"There are two types of folk music: quiet folk music and loud folk music. I play both." - Dave Alvin

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been writing and playing songs for more than 50 years. His music eludes categorization, blending elements of folk, rock, country, blues and bluegrass. His recordings have earned three Grammy nominations in both Contemporary Folk and Traditional Folk categories and he was named Country Artist of the Year three years running by Rolling Stone Magazine. His high and lonesome vocal style, coupled with sometimes mystical and poetic lyrics, has led to musical brandings such as Sagebrush Soul, Zen Country and Western Beat. Along with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, Gilmore’s legendary band The Flatlanders has been credited as fathers of the Alt-country movement.

Born in Amarillo, Gilmore’s musical roots began in Tulia, a small West Texas town where his father played lead guitar in a country band. When Gilmore was in grade school the family moved to Lubbock, known for being the starting point for a surprising number of musicians (including Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, and Gilmore’s long-time friends Butch Hancock, Terry Allen and Joe Ely). Gilmore met Hancock when they were both 12, and they have been friends and frequent musical collaborators ever since. Gilmore later met Allen, who he says inspired him to write his own songs. His friend Joe Ely introduced him to the music of Townes Van Zandt, and a few years later Gilmore, Ely and Hancock formed the Flatlanders. The group recorded its first album in Nashville in 1972. Defying categorization turns out not to be the way to start out in Nashville, so the album was released only on 8-track and not promoted. The band went their different ways by the end of that year.

Gilmore joined an Ashram in New Orleans then moved to Denver, worked as janitor in a synagogue, and did not record another album for 16 years. In 1980, Gilmore returned to Austin, where he began playing regular gigs in local clubs. Finally, in 1988, Gilmore released his debut solo album, Fair and Square, produced by Joe Ely on HighTone Records, followed by his 1989 self-titled album, produced by Lloyd Maines. Gilmore was soon signed to Elektra Nonesuch, which released After Awhile, produced by Stephen Bruton, in 1991 as part of the label’s American Explorer series. Once again, Nashville showed little interest in Gilmore’s brand of country music, but he earned the praise of many critics. He recorded two more Grammy-nominated Elektra albums, Spinning Around the Sun, produced by Emory Gordy, and Braver Newer World, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Gilmore has released two solo albums on the Rounder label, One Endless Night, produced by Buddy Miller, and another grammy-nominated album Come on Back, produced by Joe Ely and honoring the memory of his father, Brian Gilmore. In 2011, Gilmore recorded Heirloom Music, an album of “old-timey” songs in collaboration with the founder of San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Warren Hellman.

Meanwhile, the Flatlanders 1972 album garnered significant critical praise and was re-released in 1990 by Rounder records under the title “More a Legend than A Band”. Since their reunion album, Now Again, in 2002 the Flatlanders continue to re-form for song collabaration, tours and albums whenever schedules allow.

These days, Jimmie is still touring, singing and playing music, oftentimes with one or more of the big, beautiful, musical community he feels fortunate to be part of. In 2018, he’ll be playing with Dave Alvin, Colin Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely (the Flatlanders), Carrie Rodriguez, Ruthie Foster (the Texas Troubadours), Bill Kirchen, Marty Muse (Highway 71), Christine Albert, Chris Gage, and others. He also enjoys leading songwriting workshops, writing songs and occasionally and randomly appearing in movies such as the Big Lebowski, Parkland and The Thing Called Love.

Jon Langford

Jon Langford born October 11, 1957, Newport, Monmouthshire is a Welsh-born musician and artist who is presently based in Chicago. He is the younger brother of science-fiction author and critic David Langford

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. His multimedia music/spoken-word/video performance, “The Executioner’s Last Songs,” premiered at Alverno College in 2005, and has been performed in several other cities. He illustrated the comic strip Great Pop Things under the pseudonym Chuck Death. Since 2005 he has co-hosted a weekly radio program, “The Eclectic Company,” broadcast on WXRT 93.1 FM in Chicago. He has contributed to This American Life.

Among Langford’s musical side projects have been the Three Johns (with John Hyatt and John (Phillip) Brennan), who released several albums of drum-machine-fueled punk in the 1980s; the country-punk Waco Brothers (with Dean Schlabowske, Tracey Dear, Alan Doughty, Mark Durante, and Mekons drummer Steve Goulding), who have been recording since 1995; the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, a revolving assortment of Chicago musicians who have backed both Langford and other musicians such as Kelly Hogan; and Ship and Pilot. He became a father figure to the local music scene, encouraging many of his labelmates on Bloodshot Records and championing anyone he thought worthy of scrutiny, often lending his services as a musician or visual artist or inviting local musicians to guest on his releases. Langford’s first official solo album, Skull Orchard, a look back at his hometown of Newport, Wales, was released in 1998. He followed it with All the Fame of Lofty Deeds, in 2004, Gold Brick in 2006, and Old Devils in 2010.

Langford is an accomplished artist and is renowned for his multi-layered paintings of famous and forgotten figures from the dawn of country music. Nashville Radio, a collection of his artwork and writings, was published in 2006.

In January and February 2009, Chicago’s Walkabout Theater Company and Collaboraction premiered a stage adaptation of Langford’s Goldbrick that featured a live band, two actors and video projections. In November and December 2009, The House Theatre of Chicago staged a production of “All the Fame of Lofty Deeds”, written by rock journalist Mark Guarino and based on Langford’s art and 2004 solo album.
Collaborations with other musicians

Langford initiated a project, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, which performs the music of other country music groups. Several alternative country musicians have guested on these recordings.

Langford has guested on numerous recordings, including with Dutch punk band the Ex, The Old 97s, Chip Taylor, as well as Austin, Texas legend Alejandro Escovedo, and has recorded joint albums with Sally Timms, Kevin Coyne, Richard Buckner, Kat Ex and Rosie Flores.

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