Magazine article New Internationalist

Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

Magazine article New Internationalist

Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

Article excerpt

Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

by Billy Bragg and Wilco

Nonesuch Records 7559 7962 0 3CDs + DVD and download)

It's Woody Guthrie's centenary year, and even though this most radical of American songwriters died in 1967, an archive of over 3,000 unrecorded lyrics means that there's always the chance of an unencumbered flow of new songs. The Mermaid Avenue sessions came about when Guthrie's daughter Nora invited English songwriter and activist Billy Bragg and Chicago's alt rockers Wilco to collaborate in the late1990s. Now for the first time gathered in one three- CD set (plus a DVD), the complete Mermaid Avenue sessions deliver poetic justice to Guthrie's mighty legacy.

Guthrie used to have a guitar on which was written: 'This machine kills fascists. …

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