Photo by Kim Reed
Folk Uke Records and Amy Nelson & Cathy Guthrie of Folk Uke are excited to present “Small One,” the duo’s brand new protest song recorded with the socially distanced help of members of Foo Fighters, Bonny Light Horseman, ex-Band of Horses and many more.
Don’t be fooled by the beautiful, melancholy melody of “Small One” here, for while it may sound gorgeous, the subject matter is anything but. This isn’t a new concept for Nelson & Guthrie, however, but this time the duo are addressing the role that toxic masculinity plays in breaking down humanity and the threat it poses to life on Earth.
“We wanted to write a Neil Young song, but we’re Folk Uke,” Nelson & Guthrie said. “’Small One’ is a song about the man who has everything, including a crippling feeling of inadequacy brought on by years of torment from his peers, turning him bitter and vengeful from a young age until he is comforted by this thought: ‘They will all be sorry when I rule the world’.” Stream “Small One” over at Rolling Stone HERE and YouTube HERE, and purchase the song digitally and on limited edition lathe cut 45 HERE.
Three years after the release of their third Folk Uke LP, Starfucker, Nelson & Guthrie enlisted the help of fellow Austinite and musician Jeff Klein (My Jerusalem) who served as producer on “Small One.” Although only their vocals and Klein’s acoustic guitar part had been recorded before the COVID-19 quarantine began, Klein brought in a number of his musician friends – Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters) on keys, Bill Reynolds (ex-Band of Horses) on bass, JT Bates (Bonny Light Horseman/Big Red Machine) on percussion, Matt Pynn (Dwight Yoakam, Miley Cyrus) on pedal steel, and Walker Lukens and McKenzie Griffin on backing vocals – all of which added to the song remotely from their own lockdown studios. The result is anything but small.
Additionally, a portion of the proceeds of the limited edition, lathe cut 45 of “Small One” will go to Grassroots Leadership, a most effective, active human rights organization. Grassroots Leadership works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization are things of the past. More information can be found on the organization’s website HERE.
Nelson & Guthrie first met in 1996 at a bar in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter where they both worked and have been crafting lovely but humorous and unflinching songs together ever since. In addition to touring with and supporting shows by artists such as X, The Jayhawks, Dan Mangan, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, Wye Oak, Tommy Stinson, Kinky Friedman, Shooter Jennings, and Dog Trumpet, the duo has garnered passionate praise from a wide variety of cultural icons. When talking about Folk Uke, Snoop Dogg says, “They’re off the motherfucking chain…Dope as fuck,” and John Trudell claimed, “They are like angels talking shit.”
While the fate of their previously scheduled summer tour with Jamey Johnson and Whiskey Myers is TBD due to COVID-19, Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie continue the legacy of a family lineage that’s no stranger to weaving the struggles of humanity into popular song.