Tag Archives: joe henry

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry: Waiting for a train

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry |  Union Chapel | 8 October 2016

“I don’t have any songs like that,” deadpans Joe Henry, returning to the stage as Billy Bragg ends a particularly emotional rendition of ‘There Is Power In A Union’. The rousing anthem is the finale of an intense 25-minute solo set that finds Bragg weighing in on Brexit, Trump, and the Calais Jungle between in-your-face songs like ‘Accident Waiting To Happen’, Occupy London anthem ‘Why We Build The Wall’, and Woody Guthrie’s ‘All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose’.

Earlier, during his own solo slot, Henry illustrates his disillusionment with the United States – “I’m an American abroad on election day, looking for asylum,” he chuckles – with a more restrained approach. A stripped-down ‘Trampoline’, cerebral ‘After The War’, weighty ‘Odetta’, storytelling masterclass ‘Our Song’ (“This was my country/ This frightful and this angry land”), and Allen Toussaint’s ‘Freedom For The Stallion’ may lack Bragg’s swagger, but are just as politically charged.

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Billy Bragg and Joe Henry shine a light on Union Chapel

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry are bringing songs from their new album, ‘Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’, to Union Chapel on 7 and 8 November 2016.

Featuring 13 railway-themed songs originally recorded by the likes of Hank Williams, Glenn Campbell, and Lead Belly, the album was recorded during a 65-hour journey on the Texas Eagle railroad service across the United States.

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