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Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg
Released: Jun 1998
Label: Nonesuch
Mermaid Avenue is the album that completed Alt Country, answering the age old question "will the circle be unbroken" with a resounding "Yes!" The concept was brilliant -- to take bare bones Woody Guthrie lyrics and write catchy melodies for them. Wilco and Billy Bragg did just this, recording with some old-timey backline and warm, modern production.
Eric Shea
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