Home Read Classic Album Review: Jon Langford | All The Fame Of Lofty Deeds

Classic Album Review: Jon Langford | All The Fame Of Lofty Deeds

The insurgent country workaholic does what he does best on this rare solo outing.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Art-punk legend and insurgent-country workaholic Jon Langford’s discography boasts something like 40 releases in 25 years from bands like The Mekons, Waco Brothers, Three Johns and Pine Valley Cosmonauts. Technically, though, All The Fame Of Lofty Deeds is only his second solo disc.

Of course, technically it’s also some sort of concept album about the rise and fall of a country singer. But Lofty Deeds isn’t some two-step Tommy — nor does it mark any great departure from the everyman rebellion and rootsy romanticism that have long comprised the Wales-born Chicagoan’s stock-in-trade. From the scratch ’n’ twang of Last Fair Deal Gone Down and the accordion honkytonk of Constanz to the jumpy rockabilly of Hard Times, the Bo Diddley bluegrass of Living A Lie and the closing cover of the countripolitan classic Trouble In Mind, Lofty Deeds showcases Langford doing what he does best: Using the musical idioms of his adopted homeland to draft stirring fanfares for the common man. I look forward to his third solo album — and the two dozen discs he’ll put out before it.