the album here.
Watch Irion battle the winter storm in the “Cabin Fever” video down below, followed by a Paste Cloud video of the artist performing alongside Sarah Lee Guthrie at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. You’ll find the musician’s full tour slate further down.
Johnny Irion 2018 U.S. Tour Dates:
20 – Asheville, N.C. @ Connect: Beyond The Page Festival
17 – San Francisco, Calif. @The Chapel*
18 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub
19 – Big Sur, Calif. @ Hipnic X
20 – Big Sur , Calif. @ Henry Miller Memorial Library
21 – San Rafael, Calif. @Terrapin Crossroads*
22 – Santa Barbara , Calif. @ Lobero Theatre*
24 – Portland, Ore. @ Alberta Rose Theatre*
25 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Tractor Tavern*
29 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hotel Cafe
01 – West Hollywood, Calif. @ Live @ The Sunset Marquis
07 – New York, N.Y. @ The McKittrick Hotel
08 – Great Barrington, Mass. @ The Guthrie Center
15 – West Nyack, N.Y. @ Rockland Center For the Arts
27 – Boston, Mass. @ Club Passim
28 – Marlboro, N.Y. @ The Falcon
14 – Okemah, Okla. @ Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
19 – Newtown, Conn. @ Newton Meeting House^
20 – Providence, R.I. @ Pop Emporium^
21 – Pittsfield Mass. @ Hancock Shaker Village^
22 – North Adams, Mass. @ Tourist Hotel^
25 – Boothbay , Maine @ Boothbay Opera House^
26 – Boston, Mass. @ Lizard Lounge^
27 – Newport, R.I. @Newport Folk Festival
28 – Hopewell , N.J. @Hopewell Theatre
(* – w/ Jay Farrar)
(^ – w/ Autumn Defense)