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Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key ()

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Those greatly enjoying Billy Bragg and Wilco's much-lauded interpretation of Woody Guthrie's lyrics should seek out this U.K. single. Its B-sides are two more songs Bragg wrote and sang, a pittance of the stock of other tracks (an LP's worth) Bragg says were also recorded but left off Mermaid Avenue. "My Thirty Thousand" was likely passed over for inclusion because Bragg quite badly reused the music he wrote for his 1986 Talking With the Taxman About Poetry tune "There Is Power in the Union," only this time it's recorded with a little more of a rustic, classic folk feel that Guthrie himself might have favored. Even better is "Bugeye Jim," one of those slow, melancholic, Bragg-unplugged numbers he's excelled at for 20 years. It sticks to the ribs straight away, with its devilish, piercing slide guitar lead chortling in the background, and one of those tender-Billy vocals. Guthrie's daughter must feel validated for having picked him to write songs for her late dad's words when she hears the likes of this. ~ Jack Rabid, Rovi Hide synopsis

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