Something for the weekend: Billy Bragg “California Stars” (Live October / November 1998)

Photo by Theo Michael

Well that’s it for another week and we leave you dear reader with a track from a new collection out today, Billy Bragg’s ‘The Roaring Forty’ which nobody sent us for review sadly (damn you Cooking Vinyl!) but The Guardian covered it in glowing terms, pointing out that one of their writers wrote in a book, “if you ask someone to name a British protest singer, there is invariably only one response.” We adore Billy round these parts and in recent years he has of course become something of an ambassador for the Americana genre in the UK. Anyway the career spanning 14 CD box set contains more than 300 tracks including highlights from each of Billy’s twelve studio albums, non-album singles and B- Sides, session tracks, rare live recordings, collaborations and previously unreleased material from across his career. Just look at it too, how could you not want this in your house? Have a good one.

About Mark Whitfield 1968 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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How is Bragg Americana?

Paul Kerr

How is a song by Woody Guthrie, delivered in a great New Orleans style and originally recorded by Bragg with Wilco not Americana.


Here is a “definition” of Americana from the recent Americana Awards Show: “There was perhaps a time when Americana really just was country music that couldn’t sell or that was too good to be on the radio (or both). But Americana now encompasses far more than countrified roots music (or rootsified country music).  Americana is now more than an ever a worldwide genre (comprising blues, r ‘n’ b, soul, jazz, gospel, folk, rock, rockabilly, traditional music, country, bluegrass, singer-songwriter, and roots music).”