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Mermaid Avenue, Vol. III

Billy Bragg & Wilco

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Notes – iTunes

This is the third volume of the Billy Bragg–Wilco collaboration, where they use Woody Guthrie's lyrics to inspire their music. Compared to the tunes on the previous collections, these are a bit sparser and less fully orchestrated in spots. It makes sense, as these are the songs they decided not to further pursue. Despite that caveat, there's still plenty to recommend here. The gloomy beauty of "Bugeye Jim" and "Where the Roses Bloom Again" (best known in a heartbreaking version by classic retro-country's Laura Cantrell and previously available on the now out-of-print Chelsea Walls soundtrack), the full-band pulse of "Be Kind to the Boy on the Road," and the shuffling sway of "Ain't a Gonna Grieve" are sweet counterparts to material on the first two volumes of this exemplary experiment. Guthrie's daughter Nora couldn't have asked for better from these musicians in bringing new life to a man whose legacy deserves to live and breathe in the contemporary air.

Biographies

Né(e) : 20 décembre 1957 à Barking Town Hall, London, Englan

Genre : Alternative

Années d’activité : '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the '80s. For most of the decade, Bragg bashed out songs alone on his electric guitar, singing about politics and love. While his lyrics were bitingly intelligent and clever, they were also warm and humane, filled with detail and wit. Even though his lyrics were carefully considered, Bragg never neglected...
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