Billy Bragg & Joe Henry Team Up for Album, ‘Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’

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In March, 2016, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry caught a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Over the course of the 2,728 miles of winding track, they recorded a collection of classic railroad folk and blues songs – originally made famous by Hank Williams, Lead Belly, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell & more – at various stations along the way.

The result is the new album, Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad, which they recorded live at train stations, and will be released on September 23 via Cooking Vinyl. To get us right in the mood, accompanying this announcement is ‘The Midnight Special’. First recorded in 1926 by Pistol Pete, a member of the western group Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys, the song is generally attributed to Leadbelly, who recorded his version while serving time for attempted homicide at Louisiana’s Angola Prison Farm. Bragg and Henry have stuck with the acoustic roots of ‘The Midnight Special’, and the result is pretty damn fine. Those rough harmonies and rustic sound, work ever so well.

Watch a trailer for the album and listen to ‘The Midnight Special’ below.

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Billy Bragg – Handyman Blues

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The great Billy Bragg is set to return with his first studio album in nearly five years, since Mr Love & Justice. The new record entitled Tooth & Nail will be out through Cooking Vinyl on March 18th 2013.

To coincide with this news there’s a treat, ‘Handyman Blues’. Serving as a taste of what’s yet to come with album, it is a slightly downbeat, somber lament about an inability to perform the simplest of DIY or ‘handyman’ duties, and his love for the written word. It is a rather lovely song, if somewhat slightly tongue-in-cheek. 

You can listen to ‘Handyman Blues’ below or head over to Billy’s website and get the track for the cool price of an email address. 

Download: Billy Bragg – Never Buy the Sun

As the News International scandal continues to spiral out of control with the resignation of Rebekah Brooks, the legendary Billy Bragg has offered his own musings on the affair.

‘Never Buy the Sun’ was written, rehearsed, recorded and released a single in the space of a few days and it’s now available as a free download.

In the song Bragg refers to the boycott of The Sun by the people of Liverpool in response to the lies it told in 1989 just days after the Hillsborough Disaster that saw 96 Liverpool fans die. Concluding that neither press, police nor politicians come out of this scandal looking good. Only the people of Liverpool can hold their heads high. Bragg on the mark once again.

Download: Billy Bragg – Never Buy The Sun