The Undertow Album
“Rick Lang is an excellent songwriter. His material has been covered by such groups as the Lonesome River Band, 111rd Tyme Out, Front Range, Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band, and Southern Rail. As a song-crafter, Lang puts a lot of thought into each song’s melody, lyrics & feeling. Some of his previous projects (like “The Season Of My Heart”) have been thematic, and “The Undertow” offers many poignant messages connected to the ocean. To masterfully create a scenic environment for the topic of each song, Rick uses a multi-genre Americana approach that draws upon elements of roots, folk and bluegrass. Rick’s music sparkles, and it always brightens the day.
I was very pleased by the way Rick produced a concept album with such an eclectic variety of elements from various genres. A sailor’s life is one of long days, adventure, toils, danger and strife. Some of Rick Lang’s songs like “Widow’s Walk” are ballads with poignant story lines and evocative messages. Every song on “The Undertow” builds strong analogies between shipwrecks, lights, dreams, waves and treasures to similar challenges we all face ourselves. Rick Lang’s songs are music like tidal waters that represent the currents of life.” (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)
Written by Joe Ross
January 31st, 2018
4 stars (rating)
“As a lover of roots music and the mighty ocean, I am enchanted with this new collection of songs written by my friend Rick Lang. The pictures he paints of coastal living and its characters – and their adventures on the mighty seas – will take you on an enjoyable trip to the Northern Atlantic shore. Do yourself a favor and get lost in The Undertow.”
“I can almost smell the salt sea tang of a sunny costal New England fall day as I listen to this lovely collection of songs from a great writer and friend. Kudos to you, Rick Lang and company, for gifting us listeners with another fine album!”
“Rick Lang…in my opinion, could be known as one of the best story tellers of our time, especially here on his new project The Undertow. I think you will agree after you listen to it. Knowing Rick personally and professionally as a song writer, Christian brother, and friend… he once again proves his God given talents through his experiences and life stories, as well as his vivid imagination. I ‘m almost certain that you will agree and find yourself lost in these stories as you listen to this collection of songs. You place us there with your songs Rick. Way to go buddy! This is a great project and I would not have expected anything less. Lord Bless Ya!”
“Rick Lang writes on the opening page of his website “Songwriting is my passion, my lifeblood, something I can’t live without. I write when I am inspired, emotionally charged. Mostly about people, places, events in my own life or others.”And he has certainly done that with his project “The Undertow”. This is not the first CD that Rick has produced of his own songwriting, but this one really hits home for me, as I live on the coast of Maine. And he has captured so many of my personal feelings and experiences of living on the coast of Maine.
I feel that anyone who has spent any time on the coast of Maine will be drawn into the songs that Rick has crafted from his own life-long various experiences on the coast. From the sandy beaches of southern Maine, to the rocky coast of Downeast Maine.
All in all, this album is a wonderful mix of folk and bluegrass songs about various aspects of being out on the ocean and also spending time on the shore. You can be sure this album will be in my CD player very often.”
Darwin Davidson, Host of Bronzewound, WERU Community Radio
“Rick is one of the finest songwriters in our musical community. He always renders songs he feels and doesn’t compromise his values just to fit into some predetermined model that others might have found successful. In “The Undertow,” Rick delivers a dozen songs, many of which take the listener to thoughts of the sea. As you listen you may be transported to memories of your childhood or your current station in life as you ponder what lies ahead. Either way, you’ll appreciate Rick’s observations on life’s journeys and give you pause to thing about things from a different perspective.”
Host, Bluegrass for Lunch
Rockingham County Radio; www.RCR24.com
Facebook.com/Bluegrass for Lunch
“As the album title suggests, “The Undertow” posesses a natural force that can sweep you away, but there’s nothing to fear from this collection of ballads that swell with the tide of life on the New England coast. Each song is a poignant story. Each story has its own memorable score. With keen songwriting, endearing vocals and flawless musicianship, the album ticks off all the boxes of what constitutes a classic.”
Rick Broussard, Editor of New Hampshire Magazine
“A heartfelt collection of Rick Lang originals about the Northeast sea coast, presented by authentic New England musicians, as only they could!”
Dark Shadow Recording
“We have been fortunate enough to follow Rick’s artistic journey through his last several projects. Rick is a master songwriter and storyteller who simply has a remarkable gift of his craft. His songs stir the soul and unlock simple truths. The way all great songwriters do. His projects are always beautifully recorded and arranged, typically, bringing in the musician’s musicians to take his songs soaring to another level. On his new project, ‘The Undertow’, Rick has released a folk roots masterwork. It’s a concept album of songs connected to the ocean & sea that are woven together like a fine tapestry. The inspiration comes from Rick’s own life’s experience, family ancestry, and real life stories but it’s message is universal. Like when the young boy holds up the shell to his ear in the heart tugging acoustic track “Treasures in the Sand”. Like the ocean, the songs can be vast and mysterious like “Keep the Lights Burning Abby” or “Shipwreck of Love” or the more intimate and familiar like the bluegrass flavored “Massachusetts Turnpike”. The fun is discovering all the little threads that are interwoven throughout the entire project that can only be discovered by each repeated listen.”
Acoustic Rainbow – Poetman Records
“Rick has created another fine music product – perhaps his best. The songs have lyrics related to the ocean or sea and those settings that allow one to ponder life and how we make choices that determine our paths. This is one enjoyable album that will entice you relax and think about life.”
Host, Bluegrass for Lunch
Rockingham County Radio; www.RCR24.com
Facebook.com/Bluegrass for Lunch
That’s What I Love About Christmas
Southern Exposure Magazine
RICK LANG/That’s What I Love About Christmas
RLM Records c2014
The beautiful traditions of Christmas are something to look forward to each year. Some of those traditions are deeply engrained but it’s certainly refreshing when something new and exciting comes along.
Recorded in Nashville, songwriter Rick Lang has managed to do just that with his new holiday collection That’s What I Love About Christmas. Lang, who has been around the bluegrass and gospel genres for some time as a successful songwriter, has earned his stripes in that arena and makes no secret of his love of the holidays. His almost childlike wonder for the joys of Christmas are reminiscent of yesteryear and it’s exactly that quality that makes this album worth listening to over and over again.
Described as “a beautiful acoustic roots holiday collection, drenched with an infusion of jazz rhythms and folk sensibilities,” the album is beautifully recorded with great attention to detail. One of the more interesting takes is the fact that Lang doesn’t sing or play a note on the entire album but rather composes all of the songs, masterfully arranging each and every one to match the sounds that he hears in his creative mind.
He was smart enough to invite top notch talent to bring these compositions to life along with enlisting the masterful studio touch of bluegrass/Americana producer Stephen Mougin, a superior talent himself. Artists on the album include Nashville jazz chanteuse Annie Sellick, mandolin prodigy and Berklee School of Music grad Sierra Hull, banjo master Ron Block of Alison Krauss + Union Station fame, and more.
A soothing, festive offering that is at times Manhattan jazz on a snowy winter evening and at others, downhome folk and Americana by a mountain cabin fireplace, That’s What I Love About Christmas is the perfect album for someone looking for a quality, new addition to their holiday collection that is bound to become a classic of its own.
That’s What I Love About Christmas
Bryan Klausing | Acoustic Rainbow – Poetman Records
Here’s a timeless Acoustic Roots project that is full of nostalgia, good cheer and most importantly great music. Rick is a master songwriter and has assembled some of the best musicians in Nashville for this album. Rick has done something that few songwriter have managed to accomplish. Add original material into the very small cannon of Christmas music. His songs capture the classic spirit of the season while bringing a new energy to the mix. We strongly recommend this project and look forward to listening to this wonderful album while decorating our Christmas tree, sipping hot chocolate and enjoying the family around the fireplace.
Barry Tashian | Recording Artist, Nashville TN
I’ve always enjoyed the music of Rick Lang. His songs convey a deep sense of faith and equanimity about life. Treat yourself, or a loved one, to the gift of his new album “That’s What I Love About Christmas.
It’s a true gift of fun and inspiring songs, masterfully rendered by a host of exceptional musicians and singers, produced by Steven Mougin. This album will add a special touch to your Holiday Season.
Russell Moore | IIIrd Time Out, IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year
I was blown away by this project and I know it’s going to spend many hours in my player!…Great arrangements around great lyrics and I have no doubt that they will stand the test of time and become classic Christmas songs that people will revisit year after year!
Mike Scott | Performer, Nashville TN
I know you will enjoy this collection of spirited original Christmas songs written and produced by Rick Lang. This project offers a nice variety and there is something here for everyone. These new songs are sure to become Christmas Classics!
Jerry Salley | Recording Artist, Songwriter, Producer
From the very first downbeat of Rick Lang’s “that’s what I love about Christmas” this project reminds me of a time in our musical history when songs had a melody and well-crafted lyric. A little bit of jazzy-blues, a little bit of Bluegrass and a WHOLE lot of Christmas spirit. A great project to help you celebrate the Yuletide season!!!
Chris Stuart | Songwriter, Performer
It sounds like a classic Christmas album and it may well become one soon. Producer Stephen Mougin did a terrific job of bringing out the soul of every Rick Lang song. There’s a playfulness as well as spiritual tone to the album that reminds me of the best Christmas albums. I’m not waiting till December to play this, though. It’s already on heavy rotation in my house.Fantastic work by Rick and everyone, and I’m so glad he got to the meaning and nuances of every word.
Stan Hitchcock | Blue Highways TV
The mix of genres is like the surprise in your Christmas Gifts. Sophisticated all the way through. “That’s What I Love About Christmas” is a CD you will want to keep playing all through the Holiday Season. Congratulations on a job well done.
Bob Wester | Radio Broadcaster
Song writer Rick Lang has been storing his latest Christmas compositions since his release of “The Season Of My Heart” some twelve years ago. The wait was worthwhile and you’ll know why after listening to “That’s What I Love About Christmas.” Here’s a collection of songs in the best of the Christmas tradition, capturing the feel of some the great Christmas standards.
Rick Lang deserves a salute for his wonderful writing skills as well as seeking out some of the best musicians and vocalists around for this project. Well done Rick and thanks for adding to our enjoyment of Christmas. This one is certainly to become a favorite.
Jean Johnson | Radio DJ
I have just listened to Rick’s new release “That’s What I Love About Christmas” and even though it is not really bluegrass, it is a very “easy listening” CD. I would recommend it to anyone who might be sitting by the fireplace with the lights low and wanting some really great music to listen to.
As I have said before, Rick Lang is one of New England’s finest writers. He really knows how to paint a picture with every song he writes. This CD is no exception. Thank you Rick for another great creation and I will be very happy to play it on my Christmas shows.
Season of My Heart
Producer – PoetMan Records / Acoustic Rainbow
“What a wonderful collection of Seasonal music. It’s definitely a unique project. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as all-original collection like this before. I love the imagery of the lyrics. Folk, Bluegrass, and even some Americana and Country stations could all potentially play this music”
Dave Higgs / Bluegrass Breakdown Nashville Public Radio
“Man, you’ve done it! This is a beautiful project unlike any I’ve heard before…full of good cheer, great times, priceless memories and some wonderful sentiments. It took me straight back to my childhood when Christmas was still a magical and mysterious event. Plus you’ve written some tunes that are destined to become Christmas Classics… “Heavenly Peace”, “Follow The Star”, “Waltz Of The Falling Snowflakes”, “Decorate The Tree With Love” and the title track rank high on my favorite meter. Congratulations on a wonderful project. Finally, somebody does an all Christmas project right! Well done!!”
Al Shusterman KCBL Radio “Backroads Bluegrass”
“Powerful is the best way to describe this great CD. This is the first Seasonal CD that sounded as though it was recorded at a friend’s home & not in a recording studio. I got a very warm feeling listening to this project. The vocals, both lead and harmony, were exceptional. The fervor & enthusiasm in their voices as they sang each song sent chills down your spine. I really loved the song selection. As all the songs were original material, you really had to concentrate on the lyrics in order to get the full impact of these wonderful songs. Hearing this CD once was not enough. It needs to be played several times in order to fully appreciate the combination of their fine voices & the great lyrics of each song. The instrumental work was tasteful and meshed perfectly with the material being sung. Needless to say, the audience response for this CD was overwhelming. While playing the entire CD, my request line never stopped ringing. It is rare to have a strictly Seasonal CD that generates this much feedback. Each & every song was requested to be played again. I know that I will be playing several cuts each week until it is played in total again. I hope I don’t wear this CD out!!!”
“13 original Christmas tunes by gifted songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Rick Lang… assisted by Dave Dick on banjo, guitar, mandolin and vocals. Roger Williams handles the dobro… Bob Dick carries the bass, guitar and vocals… and Karen Lincoln Wilber contributes powerful and very pleasant vocals to the project. Yes, Christmas tunes, perhaps a bit early, but I can assure you that once this project hits the streets, it will be gone in a flash.
It is really nice to hear this collection of 13 fresh Christmas tunes! “Sleigh Bells” features ripping dobro, banjo and guitar leads from start to finish. If Santa’s reindeer have this tune in their sleigh CD player, they are in for big trouble! “I Dreamed That I Was There” tells of a dream whereas he was witnessing the events of the Holy Christ Child in a manger, a beautiful tune performed to perfection. The project is well produced, offers a new and different selection of Christmas tunes for your Seasonal enjoyment… even a full-blown “blues” style tune “Sleigh Full Of Toys”… done with acoustic Bluegrass instruments of course!”
Look To The Light
Terry Herd, Bluegrass Radio Network
“Look To The Light” is more than a great gospel album, it’s a tour de force of bluegrass’s finest, coupled with heartfelt songs from the pen of preeminent bluegrass gospel songwriter Rick Lang. A must have.”
“Rarely have I ever played a gospel project that has inspired and touched so many people. Every song has a special message that struck a chord with my listeners, and kept my request lines ringing any time I play a selection from the project. Truly a wonderful CD.”
WAMU-FM-BluegrassCountry.Org, Washington, D. C. and
WTRM-FM, Winchester, Virginia.
“LOOK TO THE LIGHT is one of the best inspirational bluegrass gospel releases in a long while. No matter whether you are a Christian or not, Rick Lang’s gospel song writing will move you! How could you go wrong with Dale Ann Bradley, Junior Sisk and Russell Moore-just for starters?”
WGCS, Goshen, IN
“Look to the Light is one fine bluegrass gospel recording. Great lyrics combined with outstanding vocalists and musicians makes this CD one of the top releases of 2010.
Katy Daley, Producer/Host
WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, Washington, D.C.
“Rick Lang’s inspired collection of beautifully performed songs on Look to the Light: Songs of Faith is a gift to all of us who love gospel music.”
Wayne Bledsoe, KMST 88.5 FM & 96.3 FM, Rolla, MO
“Rick, I’ve been getting good response from my listeners with the CD. It is excellent and I hope you will be able to do this again sometime in the future. If this isn’t IBMA award material, nothing is ”
RUSSELL MOORE & IIIRD TYME OUT
“I’ve known Rick for many years and I regard him highly, not only as a writer/composer, but, also, as a human being. On days when I feel like we live in a world of doubt and pessimism, it’s good to know there are people, like Rick, who are fighting for the ‘good’ that’s still all around us. He draws strength and courage from his faith in God to overcome the negative things in life and this, in my mind, is a large part of what defines him as a person. These themes, along with reflection, hope and inspiration, is what you will hear throughout the heartfelt messages in his songs.”
“I first met Rick Lang at the IBMA bluegrass fest in Louisville KY and immediately took a likening to Rick. Since then we have become good friends and done some writing together. Rick has a heart for God and it shows up in his songs…written right from his heart. As for me I’m glad to know Rick and call him my friend.”
“Rick Lang’s pen flows with meaningful messages and memorable melodies! Thanks to Rick for being a great guy and one of the finest songwriters in our genre!”
“Rick gets it. He has the intuition to recognize a great line or idea, the inspiration to see how it would work, and the perspiration to follow it through into a complete song. And though Rick has a great sense of humor, he has irony deficiency, which makes his songs honest and unselfconscious – something rare today.”
“If we all had one word tattooed on our forehead that expressed our essence, I think Rick’s word would be ‘Thankful.’ He lives that word in his appreciation of others, of songs, of music and musicians, of his family, and of his life in Christ.”