Billy Bragg has never been shy of voicing a political opinion. However, the collection of songs that makes up the 2017 EP ‘Bridges Not Walls’ might just find the singer-songwriter at his most consistently outspoken since 1988’s ‘Worker’s Playtime’. His overtly political stance isn’t without good reason, of course; following his album and tour with US folk musician Joe Henry, the world took a huge turn for the worse. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum on our position within the European Union. With the result favouring those who wanted to leave, the outcome seemed to be the ultimate gesture in cutting off the country’s nose to save face. A few months later, America voted in a new President – a man with absolutely no prior political experience – and the country slowly and painfully began to disintegrate. Both of these subjects colour these five songs to a great extent, and with Billy – often the voice of a questioning contempt – it’s a very interesting listen.
Featuring Chris Wood (of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame) The Wood Brothers will be unleashing their sixth album, ‘One Drop of Truth’, on February 2nd 2018. Chris, along with brother Oliver, landed a recording contract with the legendary Blue Note Records back in 2006 and the Wood Brothers subsequently attracted a following in folk and blues circles, concurrently with Chris’s jazz-based career.
David Crosby was never known for being particularly prolific when it came to making solo albums. Between 1971 and 1993, the moustachioed megastar had only released three records. Obviously, he recorded and toured with Graham Nash and Stephen Stills in between, but even taking that into consideration, compared with his sometime collaborator Neil Young having released nineteen albums in the same time frame, he’s hardly looked busy…
You might never heard of T. E. Yates prior to the summer of 2017, but before the release of his debut full-length ‘Silver Coins & White Feathers’, the Manchester-based singer-songwriter spent years plying his trade on the underground scene, both as musician and poster artist. This record alone has roots stretching back several years and he pulls a huge selection of moods from his bag of old fashioned trickery to give these tunes an appropriate studio send off, ranging from thoughtful and maudlin, to the flippant. Occasionally, his work even has a sneering quality, as best heard on the album’s opening pairing.
New Zealand singer songwriter Bruno Merz will release a new album ‘Whisper Turn’ in January 2018. Some three months ahead, he’s allowed the world an early glimpse of what to expect, as the title track is already streaming on Soundcloud.