Billy Bragg formed the rock band Riff Raff in 1977, during the height of punk rock in England. Four years later, when making music didn't turn out quite like he thought it would, Bragg did a brief stint in the military. Fortunately, he later returned to songwriting, but instead of pub rock, he began penning some of the most incisive, compelling and socially conscious songs of his or any generation. Clearly inspired by the likes of Phil Ochs and Earl Robinson, Bragg developed his solo material around the same time as like-minded artists New Model Army and Poison Girls, acts that also didn't turn up their noses at the radical folk tradition. This month, Bragg will release his latest record, Tooth & Nail, which, while at once more traditional and more plugged in than previous efforts, is no less pointed.
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