The story of how Nora Guthrie and British songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg, together with alternative country band, Wilco brought Woody Guthrie's words to life and created the Grammy-nominated albums Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2.
The life and music of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie (writer of "This Land Is Your Land" and author of Bound for Glory) has influenced every generation that followed him. Thirty years after his death, his daughter Nora Guthrie sought out Billy Bragg to write songs and record Woody's unpublished lyrics. Shot over a period of two years, Man in the Sand follows Billy on a journey that takes him to Okemah, Oklahoma, Woody's birthplace, to Pampa, Texas, where Woody started playing music professionally and New York City where Woody wrote many of his lyrics. Man in the Sand takes you to Billys home in London where Mermaid Avenue begins to take shape. He meets up with Wilco in their hometown of Chicago, travels to record two tracks with Natalie Merchant in Boston and finally on to a Dublin studio where Mermaid Avenue comes together. Man in the Sand reveals the often emotional collaborative process between Billy, Jeff Tweedy and the members of Wilco. Narrated by Nora Guthrie, this 90-minute feature film offers insight into a unique recording project that breathes life into Woody Guthrie's 50-year-old words.