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Mermaid Avenue [LP]

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    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, heard here, was released to critical acclaim as Mermaid Avenue, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

    Nonesuch Records releases the vinyl reissue of the Mermaid Avenue albums on Black Friday, November 29, 2013. The album is pressed on 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany. Nonesuch Store orders include a download of the complete album available starting release day.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Jay Bennett, piano (1, 2, 9-13), clavinet (1, 9), Farfisa organ (1), drums (1), backing vocal (2, 7, 10, 13), Hammond B3 (3, 7, 10), bouzouki (3), organ (5, 11), Farfisa bass pedals (5), electric bass (6), slide guitar (6), acoustic guitar (6), harmony vocal (6), dulcimer (7), banjo (9), handclaps (10), melodica (12, 15), percussion (12), electric guitar (13), grand piano (14, 15)
    Billy Bragg, acoustic guitar (1-4, 8, 10, 15), lead vocal (1, 3, 6, 10, 15), electric guitar (5, 13), bouzouki (7), backing vocal (7, 10), vocal (8, 12), National guitar (9, 12), handclaps (10), banjo (12)
    Ken Coomer, drums (1-3, 5-7, 9-11, 13, 15), percussion (1-3, 6, 9), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10)
    John Stirratt, acoustic bass (1, 9), electric bass (2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15), backing vocal (2, 7), piano [bass] (5), Hammond B3 (6), acoustic guitar (6), bass pedals (9), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10)
    Jeff Tweedy, electric guitar (1, 10), harmonica (1, 6, 15), acoustic guitar (2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 15), lead vocal (2, 7, 13), vocal (5, 9, 11, 14), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10), harmony vocal (15)
    Wilco, answering vocals (1)
    Jonathan “JP” Parker, answering vocals (1)
    Eliza Carthy, violin (2, 3)
    Corey Harris, lap steel guitar (2), electric guitar (5), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10)
    Natalie Merchant, backing vocal (3), vocal (4)
    Elizabeth Steen, accordion (3)
    Peter Yanowitz, chorus drums (3)
    Bob Egan, slide guitar (6), pedal steel (11, 15)

    Words by Woody Guthrie. Music by Billy Bragg (1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15); Jay Bennett / Jeff Tweedy (2); Wilco / Billy Bragg / Corey Harris (5); Billy Bragg / Jeff Tweedy / Jay Bennett (6); Jeff Tweedy (7, 11, 13); Jeff Tweedy / Jay Bennett (9)

on March 20, 2012 - 6:00pm
Release Date: 
Friday, November 29, 2013 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

536075

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
Billy Bragg
Wilco
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597980028
Price: 
11.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597950977
Price: 
12.00
Label: 
FLAC (Lossless)
UPC: 
075597958232BUN
Price: 
34.00
Label: 
LP+MP3
Description: 

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, heard here, was released to critical acclaim as Mermaid Avenue, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Nonesuch Records releases the vinyl reissue of the Mermaid Avenue albums on Black Friday, November 29, 2013. The album is pressed on 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany. Nonesuch Store orders include a download of the complete album available starting release day.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

On the acclaimed Mermaid Avenue albums, Billy Bragg and Wilco put music to lyrics by folk legend Woody Guthrie for which he had not written music or made recordings. Tweedy and Bragg were "the perfect pair to conclude that Guthrie ... was a prophetic rock-and-roller with a whole lot to say," said the New York Times. "All he needed was a band and a little freedom." This original volume, which includes a duet with Natalie Merchant and Bragg, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl reissue was pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, for Black Friday 2013.

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Jay Bennett, piano (1, 2, 9-13), clavinet (1, 9), Farfisa organ (1), drums (1), backing vocal (2, 7, 10, 13), Hammond B3 (3, 7, 10), bouzouki (3), organ (5, 11), Farfisa bass pedals (5), electric bass (6), slide guitar (6), acoustic guitar (6), harmony vocal (6), dulcimer (7), banjo (9), handclaps (10), melodica (12, 15), percussion (12), electric guitar (13), grand piano (14, 15)
Billy Bragg, acoustic guitar (1-4, 8, 10, 15), lead vocal (1, 3, 6, 10, 15), electric guitar (5, 13), bouzouki (7), backing vocal (7, 10), vocal (8, 12), National guitar (9, 12), handclaps (10), banjo (12)
Ken Coomer, drums (1-3, 5-7, 9-11, 13, 15), percussion (1-3, 6, 9), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10)
John Stirratt, acoustic bass (1, 9), electric bass (2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15), backing vocal (2, 7), piano [bass] (5), Hammond B3 (6), acoustic guitar (6), bass pedals (9), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10)
Jeff Tweedy, electric guitar (1, 10), harmonica (1, 6, 15), acoustic guitar (2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 15), lead vocal (2, 7, 13), vocal (5, 9, 11, 14), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10), harmony vocal (15)
Wilco, answering vocals (1)
Jonathan “JP” Parker, answering vocals (1)
Eliza Carthy, violin (2, 3)
Corey Harris, lap steel guitar (2), electric guitar (5), backing vocal (10), handclaps (10)
Natalie Merchant, backing vocal (3), vocal (4)
Elizabeth Steen, accordion (3)
Peter Yanowitz, chorus drums (3)
Bob Egan, slide guitar (6), pedal steel (11, 15)

Words by Woody Guthrie. Music by Billy Bragg (1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15); Jay Bennett / Jeff Tweedy (2); Wilco / Billy Bragg / Corey Harris (5); Billy Bragg / Jeff Tweedy / Jay Bennett (6); Jeff Tweedy (7, 11, 13); Jeff Tweedy / Jay Bennett (9)