Reviews are coming in…Here’s what their saying about “The Undertow”
Rick Lang Music
A concept album in the making for over 25 years, Rick’s collection of songs with story lines connected to the ocean reflects his passion for family legacy derived from the fishing villages of Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. Planning began in 2011 with engineer/producer Bob Dick and a cast of 17 New England musicians and vocalists to help capture the overall ocean feel and authentic sounds. One might call this soft or mellow bluegrass with sounds reminiscent of Larry Rice, Blue Highway, Emmylou Harris, and Larry Cordle. Rick provides some background vocals on one number, as well as guitar and claves on two others.
“Lighthouse” and “Blood Red Sky” come closest to banjo/resonator guitar-style numbers. Light fiddle and mandolin can be heard on “Widows Walk.” All accompaniment is meant to support the story-song concept and accomplishes this objective very well. In “Blood Red Sky,” Rick ponders his three-decade search to understand the tragedy of his younger brother’s suicide in 1984. He notes achieving some kind of closure with the writing of this song. The title-track, “The Undertow,” addresses the powerful force hidden beneath the ocean’s surface. Rick presents an analogy between turmoil in a relationship and the turmoil of the undertow.
A longtime member of IBMA’s Songwriter Committee, Rick’s talent as a writer is certainly showcased on this recording. If you want to enjoy music that will take your thoughts to sea, this one is for you. You’ll get to mull over 12 of Rick’s two-dozen-plus maritime-themed songs. Perhaps another will emerge someday. (RLM Records, P.O. Box 424, Kingston, NH 03848, www.ricklangmusic.com.)BW
Roots Music Report
Genres: Folk, Religious
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Christian
Review of Album The Undertow
Written by Joe Ross
January 31, 2018 – 12:00am EST
Rick Lang is an excellent songwriter. His material has been covered by such groups as Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Front Range, Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band, and Southern Rail. As a songcrafter, Lang puts a lot of thought into each song’s melody, lyrics and 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 that 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 much like tidal waters that represent currents of life. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)
New “The Undertow” Release
Yup, it’s official! My new studio recording “The Undertow” has been launched and is soaring across the music universe. Several years in the making “The Undertow” features 12 new original compositions each of which have some connection to the ocean. Three of the tunes were collaborations with two of my favorite co-writers Ted DeMille and Rich Schleckser. The Undertow was produced and engineered by long time friend Bob Dick who did a masterful job overseeing this project. The performers are all from the New England area, people I have recorded with, performed with, and written with over time.
Growing up along the coastlines of New England, I have always felt drawn to, and inspired by the sea and the intriguing coastal lore of my native home. The natural beauty of the ocean and its surroundings is a part of who I am, and its influence is deeply embedded in my songwriting.
“The Undertow” represents my very first concept album. It’s taken nearly 25 years of writing, and endless re-writing, to compose the tracks included on this release. All of the storylines take place along the beautiful New England coast, and are based on, or inspired by, really life experiences.
The music on theses tracks is essentially acoustic with elements of Bluegrass, Folk, Roots, and Americana. There was no consideration to a specific genre. We just attempted to create an appropriate music setting for each song based on the story line….shooting for an overall “ocean feel”.
The Undertow is available for purchase here on my website, iTunes and CD Baby. There is more background info about the album and individual songs on The Undertow “listen” page. I truly hope you find some of the songs from The Undertow release of interest and that they resonate with you in some way.
Be The Rising Tide!
Signed CD Copies
I’ve been getting requests for signed copies of my CDs. In addition to iTunes and CD Baby, am happy to offer offer this purchase option. Just send me a note indicating which CDs you are interested in, the quantity, and write a check to Rick Lang Music. CDs are $15 each (includes shipping. Include your return address and mail to:
PO Box 424
Kingston NH 03848
Thanks so much for your interest in my music!
The New RLM Website Is Live!
So much going on at RLM these days. For the past several months we have very been busy re-building our website…it was in real need of an update. There were many features that were difficult to navigate, including listening to and purchasing music. It was high time to “bite the bullet” and make a major overhaul, especially as we have been preparing for our new CD release “The Undertow”. Our web designer, CatchFire Creative did a fantastic job developing and implementing all the changes and positive improvements to the site. The end result greatly exceeded our expectation and we could not be happier. Got a brand new look and feel, and we are confident visitors will find it much more user friendly. Go live was March 1st, just in time for the launch of “The Undertow”. If you find the new RLM website to your liking, please be sure to let us know and like us on Facebook. Thanks!
…release date set for Tuesday March 6th, 2018
I’m very excited to announce that my new studio recording “The Undertow” is scheduled to be released on March 6th on the RLM music label. Seven years in the making, “The Undertow” features 12 new original songs each of which have some connection to the ocean. The performers are all from the New England area, people I have written with, performed with, recorded with over time.
“The Undertow” represents my very first concept album. It’s taken nearly twenty five years of writing, and re-writing, to compose the songs included on this release. All of the story lines take place along the New England coast, and are based on, or inspired by, real life experiences.
You will be able to listen to, and purchase, The Undertow album on the RLM Music website as well as CD Baby and other places where good music can be found. Stay tuned, more to follow!
“Christmas In Brentwood”
Please join us for a Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 9th, 2017 at the Pilgrim United Church Of Christ, 197 Middle Road (Route 111A) Brentwood, NH. Tickets at the door only:
$15 Adults….Children under 12 & Seniors $10. All seating is general admission only. The show will begin at 7:30 PM (doors open at 6:45).
The 2017 “Christmas in New England” concert tour will kick off its 14th seasonthis December. This one of a kind Christmas show features a seasonal blend of traditional, contemporary, and original Christmas Music performed with acoustic instruments and vocals.
The music got its start back in 2000 when Bob Dick released his solo Christmas CD “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” which in turn, got acclaimed New Hampshire songwriter Rick Lang interested in writing original Christmas songs. Within a couple years Rick released his “The Season of My Heart” album. The first Christmas concerts to promote Bob & Rick’s holiday recordings were held in Northbridge, MA and Stratham, NH in 2003. The concert series eventually expanded to the hometowns of the various performers of the show as well as a couple of new venues.
Christmas in New England showcases songs from these two CDs as well as Rick Lang’s latest Christmas CD, “That’s What I Love about Christmas” for which the title cut was honored with an award for 2015 Holiday Song of The Year by the International Music & Entertainment Association. Other songs in the show include Christmas standards, songs from bluegrass, western, country and folk genres and new original songs from Rick Lang.
The concerts feature Amy Gallatin, Karen Lincoln Wilber, Dave Dick, Roger Williams, Ken Taylor, Krissy Dick, Rick Lang, and Bob Dick. These musicians have put together Christmas music set in an acoustic style that is truly a unique experience. “Christmas In New England” is fast becoming an annual tradition across New England. This upbeat, lively concert will provide a welcome relief from the holiday rush, providing simple moments to treasure and a chance to slow down and savor the season. Take a moment to relax and enjoy a truly unique and uplifting holiday event. The 2017 tour will include a total of five concerts in three states (NH, MA, and CT).
*To keep the shows fresh, the “Christmas In New England” cast introduces new material each season, much to the delight of the audience. There are always a few new wrinkles and surprises sure to keep you smiling on the outside…and on the inside. This upbeat, lively concert will provide a welcome relief from the holiday rush, providing simple moments to treasure and a chance to slow down and savor the season. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to unwind, relax and enjoy a truly unique and uplifting holiday event.
Contact: Pilgrim United Church Of Christ:
Pastor Tara Allen Tel. 603-778-3189
*More info on the “Christmas In New England” Concert Tour can be found at:
IBMA World Of Bluegrass
Getting ramped up for the 2017 IBMA World Of Bluegrass business conference that kicks off Tuesday September 26th in Raleigh NC. Our IBMA Songwriter Committee has scheduled a record ten songwriter events at WOB this year including: A Songwriter Showcase, Song Circles, Song Critique Session, Songwriter Mentoring, seminars on the essence of good songwriting, Publishing, Copyright, Music Licensing, and much more.
One of the highlights will be our ever-popular “Songwriter Meet & Mingle”. This event offers a unique opportunity for IBMA Songwriters from all over the country to meet, interact and get to know each other. We have also extended an invitation to a variety of music industry folks who are connected in some way to songwriters including: PROs, Record Producers, Publishers, Song Pluggers, Recording Artists, and Successful Professional Songwriters.
This is a rare opportunity for songwriters to meet face- to-face with other writers as well as some of the Rollers & Shakers in the music industry.
I am very proud to say that Rick Lang Music will be sponsoring this exciting one-of-a-kind Songwriter Event this year.
“Nightbird” nominated for two IBMA Awards
Summer’s has officially arrived, bringing with it some really good news. Last week I was notified that “Nightbird” (a tune I wrote over two decades ago) was recently nominated for two IBMA Awards: Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year. “Nightbird” was recorded by The Bankesters last summer, released by Compass Records first as a single late last fall, and the full album in January of 2017. Nightbird stayed high on several music charts all winter/spring, receiving strong radio AirPlay including SIRIUS XM. In addition, I co-wrote two of the other songs on the Nightbird album, “Wild Bill And Vivian” as well as “When I Die” with Melissa Triplett. Congrats to the Bankester family for producing a great recording and best of luck with the award voting.
“The Undertow” Recording Project Update
Last winter we made some great progress with a new recording project entitled “The Undertow …..And Other Mysteries Of The Sea”. This is a concept album we started a couple years ago, that will feature many of the New England area musicians and vocalists I have performed with, recorded with in the past. All the songs are ones I either wrote or co-wrote, and have some connection with the ocean. Living near the NH Seacoast all my life, I have always drawn inspiration from the sea, which in turn has worked its way into my songwriting. All the songs are based on true stories and real life experiences. Hoping to have the recording finished by next fall, here’s what we have so far.
Blood Red Sky – featuring Stephen Mougin
Widows Walk – featuring Rich Schleckser
Treasures In The Sand – featuring Ted DeMille
Young Sailors Dream – featuring Amy Gallatin
Shipwreck Of Love – featuring Stephen Mougin
The Marginal Way – featuring Roger Williams
Keep The Light Burning Abby – featuring Ted DeMille
Below is a photo of my songwriting buddy Rich Schleckser, and producer Bob Dick after recording the vocal track to “Widow’s Walk”.
Couldn’t be happier on how the album is sounding, can’t wait for you all to hear it. Stay tuned, more to come!
Songwriting Workshop at the 2017 Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival
Excited to share the news that I’ll be back at the Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival again this year teaching Songwriting. Date will be Saturday Feb 18th, time 4:00 PM. The focus of the workshop will be on Co-writing, a subject near and dear to my heart. The last few years I have been collaborating with other writers more than ever…..and really enjoying it. Got some really good new songs and a few cuts to show for our efforts. We’ll be discussing some of the advantages to Co-writing, choosing the right collaborator, various approaches & co-write arrangements, writing in person and via SKYPE, do’s and don’ts, playing a few song examples etc. Should be informative and a lot of fun. A big thank you to the hard working staff at BBU for having me back again.
Feeling it was time for a change, over last couple of months, we’ve been busy designing a new music logo. With the help of our good friends at CatchFire Creative, we came up with one we are very happy with and plan to incorporate into our website, social media, on-line and in-print promotion etc. The new logo features four color options, with both a horizontal and vertical application. We are also planning to have some hats and t-shirts made up featuring the new logo by the summer. Hope you like it, please let us know what you think!
IBMA Songwriter Mentoring Program
The IBMA Songwriter Committee has had a busy and very productive 2015. One of the programs that we’ve continued to develop is the Songwriter Mentoring Program. This is a one-of-a-kind program offered by the IBMA and is directed by Tony Rackley who has done a fantastic job overseeing this for the last few years. Over a dozen seasoned IBMA songwriters have offered their knowledge and experience to mentor beginning songwriters and help them develop their craft. This spring I was asked to join the program as a Mentor. During the summer I connected with my first Mentee Joel Schwelling. We meet once a month, as well as regular e-mail & phone contact. Things are going great and we’ve actually started writing songs together. It’s been a lot of fun and very rewarding for both of us.
Here’s me and Joel at a recent in-person songwriting session.
Rick Lang Wins IMEA Award-“Holiday Song Of The Year”
The IMEA annual awards show was held on Saturday October, 24th 2015, 7:00 PM at the Marietta Performing Arts Center, Marietta Georgia. The IMEA presented awards in various categories and several genres, honoring the very best in independent music & theatre. Award nominees as well as performers came from all across the US as well as abroad, a testament that this is truly an international event.
We are excited to share the wonderful news that Rick Lang was honored with the award For Holiday Song Of The Year. The song “That’s What I Love About Christmas”, co-written with Stephen Mougin, was the title cut of Rick’s new Christmas/Seasonal album of the same name, and released on RLM records Oct 7, 2014. Produced and engineered by Stephen Mougin (Dark Shadow
Recording) the award-winning track features: Annie Sellick, lead vocals;
Joe Davidian, piano; Todd Parks, bass; Chris Brown, drums.
“That’s What I Love About Christmas” also received an IMEA award
nomination for 2015 Holiday Album Of The Year.
The IMEA (International Music & Entertainment Association) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to honor and recognize the best in independent music, theatre and live entertainment, internationally.
Bluegrass Unlimited Article: Stephen Mougin/Dark Shadow Recording
For several years now I have done occasional freelance writing for Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine. The most recent article is a feature on Stephen Mougin/Dark Shadow Recording and is due to be released in the April issue. Stephen got his musical start right here in New England playing with the Thunder Mountain Bluegrass Band. Since moving to Nashville in 2002, Stephen landed a full time gig as guitarist with the Sam Bush Band, established Dark Shadow Recording where he has become a well-known/respected engineer and producer. This led to starting his own record label DSR, and most recently was appointed director of the Bluegrass Music program at Bethel University. If you want to learn more about Stephen and his career in the music industry be sure to check out the article in BU.
“The Sounds Of Christmas”
This Holiday Season my new album “That’s What I Love About Christmas” will be an official sponsor of a wonderful internet radio program broadcast through Live 365 called “The Sounds Of Christmas”. In its 8th year, the station airs Christmas music 24 hours a day from the 1st of November through the New Year. Last season they reached an estimated audience of over five million with listeners in all fifty states and 130 other countries. “The Sounds Of Christmas” is run by Ken Kessler whose passion for Christmas Music is unmatched. Last October I was contacted by Ken, who had heard, and really liked several of the songs from “That’s What I Love About Christmas”. They will be playing cuts from the new Christmas release every day, along with an incredible selection of some of the greatest Christmas songs of our time. Be sure to tune in!
“Life’s Highway” – Bob Dick
Earlier this fall my good friend Bob Dick released his second solo project titled “Life’s Highway”. It is a fantastic recording that features some terrific material, and many highlights. Bob actually started recording the album over ten years ago. He was able to capture performances by Front Range back then before Mike Lantz untimely passing. Also, Bob traveled down to the DC area and recorded some tracks with three of his musical heroes Mike Aldridge, Tom Gray, and Ben Eldridge all of whom were members of the iconic group “The Seldom Scene”. This was surely destiny as Mike passed away within a year of those recording sessions.
Bob also recorded a couple of my songs on the album, which means a lot to me as they were part of our set when we used to perform together. One was “Rose Among The Thorns” and the other a Gospel number “My Lord Will Comfort Me”. This was the very first song Bob and I actually wrote together.
You can find out more about this wonderful new recording on Bob’s new website www.applelandmusic.com
The album is out!
October 7 marks the official release of my 2nd Holiday CD “That’s What I Love About Christmas”. A year and a half in the making, The album features ten new original Christmas/Seasonal songs, and a whole new cast of performers. Very different than previous releases, this one has more of a Jazz flavor, and the feel of some of the Classic Christmas songs of the 40’s and 50’s. Produced by Stephen Mougin, “That’s What I Love About Christmas” features stellar performances by some of the finest jazz and acoustic musicians and vocalists in the Nashville scene including:
Annie Sellick, Aaron Till, Jana Mougin, Pat Bergeson, Joe Davidian, Stephen Mougin, Ron Block, Sierra Hull, Todd Parks and Chris Brown. The response so far has been terrific, hope you’ll consider adding it to your Christmas music collection!
Story Song Album
Very excited about a new bluegrass project we will start recording sometime this winter. It’s been four and a half years since the release of “Look To The Light”. My how time flies. This one will be a collection of story songs I’ve written or co-written over the years. A concept album, the working title is “A Tale To Tell”. Stephen Mougin will be producing the new CD, and we are in the middle of the song selection process. Had about twenty two to choose from and have to narrow it down to 12. That’s been really, really hard…..believe me. We are hoping to wrap it up by April 1st, and planning to release late next year.
More good news! In May of this year I reached an agreement with Shari Lacy of GoodStuff PR in Franklin TN to handle the promotion of my new Christmas album “That’s What I Love About Christmas”. Shari has vast experience in publicity and is well respected in the field. We first met back in 2003 when she was on the staff at IBMA. Shari gave me lots of good advice regarding promotion of my 1st Christmas album “The Season Of My Heart”.
As you might have noticed, we’ve got us a brand new website and music identity: www.ricklangmusic.com. Thanks to my good friends at CatchFire Creative for the great work on the new design and look. Much simpler and easier to navigate. Added several new features, which I hope you find to your liking. Will be updating more frequently, hoping you come back to visit more often.