On Sunday, February 17, 2019, singer/songwriter Jon Langford will celebrate the opening of his new art exhibit at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN with an afternoon of art, stories and music.
Langford has long been known for his musical contributions with The Mekons, The Three Johns, The Waco Brothers and Four Lost Souls, along with other solo endeavors. Of the latter, Langford said, “since the Mekons celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2017, I’ve been on a never ending solo acoustic tour playing songs from all the dark corners of my sorry career burrowing on the fringes of unpopular culture.” In addition to being a music artist, Langford is also a highly respected and prolific visual artist. He is, perhaps, best known for his striking portraits of country music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Townes Van Zant, Jimmy Rodgers and more. His art also crosses into other musical genres and hints at his punk rock roots with portraits of The Ramones, Joe Strummer and Lou Reed – not to mention his beautiful renderings of skeletons, birds, horses and whatever else it may be that captures Langford’s attention.
His multi-layered paintings are often inspired by “imagery from old country music publicity photos and sheet music and envelope them in a haze of ironic nostalgia.” When Langford is asked to describe his artwork – as well as his process – he explains that it’s a “long process of layering, scraping, minute attention to detail. Basically, I create a very unstable surface with acrylics and pastel on top of each other and work on top of that with Sharpies, felt pens, white out. . . . whatever comes to hand.”
Many record covers, books covers and labels have featured Langford’s artwork – he was also Artist In Residence at Nashville’s Hatch Show Print in 2015 and 2016 after creating the artwork that was used throughout The Country Music Hall of Fame’s highly acclaimed Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music Cityexhibit – and now the walls of The Bluebird Cafe will feature a vast variety of Langford’s work, including portraits of Jimmy Rodgers, Hank Williams, Neil Young and more, along with renderings of horses, skeletons, humming birds, as well as “whatever comes to hand.”
Regarding his Bluebird exhibit, Langford had the following to say, “My songwriting has always informed my painting, and vice versa of course, so it’s wonderful to be able to show my visual art on the walls of the Bluebird – a legendary safe harbor for the songwriters’ craft.” “The depth of Jon Langford’s artistic exploration is vast and involves both the history of country music and incorporates his own interpretation and artistic vision. Whether through music or paint, his storytelling is invested in the legacy of the music. His graphic imagery both defines and informs his subject matter,” said The Bluebird Café COO, Erika Wollam Nichols.
At 3 p.m., on February 17, 2019, Jon Langford will unveil his new exhibit at The Bluebird Cafe. He will be on hand for questions and discussion throughout the reception. Light food and beverages will be provided. Following will be a music performance – at the 6 p.m. Spotlight show – by Jon Langford. The opening reception is by invitation only. The Spotlight show is open to the general public. Reservations for the Spotlight show will be available February 11, 2019 @ 8 a.m. Central Time via www.bluebirdcafe.com.
About The Bluebird CafeThe Bluebird Cafe is one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms. Over the last 36 years, The Bluebird has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter’s performance space where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music. Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 100 seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on The Bluebird’s stage. Some of those songwriters and artists include Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Taylor Swift, Townes Van Zandt, Kathy Mattea and many more. The Bluebird was also featured on the CMT TV show Nashville. More information about The Bluebird Cafe is available via www.bluebirdcafe.com.
About Jon LangfordJon Langford, born October 11, 1957 in Newport, Monmouthshire, is a Welsh-born musician and artist who is presently based in Chicago. Langford was originally the drummer for the punk band The Mekons when it formed at the University of Leeds in 1977, but he later took up the guitar as other band members left. Since the mid-1980s he has been one of the leaders in incorporating folk and country music into punk rock. He has released a number of solo recordings as well as recordings with other bands outside of The Mekons, most notably the Waco Brothers, which he co-founded after moving to Chicago in the early 1990s. He is involved with the Chicago-based independent record label Bloodshot. Langford is also a prolific and respected visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. More information about Jon Langford is available via http://jonlangford.de/.