Pine Valley Cosmonauts

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Pine Valley Cosmonauts
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
GenresAlt country
Country rock
LabelsBloodshot Records

Pine Valley Cosmonauts (PVC) are a musical ensemble from Chicago, Illinois.


The group was initiated by Jon Langford (also of the Waco Brothers and The Mekons) as a covers group, with both repertory and cast of backing members constantly shifting. The name was first used for Langford's 1995 album of Johnny Cash cover songs. In 1998, Langford enlisted the help of a number of prominent alt-country musicians (including Neko Case, Alejandro Escovedo, and Robbie Fulks) for a full-length tribute album to Bob Wills. The PVC served next as the backing band for Kelly Hogan's second album, Beneath the Country Underdog; Hogan had provided vocals on the Wills tribute. Their next album, The Executioner's Last Songs, was released in 2002 and is a collection of songs about death. Following this record's success, the group recorded two more albums of songs about death as benefits for the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. These albums featured such guests as Steve Earle and Mark Eitzel. The group rarely performs live, though it occasionally does special performances in the Chicago area. In 2007 the group appeared as backing band on Chumbawamba member Danbert Nobacon's solo album The Library Book of the World, as well as playing live with Nobacon.[1]

The PVC appeared at the Old Town School of Folk Music (OTSFM) in Chicago, Illinois, on October 10, 2009, where the band was originally scheduled to back Australian Aboriginal singer Roger Knox, but Knox's US visa was denied.[2] Instead, the band played a number of Knox's songs accompanied by singer Sally Timms. A second set had the band supporting a performance by Rosie Flores. The Knox-Langford tour finally occurred in 2012, including performances at OTSFM and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco, California.[2]

On July 17, 2021, PVC performed at Chicago's Hideout Inn to release their "The Closing Time 2020" album, a song-for-song cover of/tribute to Tom Waits's 1973 first album Closing Time. The album and performances were co-produced and financed by Greg Hall's Virtue Cider brewery, to support the Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL), a partner and predecessor of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). Guests on the album include "Andrew Bird, Sally Timms, Jeff Tweedy, Rosie Flores and Janet Bean".[1][3][4][5]


Title Artist credit Release info Notes
Misery Loves Company: Songs of Johnny Cash Jonboy Langford & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts Re-released on Bloodshot Records, 1998
Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Beneath the Country Underdog Kelly Hogan & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
The Executioner's Last Songs, Vol. 1 The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
The Executioner's Last Songs, Vols. 2 & 3 The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
Barn Dance Favorites The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
One Day In Chicago Kevin Coyne with Jon Langford & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Buried Treasure Records[6]
The Library Book of the World Danbert Nobacon & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
Girl Of The Century The Pine Valley Cosmonauts present Rosie Flores
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
Stranger In My Land Roger Knox & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Bloodshot Records[7]
The Closing Time 2020 The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
  • Released: 2021
  • Label: Virtue Cider

Compilation contributions[edit]

  • "13 Nights" - Down to the Promised Land: 5 Years of Bloodshot Records- as Kelly Hogan & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts (Bloodshot, 2000)


  1. ^ a b Kendrick, Monica (July 8, 2021). "The Pine Valley Cosmonauts make Tom Waits's 1973 debut feel relevant for our times". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2021-07-18.
  2. ^ a b Guilliatt, Richard (8 June 2013). "Songlines of a survivor: Roger Knox". The Australian. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  3. ^ Alani, Hannah (Block Club Chicago) (June 7, 2021). "Hideout Reopening In July After 16 Months — But It'll Be Outdoors-Only For Now". CIVL. Retrieved 2021-07-18.
  4. ^ "Our Story". Virtue Cider. Retrieved 2021-07-18.
  5. ^ "NIVA Affiliate Membership Program". NIVA. Retrieved 2021-07-18.
  6. ^ Knape, Norbert; Langford, Jon (January 12, 2005). "Kevin Coyne with Jon Langford & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts: One Day In Chicago". Norbert Knape. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  7. ^ Leggett, Steve (12 February 2013). "Stranger in My Land – Roger Knox, The Pine Valley Cosmonauts". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 March 2013.

External links[edit]