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Record Store Day Releases from Black Keys, Dr. John, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Sara Watkins, Carolina Chocolate Drops Out Now

Record Store Day 2012: The Black Keys, Dr. John, Mermaid Avenue, Sara Watkins 7", CCDs 7"

Happy Record Store Day! Nonesuch Records has made a series of special releases available today in honor of the fifth annual Record Store Day, a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA and hundreds of similar stores internationally. Among the artists releasing albums and singles today are The Black Keys, Dr. John, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Sara Watkins, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. A limited quantity of each Record Store Day title is also available on the Nonesuch Store now.

The Black Keys' critically acclaimed 2011 album El Camino is available in a stunning and highly collectible deluxe vinyl issue, cut for vinyl from the master tapes at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at Pallas in Diepholz, Germany, for sonic perfection. This Record Store Day exclusive package also contains a bonus CD [ed. add. 4/23: this CD contains the original album], a limited-edition poster, and a 45 RPM 7" single featuring two previously unreleased live tracks: "Sister" and "Money Maker." Order here.

The most enduring achievements of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted boogie and blues pianist Dr. John have fused New Orleans R&B, rock, and the Mardi Gras party spirit to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. His new album, Locked Down, released earlier this month on CD, is a bold statement produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. The vinyl edition of the album, out today, was plated and pressed at Pallas and includes the CD of the complete album. Order here.

Today also brings the release of Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, featuring lyrics by Woody Guthrie set to music by Billy Bragg and Wilco. The three-CD+DVD set includes the acclaimed original Mermaid Avenue album; Mermaid Avenue Vol. II (re-mastered); Mermaid Avenue Vol. III, comprising 17 previously unreleased recordings made during the Mermaid Avenue sessions; director Kim Hopkins' 1999 film Man in the Sand, which documents those sessions; and a 48-page booklet with new liner notes by Nora Guthrie, full lyrics, archival photographs, and facsimiles of lyric sheets and sketches by Woody Guthrie. All three single albums are now available digitally from Nonesuch. Order here.

Two Nonesuch artists—Sara Watkins and Carolina Chocolate Drops—join this year's "Side by Side" series, a continuation of the well-received Warner Bros. Records series introduced last year. All are exclusive for Record Store Day on uniquely colored and extremely limited-edition 7" vinyl singles, featuring Warner artists covering other historic and personally influential iconic artists.

On her "Side by Side" disc, Sara Watkins covers The Everly Brothers classic "You're the One I Love," featuring co-vocals from a very special guest, Fiona Apple, with the original on the flip side. It was pressed on 7" olive green vinyl with blue/black splatter. The Los Angeles Times includes the 7" on its list of the ten essential Record Store Day releases. The single comes from Sara's new full-length album, Sun Midnight Sun, which is due out on May 8 and available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store with a signed print. Order here. In honor of Record Store Day, Watkins will give a free in-store performance at the Exclusive Company in Madison, Wisconsin, prior to her show at the High Noon Saloon.

Carolina Chocolate Drops offer their own string-band take on the Run-DMC classic "You Be Illin'" on a 7" Coke-bottle green vinyl single paired with the original. Both the Los Angeles Times and Paste magazine include the single among the Record Store Day must-buys.Order here. The Drops' version was recorded at the same sessions as their new album, Leaving Eden, which was produced by Nashville legend Buddy Miller and released earlier this year on CD and vinyl.

To pick up a copy of any of these Record Store Day releases, head to the Nonesuch Store now. For more on Record Store Day, and to find a participating local retailer near you, head to recordstoreday.com.

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