“In an age of division, ‘The Million Things That Never Happened’ is a gentle embrace of what unites us all… a mellow and empathetic antidote to the chaos and confusion of modern life.”

NME

“Moving…powerful…Bragg’s voice, carrying years of hard-earned wisdom, shares a message of hope, strength and healing.”

AMERICAN SONGWRITER

“The Million Things That Never Happened ranks as one of Bragg’s most thoughtful efforts, no small accomplishments considering the remarkable records that came before. As both an activist and observer, Bragg can’t be bettered.”

AMERICAN SONGWRITER

The Venn diagram of a good Billy Bragg song shows an overlap between the personal and the political and that’s reflected in my concern for ‘The gap between the man I think I am and the man I want to be’. I’m conscious of my position as a white middle-aged man – I’m used to people listening to what I have to say. After all this time, I don’t think it hurts to ask if the behaviour that I manifest lives up to my own standards as the man I want to be.

As a mid century modern geezer, I’m aware that my notions of personal relationships were formed almost fifty years ago, likewise my politics. To cling to that and imagine that you’ve nothing to learn from younger generations, you’re in danger of becoming a dinosaur. Kids have got new priorities and new ideas. Thatcher’s dead. The world has moved on. I’m trying to respond to the things I’m hearing now, rather than reminding folk of ‘the good old days’.

“I read somewhere that the second most googled thing after pornography is ancestry. People want to know where they come from, why they were born, where they were born. You can get facts from the web, but details are priceless and can often only be learned orally from relatives. Yet too many of us rue the fact that we are left to piece together family stories from fragments we recall because we never asked our elders those questions.”

It was always my intention to record a new album in 2021. I’d planned to spend most of 2020 on the road, where I could crank out ideas for new songs in soundchecks and maybe even try a few in the live set. Things didn’t quite work out that way, of course. In the past, it has been purely personal issues that have kept me off the road and I’ve sought to come to terms with those events by writing songs that draw the listener’s attention to my individual experience.

The manner in which this pandemic has unfolded is something we’ve never faced before – a universal experience that has impinged on all of our lives. When the first lockdown was declared, I filled the space left by cancelled tours with clips and playlists that made me feel connected to my audience. When hopes of a return to normal were thwarted by the second lockdown in late 2020, I struggled to find the motivation that had driven my response to the first.

Looking for something to focus on, I booked some studio time with Romeo Stodart and Dave Izumi and began pulling songs together for a new album. Twice the dates we booked had to be postponed due to pandemic restrictions, but Romeo and Dave carried on working, creating backing tracks based on the demos I’d sent them. When we were finally able to get together in April this year, they presented me with a different way of making songs, something I found highly engaging after the lost of momentum brought on by the lockdowns.

The Million Things That Never Happened isn’t about the pandemic per se, but the highs and lows of what we’ve been through provide the backdrop for the album, as they have done for all our lives over these past two years.

“I like my albums to finish with a stomper. My son Jack helped me out with this one. That’s him playing electric guitar in the video. He’s a pretty good songwriter himself, and when I played him what I had, he said it’s good but it needs some work. I said well you go and do it then. So he came back and he’d added a middle section and, you know what, he was right. I was really pleased. People have asked if there might be a ‘father and son’ album down the tracks. All I will say is you never know what the future might bring. ‘Ten Mysterious Photos…’ is about life online, both good and bad. I try not to get sucked down too many wormholes, but it can happen.”

“To me, I Will Be Your Shield is the heart and soul of the album. I’ve come to the conclusion that empathy is the currency of music – that our job as songwriters is to help people come to terms with their feelings by offering them examples of how others may have dealt with a situation similar to that in which listener finds themselves. After what we’ve all been through, the idea of being a shield – physically, emotionally, psychologically – resonated deeply with me.”

It was always my intention to record a new album in 2021. I’d planned to spend most of 2020 on the road, where I could crank out ideas for new songs in soundchecks and maybe even try a few in the live set. Things didn’t quite work out that way, of course. In the past, it has been purely personal issues that have kept me off the road and I’ve sought to come to terms with those events by writing songs that draw the listener’s attention to my individual experience.

The manner in which this pandemic has unfolded is something we’ve never faced before – a universal experience that has impinged on all of our lives. When the first lockdown was declared, I filled the space left by cancelled tours with clips and playlists that made me feel connected to my audience. When hopes of a return to normal were thwarted by the second lockdown in late 2020, I struggled to find the motivation that had driven my response to the first.

Looking for something to focus on, I booked some studio time with Romeo Stodart and Dave Izumi and began pulling songs together for a new album. Twice the dates we booked had to be postponed due to pandemic restrictions, but Romeo and Dave carried on working, creating backing tracks based on the demos I’d sent them. When we were finally able to get together in April this year, they presented me with a different way of making songs, something I found highly engaging after the lost of momentum brought on by the lockdowns.

The Million Things That Never Happened isn’t about the pandemic per se, but the highs and lows of what we’ve been through provide the backdrop for the album, as they have done for all our lives over these past two years.

Billy Bragg 2021

The Venn diagram of a good Billy Bragg song shows an overlap between the personal and the political and that’s reflected in my concern for ‘The gap between the man I think I am and the man I want to be’. I’m conscious of my position as a white middle-aged man – I’m used to people listening to what I have to say. After all this time, I don’t think it hurts to ask if the behaviour that I manifest lives up to my own standards as the man I want to be.

As a mid century modern geezer, I’m aware that my notions of personal relationships were formed almost fifty years ago, likewise my politics. To cling to that and imagine that you’ve nothing to learn from younger generations, you’re in danger of becoming a dinosaur. Kids have got new priorities and new ideas. Thatcher’s dead. The world has moved on. I’m trying to respond to the things I’m hearing now, rather than reminding folk of ‘the good old days’.

“I read somewhere that the second most googled thing after pornography is ancestry. People want to know where they come from, why they were born, where they were born. You can get facts from the web, but details are priceless and can often only be learned orally from relatives. Yet too many of us rue the fact that we are left to piece together family stories from fragments we recall because we never asked our elders those questions.”

“I like my albums to finish with a stomper. My son Jack helped me out with this one. That’s him playing electric guitar in the video. He’s a pretty good songwriter himself, and when I played him what I had, he said it’s good but it needs some work. I said well you go and do it then. So he came back and he’d added a middle section and, you know what, he was right. I was really pleased. People have asked if there might be a ‘father and son’ album down the tracks. All I will say is you never know what the future might bring. ‘Ten Mysterious Photos…’ is about life online, both good and bad. I try not to get sucked down too many wormholes, but it can happen.”

“To me, I Will Be Your Shield is the heart and soul of the album. I’ve come to the conclusion that empathy is the currency of music – that our job as songwriters is to help people come to terms with their feelings by offering them examples of how others may have dealt with a situation similar to that in which listener finds themselves. After what we’ve all been through, the idea of being a shield – physically, emotionally, psychologically – resonated deeply with me.”


Among the million things that never happened were my planned US dates for the past three years, so I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with my audience and trying to make some sense of where we are after all this time. It will be great to be back out on the road playing songs in North America once again.

Really pleased to be able to announce that after 4 years I will be returning to New Zealand in late summer 2023.
See you all in New Zealand and Australia next year!
The new dates can be found here and at handsometours.com.
Best,  Billy

#HBD Woody Guthrie, born #OTD 1912

This World Was Lucky To See Him Born...

#dylan @bobdylan @WoodyGuthrie #music #tulsa #mermaidavenue #billybragg #wilco #lsug @NonesuchRecords #vinyl

https://timrileyauthor.com/anthology/dylan/guthrie-mermaid-avenue

#HBD Woody Guthrie, born #OTD 1912

This World Was Lucky To See Him Born...

#dylan @bobdylan @WoodyGuthrie #music #tulsa #mermaidavenue #billybragg #wilco #lsug @NonesuchRecords

https://timrileyauthor.com

#OnMJNow > Secret of the Sea - #billybragg >Listen= http://www.just.wtf
>Buy= https://links.autopo.st/73xz

Sat Aug 6th, 2022

Billy Bragg
If anyone was ever in doubt that ‘the war on wokery’ and the concept of ‘cancel culture’ were anything other than meaningless tropes deployed by reactionaries to marginalise or silence anyone who dares to criticise the status quo, then these two contradictory articles - written by the same journalist for the Daily Telegraph - will surely set them straight.It’s been a dispiriting experience to watch the two contenders for the Tory leadership race each other to the bottom of the barrel while offering ever more authoritarian policies as red meat to Tory party members. However, the fact that people who claim to be champions of the right to freedom of expression are also threatening to criminalise anyone who criticises Britain and its history is yet another example of Wilhoit’s Law: that conservatism consists of exactly one proposition - that there must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect. But amongst the obvious hypocrisy in these two contradictory policies, there is also something revealing in Sunak’s threat to use the Prevent scheme to silence critics. The Prevent counter-terrorism strategy was set up in 2017. It’s a government-led, multi-agency programme that aims to stop individuals becoming terrorists. Online radicalisation of young people is recognised as a serious threat and subject to vigourous policing. Schools have a statutory duty to report any pupil they suspect of hold extremist views.Prevent was initiated as a defence against Islamist terror, however 19 out of 20 children who were arrested in the previous 12 months for terrorism offences were linked to an extreme rightwing ideology. Racists, neo-nazis and white supremacists, as well as the misogynistic incel movement, are recruiting young people through gaming forums and private chatrooms. This is a problem for the Tories. A scheme set up to target brown people is instead finding that the levels of extremism are far higher among young white Britons who share the notions of ethnic nationalism that underpin the populist ideas that animate the modern Conservative party. Hence Sunak’s offer to change the focus of the Prevent strategy to encompass those who ‘vilify the country’. As the Tories continue to mutate into the ethnic nationalist party of England, he clearly doesn't want to alienate any natural supporters. ... See MoreSee Less
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Thu Aug 4th, 2022

Billy Bragg
I’ll be on World Cafe this Friday August 5th. You can listen on over 250 stations in the US, so check the listings here: http://playlist.worldcafe.org/stations. You can also tune into WXPN at 2pm ET at www.XPN.org and click the play button in the header.Check out my tour dates for my upcoming US tour - www.billybragg.co.uk/giglistings ... See MoreSee Less
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