With a handor guitarin multiple projects, John Langford is a musical father figure for folk-rockers. Welsh-born and now Chicago-based, Langford has a rich history in the music biz, audible in his thick voice, dark guitar strums, and tell-tale lyrics. A co-founder of first-wave British punk-rock band the Mekons in 1977, he's played in groups such as the Three Johns, Waco Brothers, and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts (who released a collection of murder ballads in 2002 to benefit the Illinois Death Penalty Moratorium Project). On his own, Langford has released three solo albums, including last year's Gold Brick. He has also toured with a multimedia stage version of his Cosmonauts' "The Executioner's Last Songs." When he's not singing his rock-infused bluegrass, Langford paints portraits of country music icons, illustrates a comic strip, and occasionally contributes to NPR's This American Life.
Fri., Sept. 7, 8 p.m.