West Dorset's Billy Bragg gets top Radio 2 folk music honour

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Billy Bragg with youngsters at a West Dorset  music group Billy Bragg with youngsters at a West Dorset music group

West Dorset-based musician Billy Bragg is to be honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for his contribution to traditional music.

The musician and activist, who began his musical career in a punk band Riff Raff, will be presented with the ''roots award'' at the event to be staged in Glasgow.

Bragg - often referred to as the ''Bard of Barking'' - will also perform at the show, which will be broadcast live by the station on January 30.

The singer-songwriter who lives at Burton Bradstock, has long had elements of folk in his music, from his early days as a solo act in the early 1980s when he performed with just an electric guitar. In 1996 he brought unrecorded lyrics by US folk singer Woody Guthrie to life by setting them music, along with the band Wilco.

The roots award is given to recognise ''an outstanding contribution to folk music from a grass-roots level upwards''.

After hearing of the award Bragg joked in a tweet: “Looks like my decision to grow a beard has paid off.”

Now in its 14th year, the Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrate the UK’s folk scene and its achievements over the past 12 months, as well as giving awards to honour outstanding lifetime contributions.

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