Billy Bragg - Live on KEXP, Austin/Texas, April 2013.
At his most vitriolic, Billy Bragg is still a softy. The now legendary British singer-songwriter has made a name for himself since the 80′s through crooning romantic ballads and biting political critique. Both originate from the same place; for Bragg, as for his hero Woody Guthrie, love for humankind is the heart of protest. So even though he says his intention for the latest album, Tooth and Nail, was to write about “the struggle to maintain relationships with the people that we love”, Bragg can’t help but make his voice heard on songs like “There Will Be A Reckoning” and the still-relevant Guthrie song “I Ain’t Got No Home”. His heart flowed freely during his performance at our SXSW broadcast at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop last month where he mixed new songs about “the ambiguity of the 21st Century” with classics like “Sexuality” and “Greetings to the New Brunette” for a packed room of fans of all ages.