Nut Suite. Mini reviews of albums old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers [?]. Occasional smugs.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

BILLY BRAGG & WILCO / Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions [2012]

In celebration of American folk music icon Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday in 2012, Billy Bragg & Wilco's two Mermaid Avenue albums were given the royal treatment with an extra disc of material and a DVD documenting the creation of the project.  Guthrie left hundreds of pages of completed lyrics behind him and in turn, his daughter passed them onto English folk-punker Billy Bragg to bring them to a new generation of music lovers, resulting in something passionate, respectful but not a direct impersonation of Guthrie's music.  Treating the lyrics to a variety of folk, blues, rock, county and soul, Mermaid Avenue is a must for any fan of Guthrie's poetical tongue or Bragg's expressive, yet understated, music and voice.  Sure first disc is the best of the bunch but 2 & 3 contain some real rough gems as well.  A definitive collection of this timeless project.

4 men in the sand out of 5

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