Billy Bragg has been proffering his brand of topical Folk Rock for more than 30 years now. Is it then cruel injustice or poetic fate that he’ll likely be forever best known in the U.S. as the British guy who teamed with Wilco to deliver the stellar Mermaid Avenue albums, which featured lyrics by his hero, Woody Guthrie, and which worked better than anyone had the right to expect?
No doubt there are worse legacies, but one shouldn’t overlook Bragg’s long solo career, which has steadfastly centered on the concerns of everyday blokes just looking to live a righteous life via the love of a good woman and the unswerving guidance of lefty politics.
Curiously, Bragg’s first album in five years, Tooth & Nail, is a wistful, less politically inclined affair anchored by the tasteful production work of Joe Henry.
Billy Bragg performs Tuesday, April 30 with Kim Churchill at Southgate House Revival in Newporthere.