I’m a big Woody Guthrie fan. And I’ve always loved the Wilco/Billy Bragg collaboration called “Mermaid Avenue,” which is a fifteen-track album of previously unreleased Guthrie lyrics, set to music by the artists. Originally, the songs were just scribblings in a notebook, with no real clues as to how to arrange them. Guthrie’s daughter Nora contacted Bragg, and he in turn got in touch with Wilco, and together they fleshed out the folk legend’s lyrics.
I’ve rediscovered it this week, and it has kept residence in my mind, giving the most menial household tasks and the tedium of the average workday a bit of color. One of my favorite (and there are many) tracks from that record is “California Stars,” performed by Wilco. It’s a sweet, little love song that I think would work really well for a first dance at a wedding. You can listen below.