Published Feb 20, 2012It's been over a decade since Billy Bragg and Wilco last paid tribute to Woody Guthrie with one of their Mermaid Avenue albums, which feature original songs based on unrecorded Guthrie lyrics. Now, the two acts have announced that they'll be revisiting the series with a four-disc set that includes a new LP.
In an update on Bragg's official website [via Beats Per Minute], the songwriter revealed that Nonesuch Records will commemorate what would have been Guthrie's 100th birthday by releasing Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions. This set will include the original two Mermaid Avenue albums, along with Mermaid Avenue Volume III, which contains 17 unheard cuts from the original sessions. It will be rounded out with Man in the Sand, a 1999 documentary about the project by Kim Hopkins.
We don't know exactly when The Complete Sessions will come out, but Woody's birthday is July 14, so sometime around then sounds like a good bet. Bragg will be marking the occasion with some Mermaid Avenue shows.
This is just the latest in a string of recent Woody Guthrie tributes, which includes a museum and archive and some star-studded tribute compilations (see here and here).