NONESUCH RELEASES "MERMAID AVENUE: THE COMPLETE SESSIONS"
On Sale, April 21, 2012
March 15, 2012
In the Spring of 1997 Natalie was invited by long time friend and occasional collaborator Billy Bragg to sing on three songs he had written based on unpublished poems and lyrics he had found in the Woody Guthrie Archives. These were lyrics that had no know existing music penned by Guthrie. Natalie recorded lead vocals on a sweet children's song, "I Was Born" and a mournful ballad "Birds & Ships." She also added backing vocals to "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key." All three of these songs eventually made their way onto a two volume sequence of albums called Mermaid Avenue I & II. Jeff Tweedy and his band Wilco split the song writing with Bragg for these highly acclaimed records.
Now, 15 years later, Nonesuch Records will release a box set Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions which includes: Mermaid Avenue; Mermaid Avenue Vol. II (re-mastered); Mermaid Avenue Vol. III, comprising 17 previously unreleased recordings made during the Mermaid Avenue sessions; director Kim Hopkins’ 1999 film Man in the Sand, which documents those sessions; and a 48-page booklet with new liner notes by Nora Guthrie, full lyrics, archival photographs, and facsimiles of lyric sheets and sketches by Woody Guthrie. The album is available for pre-orders at nonesuch.com. All pre-orders include an exclusive print of Guthrie’s lyric sheet for “Hoodoo Voodoo."
"Although I'm a minor player on this project, I sang only three tracks, I love both these Mermaid Avenue albums dearly. Billy Bragg and Jeff Tweedy are two of my favorite contemporaries and it was great fun to be involved in such an impressive homage to Woody."