Tag Archives: Billy Bragg

May 30 in Music History

Today: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove 26 years ago (read more)

Down in the Groove is the twenty-fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on May 30, 1988 by Columbia Records.

A highly collaborative effort, it was Dylan’s second consecutive album to receive almost unanimous negative reviews. Released during a period when his recording career was experiencing a slump, sales were disappointing, reaching only #61 in the US and #32 in the UK.

 Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; widely known as the “King of Swing”.
In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.”
 benny goodman
 Nicholas Bowen “Topper” Headon (born 30 May 1955), known as “Topper” due to his resemblance to Mickey the Monkey from the Topper comic, is a British rock and roll drummer, best known for his membership in the punk rock band The Clash. He is commonly recognised as the most inspirational and technically inventive punk rock drummer of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Writing for Allmusic Greg Pato stated that record producer Sandy Pearlman dubbed Headon as “The Human Drum Machine”, due to his impeccable timing and drumming skills.  Topper headon
 Living in the Material World (released 30 May 1973 (US)) is the fourth studio album by English musician George Harrison, released in 1973 on Apple Records. As the follow-up to 1970’s critically acclaimed All Things Must Pass and his pioneering charity project, the Concert for Bangladesh, it was among the most highly anticipated releases of that year. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America two days after release, on its way to becoming Harrison’s second number 1 album in the United States, and produced the international hit “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”. It also topped albums charts in Canada and Australia, and reached number 2 in Britain.  LITMW_album_cover_(clean)
 Mermaid Avenue Vol. II (released 30 May 2000) is a album of previously unheard lyrics written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie, put to music written and performed by British singer Billy Bragg and American band Wilco. It continues the project originally conceived by Guthrie’s daughter, Nora Guthrie which resulted in the release of Mermaid Avenue in 1998. Both volumes were collected in a 2012 box set along with volume three as Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions.  Mermaid2

Spotify Playlist – May 30

The Saddest Songs in History: Billy Bragg Tank Park Salute

Billy Bragg at Oya Festival 2012 by Hallgeir Olsen/Johannasvisions

“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

Billy Bragg goes twang with his new song No One Knows Nothing Anymore

Billy Bragg-3

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:

Billy Bragg-2

Crossing my fingers and hoping that the whole album has the same countryfied feeling, it really suits Mr. Bragg.

Billy Bragg Tooth and Nail

Here’s a promo for the record  and yes! it sounds quite country and it sounds fantastic! (out 18 March):

Billy Bragg-1

– Hallgeir (who also took the pictures)

Best @ Øyafestivalen 2012 – day2


    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
    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!
    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.
    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.


    Nice enough.. but rather boring.
    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”.

Casa Murilo at Øya 2012:

-Egil & Hallgeir @ Øyafestivalen 2012