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Mermaid Avenue

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  • Mermaid Avenue Vol. III Mermaid Avenue Vol. III Quick View

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    Mermaid Avenue Vol. III

    When American folk legend Woody Guthrie died in 1967, at the age of 55, among his stored belongings were thousands of complete song lyrics for which he had not written out music or made recordings. Many of them had been written in the 1940s and '50s, in the Guthrie family home on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The lyrics remained in boxes for decades, but once his daughter Nora found them in the 1990s, she knew they had to be shared. She approached English singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg to select some to set to music. The Chicago rock band Wilco came aboard soon after, with Jeff Tweedy writing music-along with his late bandmate Jay Bennett on some songs-and the band recording with both Tweedy and Bragg on vocals. Natalie Merchant joined the group to sing a duet with Bragg and two solo songs, and guitarist/singer Corey Harris, who wrote two songs and co-wrote one, performed on many tracks.


    In 1998, the first batch of songs was released to critical acclaim as Mermaid Avenue, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. This second volume followed in 2000. This third volume, released in conjunction with Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions.

    LP 1
    1. Bugeye Jim
    2. When the Roses Bloom Again
    3. Gotta Work
    4. My Thirty Thousand
    5. Ought to Be Satisfied Now
    6. Listening to the Wind That Blows
    7. Go Down to the Water
    8. Chain of Broken Hearts


    LP 2
    9. Jailcell Blues
    10. Don't You Marry
    11. Give Me a Nail
    12. The Jolly Banker
    13. Union Prayer
    14. Be Kind to the Boy on the Road
    15. Ain'ta Gonna Grieve
    16. Tea Bag Blues
    17. I'm Out to Get

    Billy Bragg & Wilco
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Mermaid Avenue Vol. II Mermaid Avenue Vol. II Quick View

    $39.99
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    Mermaid Avenue Vol. II

    ho knew that after the undeniable, sometimes shimmering, sometimes rustic magic of Mermaid Avenue that there was enough quality material for a second volume? By setting their own music to Woody Guthrie's lyrics, Billy Bragg and Wilco once again offer a 50-minute testament to Guthrie's long, dynamic shadow. This sophomore meeting is as balanced between the up-tempo and the down-tempo as was the first Mermaid. Jeff Tweedy's rasp gives all the Wilco-driven tunes a certain grit, and the songs Bragg takes on have a luminescent, frank earnestness that intensifies the delivery of Guthrie's lyrical social critiques. Hot Rod Hotel, with Bragg on the mic, melds the two approaches best, and Secret of the Sea is the CD's poppiest centerpiece--aptly aimed at radio airplay like the first Mermaid's California Stars. Natalie Merchant's playful I Was Born is brief but sweet, just as bluesman Corey Harris's Against the Law is an uplift, with his passionate vocal wail mirroring the political gist of Guthrie's words. The moody closers Black Wind Blowing and Someday, Some Morning, Sometime end Volume 2 with a pair of sweetly sad gems, one a Bragg-sung folk blues that mourns the loss of cotton crops in the American dustbowl era, the other a Tweedy-sung paean to lost love. At the dawn of a new millennium, with labor and the distribution of wealth as pressing historical issues that disrupt every International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization soiree, the time is right for Woody. --Andrew Bartlett
    LP 1
    1. Airline To Heaven
    2. My Flying Saucer
    3. Feed Of Man
    4. Hot Rod Hotel
    5. I Was Born
    6. Secrets Of The Sea
    7. Stetson Kennedy


    LP 2
    8. Remember The Mountain Bed
    9. Blood Of The Lamb
    10. Against The Law
    11. All You Fascists
    12. Joe DiMaggio Done It Again
    13. Meanest Man
    14. Black Wind Blowing
    15. Someday, Some Morning, Sometime

    Billy Bragg & Wilco
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Mermaid Avenue (Out Of Stock) Mermaid Avenue (Out Of Stock) Quick View

    $39.99
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    Mermaid Avenue (Out Of Stock)

    When you first heard that Billy Bragg and Wilco were teaming up to set some Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, you knew it'd be an interesting project. But did anyone realistically think Mermaid Avenue would also wind up being one of 1998's finest albums? That's exactly what it is, a distinction it pulls off by simultaneously honoring Guthrie and blasting away any folksy expectations we might have of his music. Walking Guthrie's World War II-era lyrics into the 20th century's second, rock & roll half, Bragg and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy take turns on lead vocals, and the entire group collaborates on a sound that draws on folk- and country-rock, from Bob Dylan and the Band to Gram Parsons and Uncle Tupelo. The results are nearly flawless, ranging from yearning laments and playful children's rockers to horny ballads and brave protest songs that are not merely political but also profoundly moral. Like all of Guthrie's work, Mermaid Avenue is music to live better by. -- David Cantwell
    LP 1
    1. Walt Whitman's Niece
    2. California Stars
    3. Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key
    4. Birds And Ships
    5. Hoodoo Voodoo
    6. She Came Along To Me
    7. At My Window Sad And Lonely


    LP 2
    8. Ingrid Bergman
    9. Christ For President
    10. I Guess I Planted
    11. One By One
    12. Eisler On The Go
    13. Hesitating Beauty
    14. Another Man's Done Gone
    15. The Unwelcome Guest

    Billy Bragg & Wilco
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
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