The songs and spirit of Woody Guthrie are still going strong more than 30 years after the folk legend’s death. Billy Bragg, Wilco and Elektra Records are putting finishing touches on the tentatively-titled Mermaid Avenue II, the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated 1998 album on which Bragg and Wilco set music to 15 unrecorded Guthrie lyrics. The album is slated for release in June, reports Rolling Stone. Bragg is involved with another Guthrie album project, ’Til We Outnumber Them, a live CD recorded at a 1996 Guthrie tribute concert featuring Ani DiFranco, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Woody’s son Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen and others. It is due out this month on DiFranco’s Righteous Babe label. Meanwhile, Arlo Guthrie, DiFranco, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Monty Warden, Jimmie LaFave, Mary Cutrafello and others are gearing up for a Guthrie tribute show at Austin’s Paramount Theater on Thursday, April 6. Additionally, Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Okla., features the “Woody Guthrie Festival 2000,” a free event July 12-16 that will feature the likes of Arlo Guthrie, the Kingston Trio, Country Joe McDonald and John Wesley Harding.
Saturday, April 1, 2000 —