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.”