sbcltr reviews the one of a kind album full of only railroad songs

English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist Joe Henry and Americana musician, Billy Bragg,  set out on a journey earlier this year. They boarded a train from Chicago, headed for Los Angeles. To etch down the journey in the books of history, they’d get their guitars, hop off with they sound engineer, find the waiting room and just play a railroad song, while the engineer recorded it. The result of these recordings was the album—Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad.

According to NPR, the duo says “these songs and this journey celebrate the modern railroad as a major economic engine and a still-vital form of transportation. The songs are filled with mythic poetry and the metaphoric romance inherent in train songs, but the vitality in the performances keeps the songs current. You can hear that behind my desk as well as you might in a rail station.” Check out Billy Bragg and Joe Henry playing a live acoustic set at KEXP as part of their promotions for the album here:

 

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