While doing the rounds of my regular haunts in the blogging world I chanced upon some Billy Bragg Peel sessions on the rather wonderful "Music Ruined My Life" blog and I found myself nodding my head in a sagely manner at the comments about the links between folk music and punk rock. Especially the Woody Guthrie comments.
You needn't even look too far for a link between the voice of the protest movement to punk as let's not forget that Strummer himself was a fan and was calling himself Woody pre Clash days.
So while it's not a universal truth that all punk music is rooted in the protest scene there is enough of it that stems from the dust bowl to the anti Vietnam movement of the sixties that it would be foolish to discount it.
It's the biblical kicking against the pricks given voice in the modern world
This then brings us back to Billy Bragg who it could be argued is the man who crystallised the folkpunk sound. One man, one guitar and the ability to evoke strong feelings through his social commentary.
I'm not an uber-fan by any stretch of the imagination and if I'm going to be completely honest I will admit that I have been less than impressed with anything he has put out in the last decade, but at one time (first three albums) I thought he could do no wrong. After that it was more sporadic, but he had an excellent run at it early doors didn't he?
This doesn't mean that I've written him off though. Strangely enough as I've become less impressed with his musical output I have increasingly become enamoured with the strength of his political convictions.
You just have to look him up on youtube to find him passionately opposing a BNP candidate in his local elections. He's toe to toe with the right wing twat giving him it with both barrels, and I really have to give him credit for still speaking his mind and even giving voice to much that others think, but are too fearful to say.
So anyway. I've not got a tonne of Bragg rarities or boots to delve into, but I do have a couple of odds and sods kicking about that I could post.
I've got him doing some Clash stuff somewhere and if anyone is interested I'll dig it out, but in the meantime I thought that the one I'm posting here would serve as a good example of who Billy Bragg is and what he stands for.
Take it away comrade.