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REVIEW | “Mermaid Avenue” by Billy Bragg and Wilco

Billy_Bragg_Mermaid_Avenue

by Sararosa

Volume I of Mermaid Avenue by Wilco and Billy Bragg is the perfect album to accompany you on a long car ride through what seems like an endless landscape of hills. This album, a joint project to honor the late Woody Guthrie, brings Guthrie’s talented lyrical skills together with the blue folk of British Bragg and the rolling Americana of Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco. Songs such as “Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key” and “Remember the Mountain Bed” bring bland scenery to life with post-humous lyrics from Guthrie that are reminiscent of Walt Whitman’s poetry, “Way over yonder in the minor key, ain’t nobody that can sing like me.” While both Bragg and Tweedy vocalize these lyrics in an effortless way, Tweedy’s milk chocolate voice shines in songs like “California Stars” and “Hoodoo Voodoo.” Next time a road trip rolls around and you need an album to bring the countryside to life, this is the one.

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