Jon Langford
Welsh-born Jon Langford, the original drummer for the punk band The Mekons, stands as a leader in the movement to incorporate folk and country music into punk rock. Langford has released numerous recordings as a solo artist and with other bands, most notably the Waco Brothers, Skull Orchard, Four Lost Souls, The Three Johns, Men of Gwent, and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts. Since moving to Chicago, Langford has been active in the music scene nurturing labelmates on Bloodshot Records, lending his services as a musician, producer, or visual artist, or collaborating with like-minded artists (Dave Alvin, The Sadies, Otis Clay, Bonnie Prince Billy, Steve Earle, Andre Williams, Neko Case). Langford is also a prolific and respected visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country music icons and darker more metaphoric subjects. In 2015 he was the artist in residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville TN. Nashville Radio, a book of Jon’s artwork and writings, was published by Verse Chorus Press in 2006 and was followed in 2011 by Skull Orchard Revisited, a book and CD about his roots in South Wales. The Executioner’s Last Songs, a multimedia music/spoken word/video performance has been performed across the United States, Europe, and Australia and two of his solo albums Gold Brick and All the Fame of Lofty Deeds were adapted for theatrical productions in 2009. Langford also illustrated the comic strip Great Pop Things under the pseudonym Chuck Death. From 2005 to 2013 Langford was a host of a weekly radio program, "The Eclectic Company," on Chicago’s WXRT 93.1 FM and has been a contributor to NPR’s This American Life. Jon and his collaborator Jim Sherraden are currently touring an art show called Complicated Characters - a unique mixture of collage, printmaking and painting.
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