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Mermaid Avenue Vol. II [LP]

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  • 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 was released to critical acclaim as Mermaid Avenue, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. This second volume followed in 2000.

    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, 12-string acoustic slide guitars (1), shakers (1), saw (1), claps (1), backing vocal (1, 6, 8, 9, 12), electric guitar (2, 4), baritone guitar (2, 6), 12-string acoustic guitar (2), Hammond B3 (3, 9, 13), Leslie guitar (3), Farfisa organ (4, 9), mandolin (4), pianos (6), acoustic guitars (6), organ (6, 8), tambourine (6), slide guitars (6, 11), electric sitars (6), electric guitar [solo] (7), nylon-string guitar (8), Leslie piano (9), banjo (10, 12), harmonica (11), acoustic guitar [solos] (12), drums (15), upright bass (15), Delayaphone (15), bells (15)
    John Stirratt, claps (1), backing vocal (1, 6, 8, 12), bass (3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11), electric bass (4, 13), upright bass (9, 12), baritone guitar (13)
    Jeff Tweedy, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 12, 15), Mellotrons (1), claps (1), vocal (1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 15), electric guitar (3, 11, 13), 12-string acoustic guitar (6), slide baritone guitar (9), mandolin (10), lead vocal (12), Wurlitzer (15)
    Billy Bragg, acoustic guitar (2, 4, 5, 7, 9), vocal (2, 4, 7, 11, 13), resonator guitar (3, 13, 14), electric guitar (10, 11)
    Ken Coomer, tape box (2), tambourine (2), drums (3, 4, 6-11, 13), percussion (12), backing vocal (12), holler (12), gas heater (13), kick drum (13)
    Natalie Merchant, vocal (5)
    Leroy Bach, piano (8)
    Bog Egan, resonator slide guitar (10)
    Corey Harris, acoustic guitar (10), vocal (10)
    Eliza Carthy, violin (12)
    Ben Ivitsky, mandolin (12)

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

on March 20, 2012 - 6:04pm
Release Date: 
Friday, November 29, 2013 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

536076

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
Billy Bragg
Wilco
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597979978
Price: 
11.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597979978FL
Price: 
12.00
Label: 
FLAC (Lossless)
UPC: 
075597958218BUN
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 was released to critical acclaim as Mermaid Avenue, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. This second volume followed in 2000.

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 second volume was first released in 2000. The 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl reissue was pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, for Black Friday 2013.

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Jay Bennett, 12-string acoustic slide guitars (1), shakers (1), saw (1), claps (1), backing vocal (1, 6, 8, 9, 12), electric guitar (2, 4), baritone guitar (2, 6), 12-string acoustic guitar (2), Hammond B3 (3, 9, 13), Leslie guitar (3), Farfisa organ (4, 9), mandolin (4), pianos (6), acoustic guitars (6), organ (6, 8), tambourine (6), slide guitars (6, 11), electric sitars (6), electric guitar [solo] (7), nylon-string guitar (8), Leslie piano (9), banjo (10, 12), harmonica (11), acoustic guitar [solos] (12), drums (15), upright bass (15), Delayaphone (15), bells (15)
John Stirratt, claps (1), backing vocal (1, 6, 8, 12), bass (3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11), electric bass (4, 13), upright bass (9, 12), baritone guitar (13)
Jeff Tweedy, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 12, 15), Mellotrons (1), claps (1), vocal (1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 15), electric guitar (3, 11, 13), 12-string acoustic guitar (6), slide baritone guitar (9), mandolin (10), lead vocal (12), Wurlitzer (15)
Billy Bragg, acoustic guitar (2, 4, 5, 7, 9), vocal (2, 4, 7, 11, 13), resonator guitar (3, 13, 14), electric guitar (10, 11)
Ken Coomer, tape box (2), tambourine (2), drums (3, 4, 6-11, 13), percussion (12), backing vocal (12), holler (12), gas heater (13), kick drum (13)
Natalie Merchant, vocal (5)
Leroy Bach, piano (8)
Bog Egan, resonator slide guitar (10)
Corey Harris, acoustic guitar (10), vocal (10)
Eliza Carthy, violin (12)
Ben Ivitsky, mandolin (12)

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