Man in the Sand

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Man in the Sand
Directed byKim Hopkins
Produced byJuliet De Valero Wills,
Christopher Frederick
StarringBilly Bragg
Jeff Tweedy
John Stirratt
Jay Bennett
Ken Coomer
Nora Guthrie
Corey Harris
Natalie Merchant
Narrated byNora Guthrie
Edited bySimon Ardizzone
Distributed byBBC
Release date
Running time
89 min.

Man in the Sand is a 1999 music documentary that chronicles the collaboration between Billy Bragg and Wilco, which involved the musicians creating new music to accompany lyrics that were written decades earlier by folk singer Woody Guthrie. The project, which was organized by Woody's daughter Nora, spawned three albums: Mermaid Avenue, released in 1998; Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, released in 2000, and Mermaid Avenue Vol. III, released in 2012.

The film begins with Bragg in Guthrie's original hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma, and follows along as Bragg travels to other Guthrie haunts in Texas, California, and finally, New York. Much of the documentary is also spent at the recording sessions in Chicago (December 1997) and Dublin, Ireland (January 1998). Most of the tracks from both albums were recorded at these sessions.

Songs featured in the film[edit]

The following songs appear in the film (in order of performance):

  • "Way Over Yonder in Minor Key" (Words Woody Guthrie 1946. Music Billy Bragg 1997.)
  • "California Stars" (Words Guthrie. Music Jeff Tweedy / Jay Bennett 1997.)
  • "This Land Is Your Land" (Words and music Guthrie.)
  • "Pastures of Plenty" (Words and music Guthrie.)
  • "I Ain't Got No Home" (Words and music Guthrie.)
  • "Here Comes the Train" (Words and music Corey Harris 1998.)
  • "Ingrid Bergman" (Words and music Guthrie 1950. Music Bragg 1996.)
  • "Ideology" (Words and music Bragg 1986.)
  • "Between the Wars" (Words and music Bragg 1983.)
  • "She Came Along to Me" (Words Guthrie 1945. Music Bragg / Tweedy / Bennett 1998.)
  • "Go Down to the Water" (Words Guthrie 1945. Music Bragg 1997.)
  • "Feed of Man" (Words Guthrie. Music Tweedy.)
  • "Birds and Ships" (Words Guthrie. Music Tweedy 1997.)
  • "All You Fascists Bound to Lose" (Words Guthrie 1942. Music Bragg.)
  • "When the Roses Bloom Again" (Music Tweedy, Bennett.)
  • "The Unwelcome Guest" (Words Guthrie 1940. Music Bragg 1996.)
  • "I Was Born" (Words Guthrie 1950. Music Bragg 1997.)
  • "At My Window Sad and Lonely" (Words Guthrie. Music Tweedy 1997.)
  • "Another Man's Done Gone" (Words Guthrie 1939. Music Bragg 1998.)
  • "Hoodoo Voodoo" (Words Guthrie. Music Tweedy / Bennett / Bragg / John Stirratt / Ken Coomer / Harris 1998)

Five "bonus" tracks were also included on the DVD

  • "Birds and Ships"
  • "She Came Along to Me"
  • "I Guess I Planted"
  • "Eisler on the Go"
  • "The Unwelcome Guest"

(Words by Guthrie and music by Bragg.)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]