Billy Bragg has announced the release of his first new album in five years.
The singer songwriter will release ‘Tooth & Nail’ on March 18.
The follow-up to 2008’s ‘Mr Love & Justice’ was recorded in South Pasadena, California by producer Joe Henry, and, says Bragg, sees him returning to the rootsy sound of his and Wilco‘s ‘Mermaid Avenue’ sessions.
Explains Bragg: “In 2011, I took a long, hard look at who I am and what I do. This album is the result.”
Bragg is currently giving away a free download of the album track ‘Handyman Blues’ at Billybragg.co.uk
Billy Bragg delivered the second annual John Peel Lecture at the Radio Festival 2012 at The Lowry in Salford last November.
His speech saw him rallying against the decline of state educated musicians in the UK Top 40, highlighting a magazine study which revealed that 80% of artists in the charts in 1990 were state educated, as compared to the charts in 2010 which were dominated by those who had been privately educated.
He said: “A decent education in the arts will only be available to those able to pay for it.”
Bragg went on to talk about the success of Jake Bugg. “When Jake Bugg got to Number One, it made national news headlines – why? Because he never went to stage school nor graduated from the Brits Academy. He didn’t enter Britain’s Got Talent, not submit himself to the humiliations of The X Factor. Because he’s just an ordinary kid from a state school.
“Should that make him an exception? I don’t think so. I can’t believe that there aren’t plenty of articulate teenagers out there with an ear for a good tune and a chip on their shoulder who have something to say.”