Jon Langford & Walter Salas-Humara
Hometown: Chicago via Leeds
"The great rock and roll bridge between punk's back alleys and country music's windswept plains." - Portland Mercury
"Jon Langford has grit in his voice and melody in his soul. A punk-rock pioneer, a leading light of alt-country, a troubadour for our times, a musicians' mentor, a visual artist of uncommon skill, a singer-songwriter who writes with the authority of having lived a life
rather just having imagined it, how do you peg Langford? Is he folk, rock, country, punk, what? Yes, he's all that. Langford is Langford, a transplanted Welshman who's been in Chicago long enough for us to claim him, and in doing so, stake a claim to a treasure." - Chicago New City
The L'homme de Renaissance of indie rock. (That's "Renaissance Man" for all you eating "Freedom Fries.") He's done it all in his time. For us, he's created lots of cover art, produced lots of records, lent his ham-fisted guitar stylings to recordings by the Old 97's, Kelly Hogan, Sadies, Sally Timms, Danbert Nobacon, Jon Rauhouse, Alejandro Escovedo, among others, draws a comic strip, plays in the long running art/punk collective the Mekons, written a book, appeared as the backing band on This American Life and acts as a reeling papa bear figure to many of Chicago's musicians looking for direction and reassurance in this vicious racket we call the music industry. Among the guiding forces in the Pine Valley Cosmonauts and the Waco Brothers and Wee Hairy Beasties. At any given time, he has several projects going. It tires us just trying to keep up. As nice as he is prolific. Sort of rare in the hyper-rarified environment of notoriety.
For More of Jon's Art, go to his page at Yard Dog in Austin, TX; home of the annual Bloodshot SXSW shindig. Stop by, say hi, and make sure you look at the ten years of Yard Dog/Bloodshot SXSW Photographs!
Live performances of "Nashville Radio" and "Over The Cliff" on the DVD Bloodied But Unbowed: Bloodshot Records' Life In The Trenches.
"Nashville Radio," "Over The Cliff" and "The Country Is Young" performed live on the Bloodied But Unbowed: The Soundtrack
"Delilah" w/ Sally Timms on the Pine Valley Cosmonauts' The Executioners' Last Songs: Volumes 2 &3
"Over the Cliff" on For A Life of Sin
"Sweet Kind of Love" and "San Antonio Rose" w/ Alejandro Escovedo on the Pine Valley Cosmonauts' Salute to the Majesty of Bob Wills
"Brixton" w/ Chip Taylor on Down to the Promised Land
"The Plans We Made" duet w/ Sally Timms on the Pine Valley Cosmonauts' The Executioner's Last Songs: Volume 1
"Nashville Radio" on Making Singles, Drinking Doubles
"Take This Hammer" on Old Town School Songbook: Volume One
"California Blues" duet w/Alejandro Escovedo on Bourbonitis Blues
"Over The Cliff" guitar/vox on Old 97s Wreck Your Life
WALTER SALAS-HUMARA (BIO OF THE SILOS)
A Cuban-American whose parents fled Castro's Havana with him still in the womb, Walter Salas-Humara was raised bilingual just across the Florida Straits in Fort Lauderdale. College at University of Florida in Gainesville and a residency with the Vulgar Boatmen left him with a lifelong habit of Mudcrutch/Tom Petty-style crunchy guitar riffs. Chasing the punk prairie fire to New York just in time to sift through the ashes, he formed The Silos in 1985 with guitarist Bob Rupe and violinist Mary Rowell, plugging the main cable of American rock idiom into the jerry-rigged soundboard of Velvets-era feral experimentalism. The unlikely result, as evidenced by About Her Steps (1986), the seminal Cuba (1987) and their RCA debut The Silos (i.e., The One with the Bird on the Cover, 1990) was a loose-limbed conceptual country-rock that in turn influenced (if not outright inspired) the alt-country No Depression movement just around the corner. The band was voted Best New American Band in Rolling Stone Magazine's Critics' Poll of 1987 and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 1990.
With this apocalyptic agrarianism safely encoded in his band's name, Salas-Humara moved on once that lineup had run its course -- taking with him not the country revisionism that by now could have sustained him in an endless holding pattern, but rather the Lower East Side's fervid avant-gardism, that high-test mixture of aggression and dissonance the neighborhood wears like a jailhouse tattoo. He forged connections in Austin, another lost outpost tailor-made for his particular set of influences, where he formed the poor man's supergroup the Setters with songwriters Michael Hall of the Wild Seeds and Alejandro Escovedo of the True Believers. Moving to Los Angeles, he recorded and toured with Tom Freund, Manny Verzosa, Jon Dee Graham, Gary Sunshine and Darren Hess. Those middle records Hasta la Victoria! (1992), Susan Across the Ocean (1994), Heater (and its remixed mutant twin Cooler) (1998) validated the early acclaim and expanded Salas-Humara's reputation as one of the finest songwriters working in the American vernacular. In 1998, Salas-Humara moved back to New York and formed Silos 3.0, with Konrad Meissner on drums and Drew Glackin on bass and guitar.
Throughout the last decade, the Silos have continued to release an admirable body of work. Laser Beam Next Door (2001) and Come on Like the Fast Lane (2007) are fierce power trio albums that burst with the crackling intensity of proto-punk legends the Velvet Underground and Television. When the Telephone Rings (2004) and now Florizona (2011) are intricately crafted productions, densely layered with glittering detail. With the passing of Drew Glackin in 2008, and the addition of Rod Hohl (bass and guitars), Bruce Martin (keyboards) and Jason Victor (guitar), the band has entered a new phase. Walter Salas-Humara and Silos present and past have marshaled the best of America -- our wide tradition, focused innovation and unfettered optimism. Embrace them as a national treasure.
121 W. Main Street
Madison, WI 54703