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Bucky Ramone

Jon Langford & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts – The executioner’s last songs

Great album, great cause, I feel free to quote the Bloodshot Records website:

Jon Langford and the gang consign songs of murder, mob law, and cruel, cruel punishment to the realm of myth, memory and history. We present to you 18 songs that are as old as the hills (though some were written last week) in order to celebrate/mourn America’s grim fascination with the savage cycle of crime and vengeance, and to raise money and awareness for the Illinois Death Penalty Moratorium Project.

This album has songs by the Louvin Brothers, Hank Williams, Charley Pride, Johnny Paycheck, Cole Porter, Merle Haggard, Stanley Brothers, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, and more. Helping PVC out with the vocals are, as usual, a dazzling array of guest stars. Let’s see who we have here: Steve Earle, Brett Sparks of the Handsome Family, the Rockabilly Filly Rosie Flores, Deano from the Wacos, Janet Bean of Freakwater, Lonesome Bob, Neko Case, Johnny Dowd, Edith Frost, Diane Izzo, Rick Sherry of Devil in a Woodpile, Sally Timms, Paul Burch, and more.

We encourage you to revel in the paradox of banishing barbarism while singing its tune. Politics aside, if most benefit/tribute records are a hodge-podge of leftovers, this is a final feast with 18 exquisite courses. A chilling, harrowing, rollicking effort from top to bottom.

If you would like to know about the cause, we’d like to direct to a couple of good sources: The Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty at http://www.icadp.org and http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org In 2001, 13 people in the state of Illinois alone walked off Death Row due to exonerating DNA evidence. We also have a President hailing from a state known for their giddy zeal in carrying out executions. All artists’ proceeds from this record will be donated to the above causes

These death songs are stories passed down, morphed through shifting moralities—their gallows humor and morbid eye for detail dangling them somewhere between legend and current affairs. Enjoy and make a difference.