NH Songwriter Rick Lang Biography March 2022
A native of New Hampshire, Grammy nominated songwriter Rick Lang has become well known in the Bluegrass community and beyond. His songs have been covered by some of the most renowned artists in Bluegrass music, Southern Gospel and even the Jazz world. Over 100 song cuts to his credit, including some album title tracks, several #1s, and the number keeps growing each year. Rick has collaborated with several of the most renown songwriters in the Bluegrass and Gospel music field in recent years, some of the material will be featured on future recording projects.
Rick has released seven studio albums of his own to date. Each have featured all original Rick Lang compositions.
Rick’s first Christmas release “The Season Of My Heart” (2003), was voted one of the top twenty- five albums of the year by the National Folk Radio survey. The album received extensive radio airplay all over the world, even in countries where they don’t have cold weather and snow. “The Season Of My Heart” was produced by Bob Dick, Appleland Studio Northbridge MA, and features several of Ricks New England area music friends.
In the spring of 1996, Rick Lang And Friends produced “A Tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the Boston Marathon” featuring two of Rick’s songs written to pay tribute to the history of the Boston Marathon… “Running For The Glory” and “Heartbreak Hill”. Both songs received heavy radio airplay throughout New England prior to the event, and “Running For The Glory” was also featured (including a music video of the performance) on a TV special entitled “A Century Of Running” that aired on a major Boston television network.
In 1997, in another collaborative effort, Rick Lang and Friends wrote and produced “First Night”, a tribute to the relatively new, and increasingly popular First Night tradition and were invited to perform the song at the opening ceremony at First Night Worcester Massachusetts that same year. Their recorded version of the song is currently being used to help promote First Night programs all across the United States and Canada.
Look To The Light
On April 28th, 2010 Rick released Look To The Light, his first ever Gospel CD on Rural Rhythm Christian (RRC). Produced by Jesse Brock and John Miller, the album featured some of Bluegrass top vocalists including Russell Moore, Dale Ann Bradley, Junior Sisk, Barry Scott, Jeff Parker among others. Look To The Light was nominated for a GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Award, and the single Sailing On was nominated for an IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Gospel Recorded Event Of The Year.
In 2012 Rick recorded and released the Christmas single “Little Did They Know” on the Rural Rhythm Records Label….featuring Jana Mougin on vocals.
Rick’s 2nd Christmas/Seasonal album, “That’s What I Love About Christmas” was released on Oct 7, 2014 on his RLM Music label. Unlike his previous Holiday recording, this one has a heavy jazz influence, some of the songs having the feel of some of the classic Christmas songs of the ’30s and ’40s. The title cut, written by Rick and Stephen Mougin, was awarded 2015 Holiday Song Of The Year by the IMEA (International Music & Entertainment Association) at their annual awards show at the Marietta Performing Arts Center, Marietta GA Saturday Oct 24, 2015.
In February 2018, Rick released “The Undertow”, his very first concept album. Living near the NH coastline all his life, it is not surprising that several of Rick’s original songs have ocean themes & settings. He picked a dozen of them to record on this most unique release. The story lines in the songs are all based on, or inspired by, real life stories, personal experiences, and places Rick has frequented since childhood. The fabric of the ocean interweaves seamlessly throughout the verses and choruses from beginning to end. Performing with Rick on “The Undertow” are several of the area musicians he has performed with, recorded with, and written with over the course of the last thirty years. The music on these tracks is essentially acoustic with elements Bluegrass, Folk, Roots and Americana. Rick offers “There was no consideration to a specific genre. We just attempted to create an appropriate musical setting for each song….based on the story line…shooting for an overall “ocean feel”. The end result is a masterfully produced, heart- warming one-of-a-kind music release guaranteed to captivate the listener.
Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout
A highlight of Rick’s career as a songwriter was the release of his 2nd Gospel album Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout in the fall of 2018 on thenewly established Billy Blue Records label. Like all of his releases the songs on the CD are ones he either wrote or co-wrote with some of the top writers in Bluegrass. The title track was awarded 2019 IBMA Gospel Recording Of The Year and the entire album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album. The planning for GSGS started in 2016. Album producer Jerry Salley and Rick started by selecting the songs they’d record, some of which they wrote together. In the summer of 2018 Jerry, Rick and a few of Bluegrass top musicians went into the studio and recorded the soundtracks. Over the next six months they recorded the vocalists for each song, t featuring some of the very best in bluegrass, country, and southern gospel: Claire Lynch, Marty Raybon, The Whites, The Cox Family, Bradley Walker, Larry Cordle, High Road, Jerry Salley, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Dave Adkins. Heaven’s Back Yard, a popular song from GSGS, was chosen for a Music Video featuring High Road and was viewed by tens of thousands of music fans.
The album was released in November of 2018, receiving great reviews. Songs from the album reached #1 on several of the top radio airplay charts, propelling GSGS to become one of the most popular gospel album releases of the year.
According to Rick “As a songwriter this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Attending the Grammy Awards as a nominee is something I never thought possible and is something I will treasure always”.
My Daddy’s Shoes
In June of 2019 Rick released a new single, My Daddy’s Shoes. A Father’s Day tribute, the song is based on Rick’s memories of his dad going back to childhood. My Daddy’s Shoes became a big hit with radio and music fans and no doubt will be played over and over every Father’s Day.
The first single from Rick’s new story song concept album LOST TOWN was released in March of 2021 on Dark Shadow Recording. The song is centered around the town of Dana in Western Massachusetts, which was one of four town that had to be removed to build the Quabbin Reservoir back in the late 1930’s. Some of the residents had lived there for several generations. They were forced to leave their homes with all their belongings, never to return. After reading transcripts of one of the town residents, a man named Doubleday, Rick was moved to write this song, to tell the story based on his recollections of this life changing event.
White Dove Of The Desert
“White Dove Of The Desert” is the 2nd single to be release from Rick’s forthcoming album “A Tale To Tell”. It depicts the true story of the San Xavier Del Bac Mission just south of Tuscon Arizona, known as the “White Dove Of The Desert”. Founded and built by Jesuit Missionary Francisco Kino, its purpose was to bring Christianity to the region.
Since it was a Southwestern theme, and because the music allowed, portions of the song feature a “Bluegrass Rhumba” vibe, interspersing with regular Bluegrass time on the chorus. It helped give the song a very unique feel.
January 2022 marks the release of two new Rick Lang singles “They Sawed Up A Storm” and “Toodleoo”. Both are tracks from Rick’s upcoming Dark Shadow Recording release “A Tale To Tell”. His first ever story song concept album, it’s a collection of 13 original songs, each one based on a true story or real- life experience.
“They Sawed Up A Storm” is the story of 13 heroic woman who spearheaded a salvage operation at the Turkey Pond Sawmill back in the 1940s. The Hurricane of 1938 knocked down millions of feet of fallen timber in the NH forests. A mill was built outside of Concord NH to saw up the logs and help the economy which was still reeling after the Great Depression. When WW2 broke out, the men who ran the mill enlisted in the service and the mill was shut down. 13 hardy women, mostly farm girls, volunteered to run the mill ti keep the effort going. They became heroes in their day.
The song features Becky Buller on lead vocals and an all- star cast of performers
“Toodleoo” is a song I wrote with album producer Stephen Mougin. The story line is about Stephen’s grandfather. An electrician by trade, he would go around wiring people’s homes replacing the kerosine folks were using at the time with electricity. He would whistle old familiar tunes as he worked. When the job was finished, instead of offering goodbye he would just say “Toodleoo”. Everyone in the region came to know him well, he was a friend to all. Throughout his lifetime the man never said goodbye to anyone, was remembered of offering a warm and friendly “Toodleoo”
The track features Stephen Mougin on lead vocals, his wife Jana and son Sammy on harmony vocals.
A Tale To Tell
In Feb 2022, Rick released his long awaited album, A Tale To Tell. This captivating collection of story songs, and his debut album on Dark Shadow Recording, is brought to life with the incredible vocal talents of Tim Stafford, Shannon Slaughter, Becky Buller, Trey Hensley, David Parmley, Stephen Mougin, Luke Munday, Kati Penn, Alan Bartram, Brandon Rickman, Jana Mougin, Rick Faris, and James Kee. Eight years in the making, A Tale To Tell marks Rick’s first ever story song concept album. He had been building this collection of songs for a very long time and approached good friend and Dark Shadow Recording owner Stephen Mougin about producing the album for him back in 2014. Mojo was fascinated by the idea as it was very different, and that all the songs were based on real-life stories and experiences. Though the planning and actual recording of the album took much longer than anticipated, the end result was well worth the wait. A Tale To Tell was received with critical acclaim by the music word, songs and the full album quickly appearing on several radio airplay charts.
Rick is an alumni of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program (class of 2012), currently chairs the IBMA Songwriter committee, and is a two time nominee for IBMA Songwriter Of The Year and IBMA Mentor Of The Year.
Rick and his wife Wendy have two daughters, three granddaughters, and currently reside in Kingston New Hampshire