Hillbilly Ziggy Stardust Shock! ALL THE FAME OF LOFTY DEEDS traces the ascent of a wide-eyed young Country singer from rural obscurity to tinsel-town opulence during the middle decades of the last century. His life parallels the optimism, grandeur, betrayals and despair of the country and culture that spawned him (and eventually suck him dry). Lofty wants it all and gets a little more, climbs the showbiz beanstalk, sacks his band and steals a gulp from the poison cup before sinking back into the dirt and darkness from whence he came.
ALL THE FAME OF LOFTY DEEDS boasts a whole crop of Langford originals plus covers of Procol Harum’s “Homburg” and a live version of Bob Wills’ “Trouble In Mind,” featuring one of two guest appearances by The Pine Valley Cosmonauts. This is Jon’s second full-length solo release (the first was SKULL ORCHARD, released in 1998, an album about his roots in South Wales) and contains some of his boldest and best performances ever. With concise writing and stripped down arrangements, ALL THE FAME OF LOFTY DEEDS nudges Langford’s powerful voice and lyrics to front and center like he’s ready to burst out of the stereo and chew on your ear.
Jon Langford is a founding member of the legendary British punk rock collective The Mekons, lead singer with superior Chicago bar-band The Waco Brothers and benevolent dictator of The Pine Valley Cosmonauts. In 2003, Bloodshot Records released MAYORS OF THE MOON, his smooth yet muscular collaboration with The Sadies from Toronto. Jon is also a painter of growing reputation who frequently exhibits his work throughout the United States and Europe. Several of his latest works appear on the cover of ALL THE FAME OF LOFTY DEEDS.
“I’ve rarely if ever witnessed an artist on this kind of roll.” Robert Christgau, Village Voice
“Punk-rock veteran, raw roots pioneer, and all-around Renaissance man, Jon Langford has spent some 20-odd years cutting a distinctive and rough-hewn path through rustic American music. It's odd, of course, given his Welsh origins and the early days of his seminal group The Mekons, who answered the grandiose posturing of their peers The Clash and The Sex Pistols with the classic "Never Been in a Riot." But unlike most of the first-wave British punk bands, The Mekons demonstrated both a remarkable staying power and a catalog that serves as one of the cornerstones of the alternative country universe, with Langford finding himself in the unlikely role of indie-rock godfather.” William Tyler, Nashville Scene
“Painting, penning, and playing himself pink in the face, attending to his audience and muse as opposed to the fickle demands of the culture industry, Langford's tireless, unbridled, grimly joyous and ever true art-making is a testament to what remains art's ultimate driving force the desire to tell the Reaper to drop dead. It's a helluva job, but bless him for doing it so well, so long, and so loud.” Will Hermes, Minneapolis City Pages