Bragg’s latest work reveals a subtle departure from his signature protest songs, leaning towards heartfelt ballads touching on much more personal issues. The UK based singer-songwriter flew all the way across the pond to record this one at producer Joe Henry’s studio in Pasadena, California. This polished sounding record surprisingly only took five days to track.
Record label, release date and producer: “Tooth and Nail” was released by Cooking Vinyl on March 19, 2013 and was produced by Joe Henry.
RIYL: Pre Buckingham-Nicks Fleetwood Mac, Townes Van Zandt and live-sounding studio albums.
Hometown: Barking, Essex, UK.
Standout tracks: On “No One Knows You Anymore” Bragg crafts an infectious vocal melody; on the album’s closing track “Tomorrow’s Going to Be a Better Day” has a powerful message that draws “Tooth and Nail” to a calm and positive ending.
This label: Cooking Vinyl was founded by Martin Goldschmidt and Pete Lawrence in 1986. Originally gravitating solely towards contemporary folk music, this UK-based record label has since broadened its horizon to the likes of electronica, punk and industrial-metal artists.
Play it while: Reading a Western novel by Elmore essay writer Leonard.
About the album art: The cover of “Tooth and Nail” is a full-body profile portrait of Billy Bragg holding his vintage ES-125.
Did you know: Bragg joined the Royal British Army but left the force after having completed basic training; he “bought” his way out of the army for £175 (about $267.91).
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