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by Paul Goupille
posted 31/03/2017

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry at Sydney Opera House

Continuing his journey through American folklore, legendary British political songwriter Billy Bragg reunites on stage with Grammy Award-winner Joe Henry for a celebration of the great American railroad, the songs it inspired, and some favourites from their own classic catalogues. The pair will grace the stage together for the first time at Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, 19th April. Performing songs from their brand new album Shine a Light: Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad, as well as beloved tracks from their individual catalogues, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry represents an experience not to be missed.

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For over 30 years, England’s Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner, releasing iconic solo albums and collaborating with Wilco, Natalie Merchant and more recently Joe Henry. Henry himself has left a unique imprint on American music. His poetic songs incorporate a broad swathe of American musical styles – rock, jazz, soul, folk-imbued blues and alt-country stylings.

Having first collaborated on Bragg’s rustic Tooth & Nail album three years ago, veteran Americana producer Joe Henry (Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt) joined the political folk poet in 2016 on a 2,728 mile road trip through the tracks, pit-stops and people that join Chicago’s Union Station to Los Angeles. Recorded on that journey, Shine a Light is a musical love-letter to the songs and socio-political climate that inspired the likes of Leadbelly, Hank Williams and Robert Johnson. It is a concept album that focuses on the transformative part the railroad played in disseminating the songs that gave birth to the rock’n’roll era.

Rolling Stones writes about the album”the railway looms large throughout the project, pulling tripe duty as the singer’s muse, transportation and makeshift recording studio… Shine a Light does exactly what its title claims: refocus attention on the machines that not only helped colonise America, but played an immeasurable role in shaping the country’s blues and folk music, as well.” Don’t miss your chance to catch Billy Bragg and Joe Henry for the special performance on Wednesday, 19th April at Sydney Opera House.

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What: Billy Bragg and Joe Henry at Sydney Opera House.

Who: Billy Bragg and Joe Henry. 

Where: Sydney Opera House.

When: Wednesday, 19th April. 

To find out more CLICK HERE

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