Billy Bragg Tooth & Nail Review!

BBC Review

Bragg conveys truths about his home country like few other songwriters can.

Mischa Pearlman 2013-03-04

Billy Bragg’s first studio album since 2008’s Mr Love & Justice – and his 13th in total – presents a very laidback, mellow side of the activist and singer. Recorded in South Pasadena, California by producer Joe Henry, these 12 songs, much like his collaborations with Wilco in 1998 and 2000, are infused heavy with Americana and country influences.

While those Mermaid Avenue records consisted of Bragg setting previously unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, here there’s only one cover – a lilting, gentle take on I Ain’t Got No Home, which was originally popularised by Guthrie himself. A sadly prescient tale of a wandering worker struggling to survive in a rich man’s world, Bragg’s take on the song is appropriately dejected and desolate, and it’s easy to imagine him lost in the vast and dusty deserts of the American southwest. TBC Here.

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