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Alternative & Indie - Released September 20, 2019 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Pop - Released April 20, 2012 | Nonesuch

During the spring of 1995, Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora contacted British urban folk troubadour Billy Bragg about writing music for a selection of completed Guthrie lyrics. This was no minor task -- Guthrie left behind over a thousand sets of complete lyrics written between 1939 and 1967 that had no music other than a vague stylistic notation. Bragg chose a number of songs to finish, as did Jeff Tweedy of the alt-country band Wilco (often with bandmate Jay Bennett). Nora Guthrie impressed a common goal upon them: Rather than recreating Guthrie tunes, they should write as if they were collaborating with Woody, creating new, vital music for the lyrics. Both artists completed more songs than could fit on Mermaid Avenue, which is neatly split between Bragg and Wilco, with Bragg taking lead on eight of the 15 songs. The results are almost entirely a delight, mainly because all involved are faithful to Guthrie's rowdy spirit -- it's a reverent project that knows how to have fun. There are many minor, irresistible gems scattered throughout the album, and most of them come from Bragg. Where Wilco's fine contributions sound inextricably tied to the '90s, both for better and for worse, Bragg's music sounds contemporary while capturing Guthrie's folk traditions. That's not to say Wilco's contributions are failures -- it's just hard to imagine Guthrie singing the plaintive "California Stars" or the plodding "Christ for President," neither of which quite fit the lyrics. Nevertheless, their hearts are in the right place; more often than not, they come close to the target, and their joyous playing invigorates Mermaid Avenue. The blend of Bragg's traditionalist sensibility and Wilco's contemporary style ultimately illustrates that Guthrie's words, ideals, and aesthetics remain alive in the '90s. It's a remarkable record that deserves a sequel. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 20, 2012 | Nonesuch

Booklet
The two volumes of Mermaid Avenue, released in 1998 and 2000 and named after the New York street where legendary folk artist Woody Guthrie lived in the 1940s, were collaborations between cult American alt-country/avant-garde rockers Wilco and revered British protest singer Billy Bragg, on which they set to music previously unreleased lyrics by Guthrie. This exhaustive four-disc set features both releases together with a whole new album of previously unreleased songs and the documentary Man in the Sand, which chronicles the project. © John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released March 6, 2006 | Cooking Vinyl

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Folk/Americana - Released March 6, 2006 | Cooking Vinyl

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Country - Released September 23, 2016 | Cooking Vinyl

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2003 | Cooking Vinyl

Alternative & Indie - Released May 1, 2020 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 9, 2006 | Cooking Vinyl

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 9, 2006 | Cooking Vinyl

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1987 | Cooking Vinyl

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 17, 2013 | Cooking Vinyl

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 3, 2017 | Cooking Vinyl

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Pop - Released October 21, 2013 | Cooking Vinyl

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Pop - Released April 20, 2012 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 2, 2019 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Pop - Released April 20, 2012 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 6, 2006 | Cooking Vinyl

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1999 | Cooking Vinyl

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Pop - Released April 14, 2014 | Cooking Vinyl