We are incredibly honored, and excited, to feature Jon Langford as this year’s One Inspired Evening Keystone Artist. His artwork can be seen on the invitation and website, and will be featured the night of the event as well.
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 label mates 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). 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.
Langford is also a prolific and respected visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country music icons. In 2015 Jon 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.
This year Jon will be touring Europe and America with the Mekons, taking a musical train ride through Alaska with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Dave Alvin, working with Marty Stuart on his new museum in Philadelphia Mississippi and lurking backstage at performances of Strawdog’s Take Me, which he wrote a bunch of songs for.
Jon and One Inspired Evening
Jon’s history with One Inspired Evening is rooted in the event’s creation. Back in 1993, our founder, Lisa Nigro, and artist/friend Tony Fitzpatrick held an art auction at Tony’s gallery. That art auction grew over the years and became what is now One Inspired Evening. One of the guests, and close friends of Tony, in attendance was Jon Langford. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary as an organization, we are so honored to feature an artist at this year’s One Inspired Evening who was there when it all began.