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Baker's Dozen

Worker's Playtime: Billy Bragg's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , March 18th, 2013 07:47

To celebrate the release of his notably personal new album Tooth & Nail today, the outspoken, political singer-songwriter talks Colm McAuliffe through his top records


Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
I think she is an incredible example of what you can do with country music by approaching it from a different angle or background. The influence of that background on this album is Ukrainian folk tales that she learned from her parents out there on the prairies. That, to me, is an amazing way to grasp that real sensibility of the [American] Midwest, where you're a long way from home and everything is a bit weird. One of the great things about America is that is still has those dark, pine-y woods, it's not like the UK where it's mostly cities with a little couple of woods in between. America has a lot of dark swamps, mountains, deserts and that exerts a certain pull on the American soul that we don't really get, we can't really access that as Europeans. Springsteen exemplifies this as well in his writing but Neko Case particularly gets hold of it on this album. Great songwriting, great voice, and really good live - she does a great live show. I'm a very big fan, she's very popular in our house! She actually stepped up to replace me on a number of shows with Mavis Staples - I couldn't do it because my mum had just passed away.