For fans all across the land, all is right in the “Wide World of Wilco”. The recent news that the band’s upcoming release Wilco (The Album) was exciting enough. I, for one, particularly enjoyed the eponymous nod to themselves, and the fans, with their Stephen Colbert-debuted “Wilco (The Song)” — how cute. Now, throw in the little nugget that the “The Album” will feature Feist on the track “You and I” and this album is due for lots of worthy hype when it drops on June 30th. I’ll hype it indeed.
So, shortly before its release, Wilco have thrown another log onto the fire with a cover of the Woody Guthrie classic “Jolly Banker”. It’s no surprise at this point that Wilco are heavily influenced by Guthrie, having dropped two albums at the beginning of the decade with British folkster Billy Bragg of reworkings of unfinished Guthrie tunes.
While those two pieces were in large part thankful to the Woody Guthrie Foundation giving Wilco and Bragg the license to put music to Guthrie words, the now topical, well-timed release of the Depression Era “Jolly Banker” is a chance for Wilco and fans to give back to the Foundation. It’s a gentle folk-rollicker featuring Ms. Feist banging away on a drum, so reminiscent of those past Mermaid Avenue albums, but still very much in the new Wilco format a la Nels Cline’s gorgeous guitar work. Get the track for free, or with a well-deserved donation to the Woody Guthrie Foundation, at Wilco World.