Billy Bragg & Joe Henry | Shine A Light
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  • In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired. Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers.

    The new album
    out September 23rd


    An exclusive limited edition art print is included in the gatefold 180gm vinyl LP and is only available from the Official Store. CD & LP pre-orders include 'The Midnight Special' & 'The L & N Don't Stop Here Anymore' downloadable tracks as do iTunes pre-orders.

    If you’re in Germany click here to watch on vevo
    In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired. Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers.
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    THE L&N DON’T STOP HERE ANYMORE


    Northern Staircase, Great Hall, Chicago Union Station

    Chicago is the only city in the US where six major railroads converge, a reminder of the days when it was the world’s busiest rail hub. Although the terminus building across Canal Street was demolished in the 60s, Union Station, opened in 1925, has retained its Great Hall, an impressive 110ft high atrium built in the neo-classical style that serves as the main waiting room. The grand marble staircase was the setting for the set-piece shootout in Brian de Palma’s classic gangster movie, The Untouchables. We recorded our second song in the lively acoustical environment of the alcove above the stairs.

    Jean Ritchie was born in the coal mining region of Kentucky’s Cumberland Mountains in 1922. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad ran a passenger train called the short dog into the area, but when the mines closed down, so did railroad and locals without cars were left to traverse the mountainous roads on foot or horseback once again. Jean wrote ‘The L& N Don’t Stop Here Anymore’, which first appeared on her 1966 album ‘A Time For Singing’.

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    Railroad Bill


    Track 4, St Louis Gateway Station

    Railroad Bill was the name given to an African-American train robber who terrorised the L&N railroad in the 1890s. A murderous villain to some, a shape-shifting Robin Hood character to others, his exploits entered southern folklore in the form of this ballad, first recorded in 1924 by Riley Puckett, a blind banjo player from Georgia.

    The brief stop at St Louis meant that we were unable to gain access to the station itself, recording ‘Railroad Bill’ alongside the Texas Eagle while passengers came and went.


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    Poplar Bluff


    Somewhere near Whistle Junction, Missouri

    Before we turned in for our first night on the Texas Eagle, we took the opportunity to record a song rattling along in the intimate space of our sleeping berth. Hank Williams released ‘Lonesome Whistle’ in September 1951, the follow up to his number one hit ‘Hey Good Lookin’. He’d written the song on a fishing trip with Jimmie Davis, a country-singing former governor of Louisiana who had popularised ‘You Are My Sunshine’.


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    Fort Worth





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    San Antonio





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    Alpine





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    El Paso





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    Tucson





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    Los Angeles





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    Click on the station stops to watch a short film, listen to & learn about the song played there
    shine a light map los angeles los angeles los angeles Tuscon tuscon tuscon El Paso El Paso El Paso Alpine Alpine Alpine San Antonio San Antonio San Antonio Fort Worth Fort Worth Fort Worth poplar bluff poplar bluff poplar bluff St Louis St Louis St Louis chicago chicago chicago chicago St Louis poplar bluff Fort Worth San Antonio Alpine El Paso Tuscon los angeles

    BILLY & JOE WILL be playing songs from the journey, along with favourites from their own back catalogues

     

    September

    21-25 Nashville, TN Americana Music Festival COMING SOON
    25 Sunday Pittsburgh, PA Mountain Stage Tickets
    27 Tuesday Alexandria, VA Birchmere Tickets
    28 Wednesday Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer Tickets
    30 Friday Woodstock, NY Levon Helm Studios Tickets

    October

    1 Saturday New York, NY Ethical Culture Tickets
    2 Sunday Boston, MA The Wilbur Tickets
    4 Tuesday Toronto, ON The Danforth Music Hall Tickets
    5 Wednesday Ottawa, ON Bronson Centre Theatre Tickets
    17 Monday Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center Tickets
    18 Tuesday Chicago, IL Thalia Hall Tickets
    19 Wednesday Ann Arbor, MI The Ark Tickets
    21 Friday Seattle, WA Neptune Theatre Tickets
    22 Saturday Portland, OR Aladdin Theater Tickets
    24 Monday San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall Tickets
    25 Tuesday Los Angeles, CA The Palace Tickets

    November

    7 Monday London Union Chapel SOLD OUT!
    8 Tuesday London Union Chapel SOLD OUT!
    9 Wednesday Canterbury The Marlowe Theatre Tickets
    10 Thursday Brighton St.George's Church Tickets
    12 Saturday Portsmouth New Theatre Royal Tickets
    13 Sunday Coventry Warwick Arts Centre Tickets
    14 Monday Guildford G Live Tickets
    15 Tuesday Bury St Edmunds The Apex Tickets
    17 Thursday Nottingham Nottingham Playhouse Tickets
    18 Friday Manchester The Royal Northern College of Music Tickets
    19 Saturday Lincoln The Engine Shed Tickets

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