NH Songwriter Rick Lang Biography 5/1/2020
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, and the number keeps growing each year. Although many of his songs are self-composed, Rick has collaborated with several other notable writers in the Bluegrass and Gospel music field in recent years leading to additional album cuts, some featured on his newest recorded works.
Rick has released six 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. 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 sound tracks. 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.
Rick is currently working on material for his next gospel release, as well as spending time in the studio recording his first Children’s album “Walk Like A Penguin”.
In addition to a busy songwriting schedule, Rick does some freelance writing for Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine and conducts songwriting workshops in the New England area. Rick is an alumni of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program (class of 2012), currently chairs the IBMA Songwriter committee and is a mentor in the IBMA Songwriter Mentor Program.
Rick and his wife Wendy have two daughters, three granddaughters, and currently reside in Kingston New Hampshire