Handyman Blues - Billy Bragg

from the album Tooth & Nail (2013)

Once upon a time, I was a college student in New York for my summer break.  One day, I stumbled into Bleeker Bob's Record Store in Greenwich Village and walked out with Life's A Riot With Spy Vs. Spy.  It was the beginning of my most influential music journey.

Later that summer, I got to see Billy Bragg play at a small club in lower Manhattan.  As he stood on stage, singing his powerful lyrics accompanied by only his electric guitar, I realized that you can do it on your own.  With hefty doses of desire and self-confidence, you can accomplish anything; and all it really takes is you.

That fall, I headed back to school in the midwest and wrote about a hundred songs.  Billy Bragg was the inspiration.

Fast forward to today, and I am making my way in the world, living life on my own terms.  I still believe that I can take an idea and turn it into a revolution, same way that I did sitting on the corner of my bed with a guitar all those years ago.  And it all goes back to the summer I discovered Billy Bragg.

So when his new album Tooth & Nail came out this week, of course I picked it up.  After a few listens, I have fallen for Handyman Blues.  The premise of the song is that although he is not very handy around the house, he can still provide for his family using the talents he does possess.  I relate with this.  Here is the second verse:

Don't expect me to put up the shelves
Or build a garden shed
But I can write a song that tells the world
How much I love you instead
I'm not any good at pottery
So let's lose a "t" and shift back the "e"
And I'll find a way to make my poetry
Build a roof over our heads

I also dig that the record is released on his own label.  Thank you Billy Bragg for continuing to inspire me.

Click Here to watch him play an acoustic version a WFUV radio station.

Click Here for a great background video on Billy Bragg's new record.


  1. Handyman – more to the definition than meets the eye, but then again when ever has vision truly ever occurred from what has been seen?

    This is a melodic “Dillonish” explanation of the path where emotional truth comes from the heart and the love of another and not of unique laborious task; albeit, that there is not necessarily work being done, the work is the labor of love.

    As for finding the truth in one’s self-sufficiency, that is as important a moment as the realization that Homo Sapien Sapien actually means self aware, and therefore self sufficient. The idea of creating and finding the muse to be amused is an amusing moment for us all, and the point at which we grasp our life an make it our own.


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