Never has there been an artist less content to rest on his laurels than the fabulous Jon Langford. Known as a solo artist, a member of Mekons and the Waco Brothers (as well as a good handful of other projects), Langford’s latest, Four Lost Souls, provides the Welsh-born musician with a platform to dive further into his love of classic American music.
Recorded in Sheffield, Alabama, Four Lost Souls’ self-titled album is a love letter to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio’s trademark soul sound. Langford was invited to record in Alabama by producer and original Muscle Shoals rhythm section member Norbert Putnam. Unable to resist the call of the South, Langford put together a group of musical cohorts and recorded with Putnam and other members of the Muscle Shoals crew.
The resulting record is a mix of country twang and smooth Alabama soul, made all the more interesting via Langford’s trademark Welsh lilt. The band — featuring Shoals players David Hood, Randy McCormack and Will McFarlane and guitarist John Szymanski — is absolutely solid, but it may be singers Tomi Lunsford, Bethany Thomas and Tawney Newsome that offer the Four Lost Souls its greatest lift. Whether the women are backing Langford’s vocals with bursts of sweetness or taking the lead for themselves, their contributions give Four Lost Souls just the right amount of light and soul. Langford may be the leader of this project (his name is in the title, after all), but the dynamic of the group — a bunch of friends and well-seasoned pros inspired by one of American music’s most celebrated landmarks — is what gives Four Lost Souls its wings.
Biography by Elizabeth Chorney Booth