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Classic Album Review: Waco Brotherts | Waco World / Pine Valley Cosmonauts | Salute The Majesty Of Bob Wills

Jon Langford's work ethic pays double dividends. For him and you.

This came out in 1999 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Forget James Brown. Chicago-based singer/guitarist Jon Langford is the hardest workin’ man in showbiz. Or at least in rock. The transplanted Welshman has no less than four bands on the go, with albums and shows constanly circling like planes over O’Hare.

You’ve got art-punks The Mekons; rockers Skull Orchard; and The Waco Brothers and Pine Valley Cosmonauts, the latter two of whom have issued new CDs lately. Waco World, The Wacos’ fourth puts the surge in insurgent country. Call these scrappy, rocking tales of wine, whiskey, women and woe what you will — Clash meets Cash, Waylon and wailin’ — they’re as sharp and edgy as a broken bottle. As Langford sings: “I’m loaded again, and so is this gun.” That about says it all. But even he can lighten up, as the PVCs’ tribute to Bob Wills proves. Aided by a five-star roster of contemporary country talent — including Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Robbie Fulks, Chris Mills and Neko Case — Jon leads an authentic, exuberant tribute to the king of Texas swing, complete with finger-popping beats and soaring lap steel licks. Hey, hard work pays off. For them and you.