Jon Langford is a musician and artist, born in Newport, Wales. He is a founding member of legendary Leeds punk band the Mekons, art-metal power trio the Three Johns, and militant hard-country rockers the Waco Brothers. Along with other Mekons, he studied Fine Art at Leeds University, and since moving to Chicago in 1992, he has become increasingly well-known as a visual artist too, exhibiting regularly at Yard Dog Folk Art and in galleries around the world. Along with Colin B Morton, Langford (under the pseudonym Chuck Death) was also responsible for the long-running comic strip Great Pop Things, which lampooned the music industry and its products.
The book Nashville Radio (2005) is a kind of early career retrospective, collecting artwork created with the Mekons as well as the paintings and etchings he produced in the 1990s and early 2000s, many of them on themes of American life and popular music; it also includes song lyrics and a CD. Skull Orchard Revisited (2011) is a more personal project, exploring Langford’s Welsh childhood in art, words and music (again, there’s a CD included).
Langford has continued to record/perform with the Mekons, the Three Johns, and the Waco Brothers while also releasing solo albums, the most recent of which is Here Be Monsters (2014). In addition, he leads a loose ensemble, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, whose output includes The Executioner’s Last Songs, an album of songs to benefit anti-death penalty activists. Inspired by the Australian Aboriginal country music explored in Buried Country, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts recently backed the legendary Roger Knox on an album of classic Aboriginal country songs, Stranger in My Land.