Mermaid Avenue – Billy Brag & Wilco – Recommended Listening

This is just a great album and you should give it a listen. I went to Coney Island recently and of course this was the listening in the car.  Mermaid Avenue is an album of songs with lyrics by Woody Guthrie named after the street he lived on in Coney Island.

Woody’s daughter Nora had a big collection of lyrics with no music written by her father that she wanted to bring to life in a modern way so she enlisted the help of Billy Brag to put them to music.  Billy then got Wilco to help him in that pursuit and together they went on to create one of the best albums.  Well, actually 3 albums.  With the success of the first one they wound up putting out two more volumes after it and they’re all great. Mermaid Avenue came out in 1998, followed by Volume II in 2000 and Volume III in 2012. Oh, and as a plus, Natalie Merchant makes an appearance or two singing on these albums as well.

Here’s a YouTube playlist with a sampling from the first two albums