FOUR LOST SOULS
The Original Insurgent Country Punk With the Soul of a Poet Creates a Masterpiece.
Any release by Jon Langford is special; and this one is no different; but history may tell us it is very special indeed.
Our second favourite Welshman (Wyn Davies will always be #1) had always planned making a new record; but events during the week of November 8th 2016 sort of forced his hand. So along with a couple of musician friends he took advantage of a long standing offer and set off for the stifling heat of the Nutthouse Studio in Sheffield Alabama.
Four days later and after too many legendary Muscle Shoals legends and original Nashville Cats to mention had added their own little bits of magic this record was recorded……but is the world ready?
Poor Valley Radio opens proceedings and every single note from the musicians involved is Classy with a a capital C, and sets the tone perfectly for what is to follow.
For a Brit, Jon Langford has yet again managed to capture the undistilled essence of all that is great and timeless about Country Music in words and music in just over 3 minutes.
Although he is something of a literary Genius, not all of the songs here are to be taken absolutely literally …..remember Jon is a Welsh Poet at heart.
I wonder if it is because he is an ‘outsider Brit’ that allows Langford to understand and write about Americana in the way he does; In Oxford Mississippi finds Jon duetting with Tomi Lumsford (?) and his gruff voice and her pearlescent vocals combine on a dark song full of historical imagery that will spin your mind, as will the singing and story in I Thought He Was Dead too.
This ain’t no boring Folk album by any stretch of the imagination with the band going all Waco Brothers on Indestructible and the rollicking Halfway Home; with the former sounding a tad like Graham Parker in his prime to my ears.
There are no overtly political songs here; but when you unravel Fish Out of Water and Waste, you get a sense of the confusion many people in the USA must have felt when they heard the news of whom their new President was to be ……both are relevant to us in the UK too, btw.
If there’s any justice in the world, this album will become a huge bestseller (as it deserves) and my choice of ‘favourite song’ will prove futile to historians; but choose I will.
Originally I chose the beautiful rendition of Mystery; primarily because I know it from a Kelly Hogan album and as I’m working from a download without much info, I can’t tell you if it’s Bethany Thomas or Tawny Newsome whose amazing voice takes the song into a whole different stratosphere; but I’m actually going for the Twangtastic Natchez Trace as it’s just bloody brilliant!
Jon Langford now a resident of Chicago Town for nearly 30 years; but was born and bred in Newport, South Wales nearly sixty years ago. So regardless of whatever music he has produced over the last 40 years it has always had that gritty, Celtic working class spine to it…..and this latest Americana/Country release is no different; but perhaps even more more so.