Tooth And Nail
Brits have a talent for blending wit with sincerity — a knack exemplified by Billy Bragg. The singer/songwriter has used that ability with equal aplomb in both political and personal songs. On Tooth And Nail, his first solo studio record in five years, he tends towards the latter, working outside the protest song idiom he’s so well known for and proving the depth of his writing in the process.
Tooth and Nail was recorded quickly –– five days quickly –– with producer Joe Henry, who’s worked with Loudon Wainwright III, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and a lot of other legacy artists/Grammy bait. The accompanists play light and don’t get in the way. That’s just fine: Bragg’s songs don’t need gussying up.
Billy Bragg plays in Regina on Tuesday, April 9 at the Orr Centre as part of the Regina Folk Festival Concert Series. /James Brotheridge