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Label News (more headlines) 01-20-2013

Billy Bragg Re-Signs With Cooking Vinyl - This Time For The World

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East Acton's favourite record label, Cooking Vinyl, are delighted to have re-signed Billy Bragg, the legendary Bard of Barking.

The new recording deal, which for the first time covers the world, cements a twenty-year relationship between artist and label and is actually the sixth time that Bragg has signed with Cooking Vinyl.

The agreement, a global services deal, will see Cooking Vinyl release Bragg's forthcoming studio album, Tooth & Nail, across the world, with Bragg retaining the copyright in the recording. The album is slated for release on March 18th in the UK and March 19th in the US, where it will be distributed via RED.

Tooth & Nail draws on personal rather than political themes and was recorded over a whirlwind five-day session in January 2012, and was produced by Grammy award winner Joe Henry (whose impeccable production credits include Solomon Burke, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello + Allen Toussaint, Loudon Wainwright III, Hugh Laurie and Mose Allison) in his South Pasadena basement studio.

With Joe taking Billy out of his comfort zone (he was only allowed to play acoustic guitar, while all vocals were recorded live without retakes or overdubs) the album features an accomplished crew of musicians, including guitarist Greg Leisz (Bon Iver), Patrick Warren (Lana Del Rey) on keyboards, drummer Jay Bellerose (Regina Spektor) and David Piltch (Ramblin' Jack Eliot) on upright bass.

The spontaneous results are, according to Billy, a return to the rootsy sound of 1998's Mermaid Avenue sessions that he recorded with Wilco - drawing on soul, country and folk music influences to explore the ups and downs of relationships that have stood the test of time.

In his own words: "In 2011, I took a long, hard look at who I am and what I do. This album is the result."

Since first partnering in 1993 on a re-issue of the Back To Basics compilation, the singer's two-decade association with Cooking Vinyl has included over twenty releases, including 1996's acclaimed William Bloke album, 2003's Must I Paint You A Picture: The Essential Billy Bragg compilation and 2008's Mr Love & Justice.

Permanently active beyond music and consistently playing to audiences around the world, this period also saw Billy pick up a Grammy nomination for the Mermaid Avenue project, publish his 2006 book The Progressive Patriot, establish the Jail Guitar Doors initiative and lend support to numerous causes including the anti-fascist campaign Hope Not Hate, the Featured Artist Coalition and the Occupy Movement.

Commenting on the new deal, Billy Bragg said "When I first signed to Cooking Vinyl, it was all fields around here. I'm really pleased to still be part of their ongoing success story, especially now they have built up momentum in America and ROW. As someone who believes that artists should own their rights, I am proud to work with a label that leads in service-only deals which help us all to make a living in the new digital record industry."

Martin Goldschmidt, founder and MD of Cooking Vinyl added "Without Billy I don't think Cooking Vinyl would be here today. He is one of the foundations of the company and we are honoured that he has chosen us (over major competition) to release his new album. My face lit up when he came in and played it to us. It is his strongest record since Mermaid Avenue and definitely a contender for his best album ever."


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