Langford’s Noisy Fall

Sat 7th Sept – 3pm – JL & Skull Orchard HIDEOUT BLOCK PARTY –

Sat. Sept 14th – Festival Hall, Calgary CANADA – Jon Langford & Sally Timms –

Sun, September 22, 2013,  The Hideout Chicago, IL Freakons
Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm, $10.00

Sat. October 5th – JL & Skull Orchard with FREAKONS – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco –

Sat. October 5th (evening) – Great American Music Hall, San Francisco – KL & Skull Orchard w. Billy Bragg –

Sun. Oct 6th – JL & Skull Orchard/FREAKONS – Davis CA (venue TBA)

Thursday Oct 10th – CITY WINERY CHICAGO – with Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders –

Sat. Oct 12th – Englert Theater, IOWA CITY with Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders –

Roger Knox & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts: “Stranger In My Land”

Roger Knox & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts: “Stranger In My Land
(Bloodshot BS 179)
Release date: 2013

The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards
Stranger In My Country
Blue Gums Calling Me Back Home
Took The Children Away
Arafura Pearl
Brisbane Blacks
Wayward Dreams
Scobie’s Dream
Ticket To Nowhere
Warrior In Chains
Streets of Tamworth
Home In The Valley


Great reviews from and Cool Album of the Day that we don’t want to pull quotations from, they deserve to be read in full.

“When it’s released in early February, this will become the most important country music release of 2013. Why?…This is country music wrought bruised and aching from the dustbowl that is Australia’s Outback.  This is Roger Knox bringing an Aboriginal voice to what amounts to Jimmie Rodgers, Lefty Frizzell, Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson gathered at the billabong singing protest tunes. These are down-under songs of racial alienation, displacement, the march to civil rights and a collective voice in the wilderness proclaiming that they will not be moved. It is vintage Nashville sung like it should be; honestly, matter-of-fact and evocative as hell…Elegant, suffused with meaning and essential.” –

“Part travelogue, part National Geographic special, and part crash sociology course, Stranger in My Land is surely to be the most important album you will listen to all year, and might just be the most important album of the decade… a five on a five scale listen.” – Cool Album of the Day

“Down-under civil-rights songs addressing feelings of racial alienation and making pleas for justice, all couched in the plainspoken language of vintage Nashville.” – Chicago Reader

Stranger In My Land is a collection of songs originally written by Aborigine artists who were Knox’s peers and predecessors; some tunes previously recorded but difficult to find as well as several unrecorded, handed-down folk songs (which without this recording, could have been lost forever).  It is powerful and moving material, heartbreaking and hilarious, downtrodden and uplifting, suffused with longing, alienation, resilience and hope; universal themes arising out of largely unexplored context. It possesses the urgency of a Alan Lomax field recording, but with a spirit that remains relevant in today’s world.

Country music crossed the equator in the kitbag’s of US servicemen in WWII and magically struck a chord with a voiceless and near invisible aboriginal population. Soon American cowboy songs and honkytonk classics were retooled to describe rugged outback lifestyles and the migration from country to city. Turns out, you can’t beat this music as a vehicle for telling tough tales and the Aboriginal Country & Western Songbook is peppered with drinking songs and prison songs; songs that yearn for justice and for home; songs of alienation and the loneliness of the outsider. Humor, resignation and outrage stalk a superficially familiar musical landscape that’s been re-populated with stockmen, bandicoots, wallabies, porcupines, grog-drinkers, pelicans and policemen.

Stranger In My Land features guest vocals and instrumental performances from Bonnie Prince Billy (“Scobie’s Dream”), Kelly Hogan (“Blue Gums,” “Took The Children Away,”) Dave Alvin of X, Blasters (“Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards”), Sally Timms (“Home In The Valley”),  Andre Williams (“Stranger in My Country”) and perhaps the last known recording from Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers (“Ticket to Nowhere”).  All this star power is backed The Pine Valley Cosmonauts and the Sadies.

Also included in a album is a lovely insert by Langford that gives an apt history of the songs, artists, and people behind this fragile, yet empowering music. This is an album about a man and a people’s struggles in their own place of origin, and the experiences in a journey that such a complex life path can take. Knox is the conduit for these stories and these songs, but this isn’t ancient history and these songs are not museum pieces.

The place names and characters are different, but the humanity remains common. In making Stranger In My Land, Roger Knox closes the circle on a strange journey that takes the music and stories of his people all the way around the planet and back to America.

Continue reading

June activities

Jon Langford & Skull Orchard acoustic band (featuring Jim Elkington & Jean Cook) head west next weekend playing:

The CHAPEL in San Francisco on Friday 21st
Davis Music Fest (THE LODGE Upper Hall, Davis CA) at 6pm on Saturday 22nd
AND Langford has an artshow at THE WILLOWS (12th & Folsom) on Sunday night July (meet/greet/grunt/drink @ 8pm)


Waco Brothers play at 8.45pm on Sunday 6/30/2013 – North stage Kedzie & Milwaukee

Beautiful Dreamer: The Foster Project

Sat, February 2, 2013

Pitman Theatre

8:00 PM

Stephen Foster was the guy who wrote ‘Oh Susannah’, ‘Hard times come again no more’ and numerous other songs we often considert as public domain. He was the first man to earn his living solely through his music. He died as a forgotten alcoholic at the age of 37.

With Juniper Tar as house band, The Foster Project features performances from Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers), Christopher Porterfield (Field Report), Robbie Fulks, Blueprint, Betty Strigens, and a community choir of 20 voices from Milwaukee’s various music scenes.

Wikipedia article

American Dreams

PBS Special

His songs



Pine Valley Cosmonauts pre sale

Bloodshot Records
ON PRE-SALE NOW: Roger Knox and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts, ‘Stranger In My Land.’ When you pre-order, you’ll be entered to win one of two Jon Langford limited- edition digital prints mounted on plywood, like the one pictured below. Get to it!

Rosie Flores: Girl of the century

Jon Langford & Rosie Flores: Girl of the century
Bloodshot 162t)
Release date: 2012, Dec 4th


This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’
Halfway Home
I Ain’t Got You
Dark Enough At Midnight
Little Bells
Get Rhythm
Last Song
You’re The One
This Cat’s In The Doghouse
Whose Gonna Take Your Garbage Out?
Girl Of The Century


With Rosie’s off the charts vivacity and dexterity, Girl of the Century delivers with a handful (and sleeveful) of spades.

With over half a century of hard roots-rabbling between them, Rosie Flores—the Rockabilly Filly, and  Jon Langford—head MekonWaco Brother and conductor of the Chicago-based collective the  Pine Valley Cosmonauts, blast a sonic contrail stretching from Texas to Wales, from the dusty hill country to the dusky fetter cairns (that’s an obscure British Isles reference, sorry about that). These two long-celebrated musical forces, one with her cowboy boots firmly in the dance halls and the other with his work boots sloshing around puddles of beer in the pubs, come together for Girl of the Century, an album of spirited and soulful romps through the back roads of American music.

Recorded live-in-the-studio hot with the Cosmos, Girl of the Century crackles with effusive energy and references a wealth of influences and source material. Anchored by the crack rhythm section of Tom Ray ( Neko CaseDevil in a Woodpile) on bass and Joe Camarillo (Waco BrothersDollar Store) on drums, the Cosmos find a groove and lock it in, be it the suave blues of Memphis Minnie’s “Chauffeur,” the Bob Wills smooth swing of the Paul Burch tune “Little Bells” or the wild R&B with a rockabilly flair of Ruth Brown’s “This Little Girls Gone Rockin’.”  Throughout, Pat Brennan’s stone-cold honky-tonk piano and John Rice’s count-in fiddle keep the boots firmly on the rail.

Rosie’s front and center vocals have never sounded better.  From her saucy growls to kittenish sass to clarion Ronnie Spector smarts, there’s a versatility here she’s only hinted at on previous albums. Smooth, cheek to cheek balladry like “Last Song” (a Jon Langford song) and “Dark Enough,” a torch number so swampy it’s easy to imagine her draped over a mossy piano, sashay against a more playful and powerful side when she gets her pop rocks off Maggie May-ish blue-eyed soul style on the Langford penned “Halfway Home” or the Little Sister-era Elvis rocker “This Cat’s in the Doghouse” co-written by Patricia Vonne. For a little slice of heaven from the Conway and Loretta playbook, look no further than the old school duet with Langford “Whose Gonna Take Your Garbage Out?”
It’s all Texas twang and blustery, rolling rrrr’s.

Given that this is a Rosie Flores album, though, one expects guitar heroics. With Langford’s chunky punk roots, John Rice’s clean lines and Rosie’s off the charts vivacity and dexterity, Girl of the Century delivers with a handful of spades. There’s revved up runs straight outta Sun Records, the exaggerated wah wah on the Jimmy Reed/Yardbirds rocker ” I Ain’t Got You,” and urgent straight up rock and roll in the Everly Brothers’  “You’re the One.” Check out the jolt she provides on the oft-covered Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm.”

This album is a gas, friends.  We’re ever so happy to bring these two super cool artists together.

– See more at:Bloodshot

Through Disobedience We Progress i

Opening event: Saturday 27 October. 1pm – 3.30pm. Four veteran activists have been invited to speak at the opening: Hanif Bhanjee, former secretary Wales Anti-Apartheid; Ray Davies, left wing activist; Ray Lawrence, former NUM; Jill Gough, Wales CND. This is a free event, open to the public and includes refreshments and musical entertainment from The Chartists and Roy Zeal.

The exhibition Through Disobedience We Progress is a collection of newly commissioned radical Christmas card designs which compliment Glad Tidings of Struggle and Strife. The designs reflect the spirit of Llew and Pam Smith’s collection and feature work by thirteen contemporary artists and designers including: Jamie Reid, Jeff Pigott and Julia Warin, Brian Jones, Control, Jon Langford, Maurice Burns, Terry Sandhu, David J Morris, David Mabb, Chris Partridge, Robert Rubbish, Jac Saorsa and Steve Smith. Themes include animal rights, greed and social justice, free speech, anti-war, austerity and anti-cuts, consumerism/capitalism, peace and anti-nuclear sentiment. The designs will be available for sale as limited edition cards during the exhibition, individually and as a set.

“Jamie Reid is best known for the graphic montage designs for the sex pistols in the late 1970’s, his work has consistently maintained a political edge; Jon Langford is a musician from Newport often associated with the ‘left’ he now lives in Chicago, his bands include the Mekons and The Three Johns; David Mabb works almost exclusively with original William Morris designs, subverting, exploiting and reinvigorating their political potential; Jeff Pigott and Julia Warin often work together on projects with a political, socially commentative theme; David J Morris is a designer with longstanding roots within the activist tradition; Control, Chris Partridge and Terry Sandhu all live and work in the Newport area and often producing work of a satirical nature; Steve Smith (brother of Llew) is a graduate of Newport Art School, he has been producing radical Christmas cards for several decades; Maurice Burns is an artist and illustrator living in Manchester, and artist Robert Rubbish lives in London – both create works which often reflects a social, political dimension; Brian Jones is a contemporary pop artist living in mid-Wales and Jac Saorsa is a drawing specialist and academic from Cardiff. Seven of the artists were also featured in the recent anti jubilee publication ‘the great frock n robe swindle’ published independently by the curator, Shaun Featherstone.”

October so far

10.05.12 CA    San Francisco    HARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL at 4:45 Arrow Stage
Jon Langford with his Sadies, Sally Timms

10.05.12 CA    San Francisco    THE SWEDISH AMERICAN HALL Acoustic Set at 8:30 pm
w/ Roger Knox, Sally Timms, Walter Salas-Humara (Silos)

10.05.12 CA    San Francisco    CAFE DU NORD    at 11pm
w/ Jon Langford and his Sadies, the Sadies

10.06.12 CA    San FranciscoHARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL at 11am  Star Stage
w/Roger Knox, The Sadies, Sally Timms

10.08.12 CA    Davis    HOUSE PARTY
w/ Roger Knox, Walter Salas-Humara (Silos)

10.10.12 WI    Madison    The Frequency
w/ Roger Knox & Pine Valley Cosmonauts

10.11.12 IL    Chicago    Old Town School of Folk Music
w/ Roger Knox & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Sally Timms