BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY NEW ALBUM – ‘SHINE A LIGHT: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’ To be released on 23rd Sept ‘16 On Cooking Vinyl + UK SHOWS ANNOUNCED Recorded while travelling across America by train Shine A Light features songs originally made famous by Hank Williams, Lead Belly, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell, Gordon Lightfoot & more WATCH BILLY BRAGG AND JOE HENRY PERFORM 'THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL' HERE

Like many a British musician before him, Billy Bragg, bard of Barking, singer songwriter, political activist, and musical historian has made no secret of his obsession with the songs and the mythology of the Americas, not least those of his artistic and philosophical forebear Woody Guthrie.  With his friend and collaborator, US singer songwriter Joe Henry, he has made an album that focuses on the transformative part the railroad played in disseminating the songs that gave birth to the rock’n’roll era.  ‘Shine A Light – Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’ by Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, released on Cooking Vinyl on 23rd September ’16, is a collection of railway-themed classic songs recorded in the course of a 65 hour journey across the US on the Texas Eagle railroad service. Featuring thirteen songs originally recorded by legendary singers such as Lead Belly, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell and more, the album is an atmospheric travelogue, a gripping lesson in musicology, but most importantly it is a beautifully recorded collection of wonderful tunes. In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station. Winding along 2,728 miles of track, the pair recorded songs while the train paused to pick up passengers. In waiting rooms and at the track side in St Louis, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Alpine TX, El Paso and Tucson they set up their recording equipment, and performed classic railroad songs while keeping half an eye on the train and jumping back on board just before pulling out for the next town. After four days crossing the country, they pulled into Los Angeles at 4:30am, recording their final song in Union Station accompanied by the first chirpings of the dawn chorus. The resulting album ‘Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’ features the perfectly matched voices of Bragg and Henry and captures the varied atmospheres of the environments in which they recorded—from the close proximity of soft-furnished sleeping cars to the cathedral-like ambience of historic railway stations. Says Billy: "Railroad songs provided the bedrock of American popular music, from Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, to Lead Belly, whose repertoire provided several of the songs for this project. In this country, Lonnie Donegan’s 1956 hit ‘Rock Island Line’ sparked the skiffle craze, inspiring a generation of British teens to pick up guitars and form the groups that invaded American in the 60s, from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin. Growing up in the UK, I'd always been aware of this tradition but when I travelled to the US, I was surprised to find how few people look to the railroad as a means of transport. With this project, we wanted to explore the transformative power that the coming of the railroad had on the lives of ordinary people by taking these songs back to the places that inspired their creation. Travelling on the train and recording the songs as we went allowed us to both visit places that were important 125 years ago when the lines were laid, but to also explore the viability of the railroad as a means of transport in the 21st century." Says Joe: "The emergence of the railroad in America boasted of our might and sprawling enormity, yet signaled a deep desire for close community, connectivity. The songs that grew out of and alongside this innovation remain to tell this story of collective national character." Billy Bragg and Joe Henry most recently worked together when Henry produced Bragg's acclaimed 2013 album Tooth & Nail. The duo will tour the UK together later this year, performing songs from ‘Shine A Light’ and more. Full tour details are as follows: NOVEMBER 7    LONDON Union Chapel 8    LONDON Union Chapel 9    CANTERBURY The Marlowe Theatre 10    BRIGHTON St.George's Church 12    PORTSMOUTH New Theatre Royal 13    COVENTRY Warwick Arts Centre 14    GUILDFORD G Live 15    BURY ST EDMUNDS The Apex 17    NOTTINGHAM Playhouse 18    MANCHESTER The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) 19    LINCOLN The Engine Shed Track Listing for Shine A Light… 1. Rock Island Line – Traditional (Recorded by Lead Belly, Lonnie Donegan) 2. The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore – Jean Ritchie 3. The Midnight Special – Traditional (Lead Belly) 4. Railroad Bill – Traditional (Riley Puckett) 5. Lonesome Whistle – Hank Williams 6. KC Moan – Traditional (The Memphis Jug Band) 7. Waiting For A Train – Jimmie Rodgers 8. In The Pines – Traditional (Lead Belly, The Louvin Brothers) 9. Gentle On My Mind – John Hartford (Glenn Campbell, Aretha Franklin) 10. Hobo's Lullaby - Goebel Reeves (Woody Guthrie) 11. Railroading On The Great Divide – Sara Carter (The Carter Family) 12. John Henry – Traditional (Doc Watson) 13. Early Morning Rain – Gordon Lightfoot Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for over 30 years. Among the former Saturday boy’s albums are his punk-charged debut Life’s a Riot With Spy Vs Spy, the more love-infused Workers Playtime, pop classic Don’t Try This At Home, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee-timed treatise on national identity England, Half-English, and his stripped-down tenth, Tooth and Nail, his most successful since the early 90s. The intervening three decades have been marked by a number one hit single, having a street named after him, being the subject of a South Bank Show, appearing on stage at Wembley Stadium, curating Leftfield at Glastonbury, sharing spotted dick with a Cabinet minister in the House of Commons cafeteria, being mentioned in Bob Dylan’s memoir and meeting the Queen. At their best, Billy’s songs present ‘the perfect Venn diagram between the political and the personal’ (the Guardian). In a career spanning 30 years, Joe Henry has left an indelible and unique imprint on American popular music. As a songwriter and artist, Henry is celebrated for his exploration of the human experience. A hyper-literate storyteller, by turns dark, devastating, and hopeful, he has an author's eye for the overlooked detail. Henry has collaborated with many notable artists on his own body of work, from T Bone Burnett, Daniel Lanois, and Van Dyke Parks on one side of the spectrum, to Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Brad Mehldau, and Bill Frisell on the other. A three-time-Grammy-winning producer, Henry has made records for Bonnie Raitt, Hugh Laurie, Lisa Hannigan, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, and many others. In 2015, Henry helmed a recording session for the late Allen Toussaint. The resulting album, American Tunes, will be released this year.  In 2013, Algonquin Press published, Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him, a book co-written by Joe and his brother Dave Henry. Henry’s most recent studio album, Invisible Hour, was released on his own Work Song label. The album features numerous guests including The Milk Carton Kids as well as Lisa Hannigan, who co-wrote the title track along with Henry and best-selling novelist Colum McCann.  As a solo artist and a producer alike, Henry’s records are marked with a consistent sonic depth, attention to narrative, and emphasis on the beauty of spontaneity. See Billy & Joe performing The Midnight Special here https://po.st/ShineALight1. This track is also available to download immediately when you pre-order the album from the official store or iTunes. WEBSITE: https://po.st/ShineALight1 OFFICIAL STORE: https://po.st/SaLStore AMAZON: https://po.st/SaLamz ITUNES: https://po.st/SaLiT www.cookingvinyl.com

Rocking For Your Life!

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The Duel & The Corvids Punk @Mulberry Tavern 29th July

duel

FFRUK TV corners Vertices

Impressing all with their debut show, Spanish bred, London based VERTICES played their second ever gig at one of FFRUK’s renowned Reggae Punk Monday nights and swiftly showed why their post punk spiced, power rock fuelled sound was brewing a buzz. With influences from the likes of Television, The Jam, B-52s, Gang of Four, Wire, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Jesus and Mary Chain spicing the raw fascination of their tenacious sound, the trio of MIKE CANNIBAL, JOSE REILLY, and AULLADOR THURSTON III proceeded to ignite ears and venue that evening in London. SEGS JENNINGS (Ruts DC) and TARA REZ (The Duel) from FFRUK TV grabbed the band before they hit the stage to find out about their not so distant early days, how they met, and the band’s recent emergence on the UK rock scene. Coupled with a tasty slice of their set that night, FFRUK TV introduces Vertices.

FFRUK TV gets close with O’Connell & Love

It is fair to say that the acclaimed “Minesweeping” was one of 2015’s most talked about folk/country rock inspired releases; the second album from O’CONNELL & LOVE a trove of songwriting treasures and musical highlights seven years in the making. The band is the latest project from LARRY LOVE of Alabama 3 and long-time songwriting partner BRENDAN O'CONNELL, and comes with a voice and heart as punk and rebellious as it is darkly compelling. SEGS JENNINGS (Ruts DC) and TARA REZ (The Duel) from FFRUK TV took a moment or four at an O’Connell & Love unplugged performance at the 12 Bar Club, London to talk with Larry about their project and also of the show that night, with pre-show nerves included, as well as talking attitudes in the music scene. With a mesmeric performance of ‘Like A Wave Breaks On A Rock’ from their latest album alongside the chat too, O’Connell & Love are indeed nothing less than “folk music with a hand grenade!” and captured in their element on FFRUK TV.

The London SS meets FFRUK TV

There are many obvious bands which get lauded as major sparks and inspirations within the seventies punk scene but just as potently amongst them is a band which never released anything, though rumours of a demo persist, and had a line-up as unstable as a Labour shadow cabinet in 2016. The London SS though is recognised as influential as the Sex Pistols and was the breeding ground for many majorly recognised bands to come such as The Clash, The Damned, and Generation X. From Mick Jones to Brian James, Tony James and Matt Dangerfield to Honest John as examples, The London SS was the rousing step for a great many to spring from whilst providing its own impacting presence on the punk scene. With the band just as potent on the capital’s music scene since returning in 2012, SEGS JENNINGS (Ruts DC) and TARA REZ (The Duel) of FFRUK TV pulled up a bar stool with band original and guitarist BRADY to explore those early days through to the now; starting from his time in The Hollywood Bratson to London SS and beyond. Vocalist JIMI MCDONALD also joins the trio, additionally revealing romantic moments amidst feline odours whilst the informal chat comes surrounded by recent live footage of the band at their fiery tenacious rock ‘n’ rollbest.

The Past and Future, FFRUK TV Talks with Joe Maxwell

Making his third appearance at a FFRUK night, there is no escaping that JOE MAXWELL is one of the UK’s brightest young talents. Embracing all experiences through his band and solo performances, Joe is growing into a highly promising and always captivating proposition on the London music scene as shown by his latest acoustic performance at the 12 Bar Sessions.

Before playing his compelling set, Joe stepped out of the club into its legendary setting,Denmark Street, to chat with SEGS JENNINGS (Ruts DC) and TARA REZ (The Duel) of FFRUK TV. Starting with Joe’s previous appearances with FFR UK and his band, the three reminisce about the club’s home and history in Soho, its importance over the years with Joe, even fresh to the music scene, revealing the part it has already made on his emerging career. With the mesmeric ‘Lately I’ve See’ taken from Joe’s enthralling acoustic set that night, FFRUK TV gives you Joe Maxwell.

FFRUK TV burns brightly with Electric Eyes

Bringing fiery blues rock ‘n’ roll incitement to the London landscape is ELECTRIC EYES, a trio formed less than two years ago but swiftly turning heads and ears in their direction. A regular thrill across some of the Capital’s choice venues since, Electric Eyes met FFRUK TV’s SEGS JENNINGS (Ruts DC) and TARA REZ (The Duel) before playing a highly anticipated set at one of FFR UK’s Reggae Punk Nights at the 12 Bar Sessions. Their relaxed chat explored the likes of songwriting within the band and influences as well as revealing that Electric Eyes were halfway through recording their first release. After Segs and Tara had finished with them, the band went on to rock the stage with their rousingly nagging sound from which FFR UK TV has a ferocious slice for your pleasure.

FFRUK TV Face To Face With The Mercanaries

Camden has been no stranger to breeding ear striking and imagination stirring artists over the decades and so it continues with THE MERCANARIES, a four strong indie/punk band. Creating a sound as addictive to feet and hips as it is to ears, the band has been billed as “the most exciting band to come out of London for years.”

Comparisons to the likes of Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses have also been laid upon the quartet yet their music is undoubtedly unique, continually luring an increasingly growing and loyal following as The Mercanaries dynamically spice up the capital’s live scene.

Performing at one of FFRUK’s Reggae Punk Nights at The Dublin Castle, the band took time out before playing to talk with FFRUK TV’s SEGS JENNINGS (Ruts DC) and TARA REZ (The Duel). Introductions led to the band offering an insight into the band from their beginnings to the raw and organic essence of their sound, and the rewards of occasional made-up lines to lyrics to hopes ahead. With a thrilling slice of the band live on the night in the song, “Hard to Please”; this is The Mercanaries!