For three decades Billy Bragg has been renowned for his progressive activism, politically charged lyrics, and withering folk-punk music, the odd love song notwithstanding. But for his first solo album in five years, Tooth & Nail, Bragg repaired to producer Joe Henry's California basement and came up with a set of mostly introspective songs in which Bragg closely examines his own vulnerabilities. Etched by the likes of Greg Leisz's pedal steel while Bragg's voice creaks toward Lyle Lovett, T&N sometimes sounds more West Texas than East London. World-weariness extends to one political tune, "No One Knows Nothing Anymore," although another, "There Will Be a Reckoning," glows with his trademark fire. Opening will be Arkansas folkie Joe Purdy. Look for an interview with Billy at blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise.
Thu., Sept. 26, 7 p.m., 2013