The Executioners Last Songs - Volumes 2 & 3
They’re at it again. Actually, the plugging away never really stopped. Here the Pine Valley Cosmonauts – another “side band” of Jon Langford, this one a loose amalgamation of veteran players who’ve paid homage in the past to the likes of Bob Wills and Johnny Cash – are back with THE EXECUTIONER’S LAST SONGS: VOLUMES 2 and 3, where they continue their quest to “consign songs of murder, mob-law & cruel, cruel punishment to the realm of myth, memory & history.” Langford, despite his seemingly endless pursuits with the Waco Brothers, the Mekons and most recently the Sadies, has managed to pull an impressive list of folks into the studio to record with the PVC as time and schedules have allowed. Since the completion of The Executioner’s Last Songs: Vol. 1, Langford’s been wrangling some of his favorite singers and songwriters to join the fray, and was pleasantly surprised to be trampled by herds of willing collaborators. Contributors include such luminaries in the fields of underground country and punk such as Tim Rutili (Califone, Red Red Meat), roots guitar hero Dave Alvin, (Blasters, Knitters), Kurt Wagner (Lambchop), soul singing smoothie Otis Rush, Sally Timms (Mekons), Kelly Hogan, David Yow (Jesus Lizard), Alejandro Escovedo, Rhett Miller (Old 97s), Rex Hobart, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), The Meat Purveyors … call it enough to fill TWO CDs with incredible renditions of songs in the key of D – doom, despair and death.
This collection of songs of murder and mayhem, sin and sorrow is a remarkable romp from start to finish. Even if you want your music and your politics served in different courses, this CD will please.
Oh, and the ever-dependable, never predictable, always masterful Pine Valley Cosmonauts? THEY ARE: Jon Langford (guitar and vocals), Steve Goulding (drums, Mekons), Tom V. Ray (double and electric bass, ex Bottle Rockets, Devil In a Woodpile), Celine (guitar, dobro, electric sitar, fiddle, bass, steel guitar and more), Sally Timms (vocals), Pat Brennan (keys) and Drew Carson (mandolin).
This release comes a year after Volume 1, proceeds from which go directly to the Illinois Moratorium on the Death Penalty. So far, the amount donated comes to over $40,000. This follow up double disc set, Volumes 2 and 3, is another plucky chisel trying to scratch a way through the mile-wide-but-inch-deep support for the death penalty by getting cash into the hands of organizations who fight the thankless, contentious and unglamorous fight. All profits will be donated to national anti-death penalty organizations.