“Daddy is it true that we all have to die?”
“You were so tall. How could you fall?”
In 1991 Billy Bragg released the album, Don’t try this at home.
“… (this album) was where Bragg first began to sound completely comfortable with the notion of a full band. With Johnny Marr (who helped produce two tracks), Peter Buck,Michael Stipe, and Kirsty MacColl on hand to give the sessions a taste of star power, Don’t Try This at Home sounds full but uncluttered; the arrangements (most complete with — gasp! — drums) flesh out Bragg‘s melodies, giving them greater strength in the process”
– Mark Deming (Allmusic)
It is one of his best albums and it has a eulogy to his father Dennis who had died of cancer when the singer was only 18.
It is devastatingly beautiful!
In an interview with the blog Timber and Steel, Billy Bragg said:
” My father passed away in 1976, and before I wrote that song, oh, I’m guessing now, in 1991. It’s on Don’t Try This At Home so it’s about that time. Until I’d written that song, I’d never spoken to anyone about my father dying, which was something I couldn’t face.
And I wrote that, and it just came out in a huge flood. And I got it down on paper and looked at it and thought, “D’ya know what? If I sing this song, I will have to talk about what happened.”
And I went and showed it to teach to my keyboard player to show her part, and she said, “Wow, that’s about your dad, isn’t it?”
And I thought if she gets it, anyone will get it, and it obviously works as a song. And I’m really glad when I find someone who it’s helped because I can tell them – honestly – it helped me too. It had the same effect on me; it helped me to deal with losing somebody. So more often than not these days I find myself playing it at gigs, because more people are getting to the age where we’re losing loved ones, so it’s become a really important part of my set now.”
Billy Bragg – Tank Park Salute (Spotify):
Continue reading The Saddest Songs in History: Billy Bragg Tank Park Salute
We saw Billy Bragg do a very fine solo set in Oslo last summer, he hasn’t mellowed too much. He is still the workingman’s troubadour. While that is certainly true, he has always had the melodies, he is a great tunesmith and a folksinger in the truest sense.
Now he’s back with a song that is going on repeat in our household, the incredibly catchy No On Knows Nothing Anymore. The great new country tinged track is from Bill Bragg’s upcoming release Tooth and Nail produced by Joe Henry.
No One Knows Nothing Anymore:
Crossing my fingers and hoping that the whole album has the same countryfied feeling, it really suits Mr. Bragg.
Here’s a promo for the record and yes! it sounds quite country and it sounds fantastic! (out 18 March):
– Hallgeir (who also took the pictures)
- THE AFGHAN WHIGS
Great concert! Best performance so far @ Øya 2012. They still have a lot to prove. Greg Dulli has a soulful rock voice & nice stage present. But I feel this is first and foremost a great band.. the total is greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Best Songs: City Solei, Debonair, 66 & Gentlemen
- ST. VINCENT
I did not know what to expect from St. Vincent.. did not do my homework.. only listened briefly to her/their last record… and did not like it that much.
The Concert was very positive experience… it was intense, focused & rock solid. I liked the songs far better live than the studio versions…. Annie Erin Clark even reminded me a bit about PJ Harvey 🙂
Hallgeir: I really looked forward to see them, and I was not disappointed, great concert!
- CASA MURILO
Must be one of the best kept secrets in the pop world, what a revelation! Warm pop, good melodies and done with heart, just lovely and I’m really looking forward to their new album this autumn. They debuted a new song to Oslo, it was very nice, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Good band, solid performance… but too heavy for me.. 6 songs was enough… over to Hallgeir “Metal” Olsen:
Hallgeir: Not too heavy at all! A great hardrock band (with a bit prog thrown in). Good solid concert from one of the very few “metal” bands that I can stand.
- BILLY BRAGG
We got what was expected. Always in need to “preach”.. waging a war against cynicism.. but that’s his “calling”. And he is good at it. Solid performance.
- JONAS ALASKA
Nice enough.. but rather boring.
- FRANK OCEAN
20min late.. and left after only 4 (good) songs. It was announced from the stage that he was sick…
I feel he should have have shown the audience some respect and at start up declared something like: “Sorry I’m late.. I don’t feel well.. but I’ll do my best..”. Frankly – Frank – this felt a bit “fishy”.
-Egil & Hallgeir @ Øyafestivalen 2012