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Mermaid Avenue [LP]

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  • All Three "Mermaid Avenue" Volumes Now on Vinyl

    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. Nonesuch Records has now reissued the first two volumes on vinyl and release, for the first time on vinyl, a third volume comprising 17 previously unreleased recordings made during the original sessions, which was first released in the 2012 three-CD-plus-DVD set Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions. Each volume is pressed on 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany. 

  • Nonesuch Records to Release Three "Mermaid Avenue" Volumes on Vinyl for Black Friday, November 29

    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. On Black Friday, November 29, 2013, Nonesuch Records will reissue the first two volumes on vinyl and release, for the first time on vinyl, a third volume comprising 17 previously unreleased recordings made during the original sessions, which was first released in the 2012 three-CD-plus-DVD set Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions. Each volume is pressed on 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany. The albums are available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store.

About this Album

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)

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