Billy Bragg recently performed a live set on PRI’s “Fair Game”
Billy Bragg, the “working class hero”, recently performed a set on one of my favourite shows, PRI’s “Fair Game“. And it was stunning.
I truly feel that Bragg has been responsible for some of the best protest songs that we’ve heard in the last 30 years… just listen to his EP “Between the Wars” to see what I’m talking about. Couple that with the fact that Nora Guthrie – daughter of Woody Guthrie himself – asked Bragg to set some of her father’s unrecorded lyrics to music (side note: can you imagine how intimidating that would have been? Woody Guthrie, a giant in the folk protest song world, “this machine kills fascists” on his guitar Woody Guthrie? Man… that can’t have been an easy act to follow), and it becomes clear why I have such a tremendous amount of respect for the man.
So it was with much excitement that I listened to his latest show on “Fair Game” last week. We were treated to a collection of three songs, which I’ve included below. The first, “Sing Their Souls Back Home“, is a sad, but ultimately hopeful song… in the best tradition of protest. The second, “I Keep Faith“, has been getting a panning from music critics recently, but I’m a huge fan of this Van Morrisonesque sounding tune. There’s just something about the song that recalls “Into the Mystic” for me, and I’m not sure why. But it’s a good thing.
The final tune is a more upbeat number, and is a cover of the Bob Dylan tune, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right“… and what a great way to close a set it is.
Billy Bragg’s new album, “Mr Love & Justice” went on sale last week.
Listen. Love. Support.
Listen: Billy Bragg – Sing Their Souls Back Home (live on Fair Game)
Listen: Billy Bragg – I Keep Faith (live on Fair Game)
Listen: Billy Bragg – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Bob Dylan cover, live on Fair Game)