IBMA Songwriter Of The Year Award Nomination
I was totally blown away to learn I’ve been nominated for this year’s IBMA Songwriter Of The Year Award. This is the 3rd time I’ve been nominated for this coveted Award, I’m grateful beyond words. My songwriting journey began about 35 years ago as just a fun hobby, something to do in my spare time. Never expected anything to ever come of it. Over time my passion for writing songs has greatly deepened, it’s what I look forward to each and every day. It’s what I live for.
To be recognized among the very best songwriters in Bluegrass is something I never thought remotely possible. Still can hardly believe it! I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me, encouraged me, inspired me, supported me along my songwriting journey. Bless you one and all!
“A Tale to Tell” Album Release
I’m beyond excited to announce the release of my brand-new studio project “A Tale To Tell” on Dark Shadow Recording. Eight years in the making, this is my very first ever story song concept album. I had been building this collection of songs for a very long time and approached good friend and DSR owner Stephen Mougin about producing the album for me. That was back in 2012. Mojo was fascinated by the idea as it was very different, and that all the songs were based on real-life stories and experiences,
We initially planned to record the project in 2014 but decided to wait as he and his wife Jana were looking to re-locate and building a new state of the art recording studio. Meanwhile I had recorded & released my gospel album “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”, and wanted to let that run its course before launching a new project.
In the summer of 2019 Stephen set up a session to record all the sound tracks at his new DSR studio. Fortunately, I was able to be there to attend the session that included an all- star cast of performers: Becky Buller, fiddle & clawhammer banjo, Sam Bush & James Kee on mandolin, Justin Moses dobro, Ned Luberecki on 5 string banjo, Todd Parks on bass, and Mojo on guitar. As I listened, I knew for sure this project was going to be something special.
We then brought in vocalists we felt were a good fit for each song. Unfortunately, COVID hit hard during that time, causing lengthy delays in finishing up the album. We finally got it all wrapped up, putting on the finishing touches in time to release “ A Tale To Tell” this winter.
Featured vocalists on the album include: Tim Stafford, Becky Buller, Trey Hensley, Kati Penn, Rick Faris, Shannon Slaughter, David Parmley, James Kee, Alan Bartram, Brandon Rickman, Luke Monday, Stephen & Jana Mougin. The end result was beyond anything I could have imagined.
I’m so very proud to be able to release this new creative work on Dark Shadow Recording, and am very grateful to everyone who had a hand in the making of “A Tale To Tell”.
Double Single Release
To kick off 2022 I’m excited to announce the release of two new singles “They Sawed Up A Storm” and “Toodleoo”. Both are tracks from my forthcoming Dark Shadow Recording release “A Tale To Tell”. It my first ever story song concept album, 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 had knocked down millions of feet of White Pine 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 to keep the salvage 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 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, but was remembered for offering a warm and friendly “Toodleoo”
The track features Stephen Mougin on lead vocals, his wife Jana and son Sammy on harmony vocals.
Downloads of both songs are available at www.darkshadowrecording.com as well as everywhere good music is sold.
Here’s a link to additional background info about the mill at Turkey Pond
2021 IBMA Award Nominations
I was beyond surprised and totally blown away to find out that I have been nominated for both the coveted IBMA Songwriter Of The Year and IBMA Mentor Of the Year Awards. It’s an incredible honor for which I am so very grateful. Songwriting is my passion, and I embrace each and every opportunity I have to collaborate with one of my favorite co-writers. It makes me feel complete, especially when we’re writing songs about faith, home, family, tradition, drawing from life’s experience.
The IBMA Mentor Of The Year Award Nomination is especially meaningful to me. In recent years I’ve become more involved in helping others along their songwriting journey. It’s so very rewarding, and I learn from each and every experience. I’ll continue to reach out to anyone who asks for help with a song and try my best to share what I’ve learned over time. Giving something back to the music that has done so much for me will always be one of my top priorities. Being recognized for mentoring others is so humbling!
I’m beyond excited to announce the release of LOST TOWN, the first single from my new story song album “A Tale To Tell”. Stephen Mougin and I have been planning this recording since 2014, and will be releasing on his Dark Shadow Recording label. The full album will be coming out next fall.
The song itself tells the heartbreaking story of the small town of Dana Massachusetts, which was one of four towns that had to be removed to build the Quabbin Reservoir. I was introduced to the story by good friends Bob & Krissy Dick about 12 years ago, when took my wife and I on a trip to where the story actually took place.
In the early 1900’s the City of Boston MA needed a larger water supply due to its population growth. It was decided that an area in Western MA known as the Quabbin was the ideal location. For that to happen, four existing towns would have to be torn down and removed. All the residents, many of whom had lived there for several generations, would be forced to leave with all their belongings, never to return. I ran across some transcripts of one of the town’s residents whose last name was Doubleday. The song is based of his recollections of this life changing event.
Lost Town features:
- James Kee – lead vocal/mandolin
- Becky Buller – fiddle
- Ned Luberecki – banjo
- Todd Parks – bass
- Stephen Mougin – guitar/harmony vocal
- Jana Mougin – harmony vocal
You can listen to the track right here on my website. Downloads are available for purchase at www.darkshadowrecording.com
A Farewell To The Christmas In New England Concert Tour
It is with heavy heart that after 16 years, I’m retiring from our Christmas In New England Concert Tour. Father Time has caught up with me, and I no longer have the stamina to handle a month of rehearsals, the travel, and late nights. Our annual Christmas Concert Tour has been a blessing in my life, something I will greatly miss. I’m so grateful to my band mates Bob & Krissy Dick, Roger Williams, Amy Gallatin, Karen Wilber, Dave Dick, Ken Taylor for helping to make the shows so much fun. Also to our loyal fans who would come out to see us perform year after year, sometimes on some very cold snowy winter nights. Looking out into the audience and seeing the smiles on all those faces as they listened to our songs really made it all worthwhile for me. Christmas music is joyful and uplifting, a welcome relief to the drudgery of everyday life. Sharing that joy with others has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Although I have never considered myself a performer, the shows allowed me the opportunity to play my original Christmas songs in front of a live audience. That, in turn, inspired me to write and record more Christmas/Seasonal material over the years.
It all started back in 2003 with my first Christmas release “The Season Of My Heart”. Bob Dick had already released his Bluegrass Christmas album “Tidings Of Comfort And Joy”, so we joined forces and produced a Christmas show to promote our mutual recordings. The original line up was the Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band plus Rick Lang & Friends (Bob Dick, Dave Dick, Roger Williams, Karen Lincoln and myself). After a couple years Amy Gallatin and Bobs wife Krissy joined the group. In the beginning it was just one show each year, expanding over time to a full blown six show concert tour in Churches all over New England. The Christmas In New England Concert Tour evolved into something very special, that folks looked forward to each and every Christmas Season. I’m so very thankful for all the support we received over the years and heartwarming feedback from many of the show attendees. It’s been a great run, and have so many wonderful memories that I will treasure always.
IBMA Mentor Of The Year Nomination
I was beyond excited to receive the news that I have been nominated for the 2020 IBMA Mentor Of The Year Award. It came as a big surprise and I’m very humbled to be considered for this incredible honor. Giving back to the music that’s done so much for me has been one of my highest priorities, especially at this point in my life. It’s been very rewarding to spend some time helping others on their songwriting journey. I’ve made some new friends along the way and has led to many wonderful experiences.
The 2020 Mentor Of The Year Nominees include Alan Bibey, Scott Napier, Annie Savage and Valerie Smith. All have made great contributions in teaching and helping others with their careers in music.
I’m proud to have my name included with these wonderful folks who are making a difference in people’s lives. This year’s Award winner will be announced at the 2020 IBMA Virtual World Of Bluegrass Business Conference the week of September 28th.
Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship established for IBMA members
The IBMA Foundation is proud to announce a new scholarship for songwriters who are IBMA members pursuing a college-level education. The fall 2020 recipient of the Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship will be awarded $2,000 to help with college tuition or related expenses.
Applicants are not required to have a declared major in music, but they must already have demonstrated skills as a songwriter and plan to further their study of that art as a part of their college studies. Funds for the scholarship have been donated by Rick Lang, a Grammy-nominated writer who also serves as the chair of the IBMA Songwriter Committee and volunteers with the IBMA Songwriter Mentor Program.
Applicants must be current members of the International Bluegrass Music Association, at the Professional, Grassroots Club (Fan), College Student or Youth level. The IBMA is the nonprofit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.
“I’m very excited about the launch of this new scholarship geared to help those furthering their education in the music/songwriting field,” says Rick Lang. “At this point in my life, my foremost goal is to give something back to the bluegrass community that has done so very much for me. The need for financial help has never been greater than it is now. Our youth desperately need our help, some positive news, and signs of hope for the future. My intent is that the scholarship will help make it affordable for students to enter a college program where they can chase their dreams and achieve their goals in music. I greatly appreciate the help and support of Nancy Cardwell and the IBMA Foundation in helping to set up the scholarship.” The IBMA Foundation supports programs and initiatives fostering the growth of bluegrass music. We help donors create a legacy for future generations of musicians and fans by connecting resources to projects that focus on bluegrass music-related arts and culture, education, literary work, and historic preservation.
62nd Grammy Awards
Had such a fantastic time at the Grammy Awards in LA recently. So proud to be attending as a Grammy nominee. “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” didn’t come away with a Grammy, but we had the experience of a lifetime. Roots Gospel Album Of The Year Award went to Gloria Gaynor. She is a super talent and her Gospel release “Testimony” was well deserving of the honor.
We arrived in the City Of Angels on the Friday of Grammy weekend. Best part of it all was that our whole family accompanied me on the trip. My wife Wendy, our two daughters, three granddaughters and son in law. How cool is that! All were styling in GSGS threads. Saturday night Wendy and I attended a Roots Music Reception for Grammy Award Nominees in the Hollywood Hills. On Sunday the whole gang was at our side at the afternoon Premier Grammy Awards event at the Microsoft Theatre (when the Roots/Bluegrass Awards were presented). From there we went directly to the Staples Center for the evening Grammy Awards show. Absolutely nothing like it…believe me! It was beyond amazing! Dazzling performances and award presentations for the next 3 1/2 hours. After that we even took in the Post Grammy Awards After Party. Lots of celebs, great spread, all the while being entertained the legendary Gloria Gaynor….who rocked the joint! Left LA with a full heart and lots of wonderful memories. Here’s photos of a few of the highlights!
Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival
So very excited to announce that I’ll be conducting two songwriting
workshops at the 2020 Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival this February.
Thanks to my good friends at BBU for inviting back this year!
- 1st one will be on Saturday Feb 15th at 5:00 PM: “The Essence Of Good
- 2nd is on Sunday Feb 16th at Noon: “Writing Bluegrass Gospel”
Both workshops will have something to offer for everyone, no matter
where you are on your songwriting journey. Very down to earth, very
easy to follow, based on my approach to songwriting developed over a
long period of time. Will welcome any and all songwriter-related
questions, will have handouts to share in both sessions. If you will be
attending Joe Val this year, hope to see you there!
NH Songwriter Rick Lang Nominated for Grammy Award
On Wednesday Nov 20th the 2019 Grammy Award nominees were announced. I’m excited to share the wonderful news that my Gospel album release “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” was nominated for a Grammy Award. Category: “Best Roots Gospel Album Of The Year”. This is a first for me, and the pinnacle of all my years involved in songwriting and music. The recording, produced by Jerry Salley, features a dozen original gospel songs I’ve either written or co-written. The musicians and vocalists on GSGS represent some of the very best in Bluegrass, Country, and Southern Gospel. It’s the album of a lifetime for me personally.
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” was released in Nov 2018. The album experienced strong national radio airplay and topped several of the major music charts during the course of the year. In September, the title cut was awarded “Gospel Recording Of The Year” by the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association). It’s an incredible honor to receive a Grammy Nomination, for which I am grateful beyond words. The 62nd Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday January 26th at the Staples Center, Los Angeles California. Please help spread the word!
2019 “Christmas In New England” Concert Tour
The Holiday Season is right around the corner, and have been busy preparing for our annual “Christmas In New England” Concert Tour. We rehearse all through the month of November, and the 1st show will take place in Boxboro MA on Saturday December 6th. We’re entering our 16th year presenting this one-of-kind Christmas Concert Tour that will include 5 shows in three states (NH, MA, CT). Full schedule is posted above. The show is a seasonal blend traditional and contemporary Christmas music performed on acoustic instruments with vocals. I get to sing and play some of my original Christmas tunes with good friends Bob Dick, Karen Lincoln Wilber, Dave Dick, Amy Gallatin, Roger Williams, Krissy Dick & Ken Taylor. It really is a very uplifting and entertaining show.
Hope you can join us at one or more of the stops on this year’s Christmas Concert Tour . The music is guaranteed to make you smile!
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” awarded IBMA Gospel Recording Of The Year!
It was a “surreal” experience when I was presented with the Gospel Recording Of The Year Award for “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” at the IBMA Awards Show in Raleigh NC this September. It was totally unexpected and I’ve been up on “cloud nine” ever since. The song features an incredible vocal performance by Grammy Award winning artist Claire Lynch, backed by some of the best musicians in Bluegrass. I am so grateful, and offer my heartfelt thanks album producer Jerry Salley, Ed Leonard, Claire Ratliff, Billy Blue Records staff, and to the many wonderful who had a hand in the making of this award-winning recorded work.
2019 IBMA “World Of Bluegrass” Business Conference
Been working around the clock getting ready for our 2019 IBMA “World Of Bluegrass” Business Conference in Raleigh NC. Kicks off Tuesday Sept 24th, and promises to be one of the best ever. It’s a week filled with fantastic music performances, songwriter showcases, seminars, workshops, great networking opportunities, IBMA Awards Show and weekend fan fest. Our IBMA Songwriter Committee will be presenting a record 12 songwriter events for our attendees this year, something for everyone. Our panelists, moderators, event leaders, showcase artists, represent some of the very best in Bluegrass today.
Our 2019 WOB Songwriter Track schedule of events include:
Co-Writing – The Pathway To Success (Seminar)
Music Publishing – Keeping Up With Change (Seminar)
Songwriter Mentoring Session
Song Critique Session
Songwriter Meet & Mingle
Bluegrass Ramble – “Songwriters In The Round”
Effective Song Pitching – What You Need To Know (Seminar)
Youth Songwriting Workshop
The Life Of A Professional Songwriter (Seminar)
“Stealing Fire” From 1st Generation Songwriters (Seminar)
I’m proud to say that Rick Lang Music will be sponsoring two of this year’s WOB events: The perennial favorite “Songwriter Meet & Mingle” and our Bluegrass Ramble “Songwriters In The Round” Showcase.
IBMA Songwriter Of The Year Award Nomination
In early August, a very first happened for me when I was nominated for 2019 IBMA Songwriter Of The Year. This totally caught me by surprise, and I am truly humbled to be considered for this coveted award. Thanks so much to the folks involved in the selection process. This will surely rank as a highlight to my most amazing songwriting journey that started back in the mid 1980’s. So many things have happened since then I though we’re not remotely possible. My focus has been, and still is, all about writing the very best songs I am capable of. I still work hard at it every day, and songwriting continues to be my life’s passion. Songwriting is truly a blessing in my life. Income, receiving credit, vying for awards etc. are things I rarely think about, and do not want to ever influence my writing. Songwriting is an art form at its best, and I write for the pure joy of it. The reward for me is succeeding in writing a song I feel good about when it’s finished. Some of my very best songs have taken me years to write. It’s all a part of the experience!
“Heaven’s Back Yard” Music Video
Today was filled with excitement when I learned a new Music Video was released by the amazing female vocal group High Road performing “Heavens Back Yard”. The song, which I wrote with good friend Jerry Salley, was featured on my 2018 album release “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”(performed by High Road). Their angel like voices are a “treat to the ear”. The Music Video was really well produced and follows the story line of the song. This is something I think folks are really going to enjoy. A big THANK YOU to the High Road ladies, Jerry Salley, Ed Leonard, and the most wonderful Billy Blue Records staff. Watching this inspiring new Music Video makes my heart smile.
IBMA Award Nominations
Amazed to learn that my 2018 Gospel release “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” has received a 2nd round of IBMA Award Nominations in the following categories:
SONG OF THE YEAR
“Thinkin’ Outside The Box”
“I See God”
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”
GOSPEL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
“Thinkin’ Outside The Box”
“I See God”
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”
“I Long To See His Face”
This is a tribute to album producer Jerry Salley, my co-writers, our sound engineers, musicians and singers who helped to create Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout. I am thankful beyond words and very appreciative of all the support from radio programmers and music fans. Will keep my fingers crossed that we get enough votes to make it to the final round. As my mom would often say “if it was meant to be….it will happen”.
My Daddy’s Shoes
I’m beyond thrilled to announce the release of a new single “My Daddy’s Shoes” on RLM Records. It’s a song I wrote to honor Fathers Day, and is based on my relationship with my dad who tragically passed away in 1989. It took me nearly 30 years to come up with the words to properly pay tribute to my dads life in song. When I was just a boy I would sneak into dads bedroom while he was at work, slip into a pair of his shoes, and walk around in them for hours at a time. I also used to put on some of his clothes and pretend I was him for a while. It was a sight to see! When we were young my dad held down two full time jobs, worked 7 days a week, to try & provide for our large family of 6. He also contributed a great deal to the betterment of our community in what little spare time he had. Dad was always there to lend a hand when someone was in need, and was known far and wide. Though not rich in material wealth, dad was rich with the many friends he made during his lifetime
In the writing of this song I attempted to pay tribute to my dad and what he stood for. I know I could never fill his shoes, but have tried hard to follow the example he set. It is my hope that “My Daddy’s Shoes” resonates with all those who hear it, and that the song adds additional meaning to the Father’s Day Tradition.
You can listen, download, and learn more about the single here.
A Tribute to the Boston Marathon
I’m beyond excited to announce the release of “A Tribute To The Boston Marathon”. Born and raised in New England, over time I gained an interest in the Boston Marathon and its storied history.
The year before the Boston Marathon celebrated its 100th anniversary, I wrote two songs to pay homage to this historic event: “Running For The Glory” and “Heartbreak Hill”. I actually spent an entire summer researching and writing these songs to make sure they were historically accurate and authentic. I subsequently recorded both with my very talented music friends Bob Dick, Dave Dick, Roger Williams, and Karen Lincoln. Both songs received local radio airplay that year, and “Running For The Glory” was featured in a TV broadcast on a major network the day of event.
Fast forward 23 years later, I decided to re-release updated versions of the two songs hoping radio programmers would play them in conjunction with this year’s running of the Boston Marathon. “Running For The Glory” was recorded with acoustic instruments in a Bluegrass/Folk setting. “Heartbreak Hill” done with more of an electric guitar/Country Music styling. Both songs have been digitally remastered by Bob Dick, who engineered and produced the project, and sound better than ever. It is my hope that they might be played each and every year to help celebrate the running of the Boston Marathon.”
Songwriters On Stage
I’m so looking forward to performing at the Frontier Cafe, Brunswick Maine on Tuesday April 2nd with fellow area songwriters Ted DeMille and Stan Keach. This is an ideal venue for songwriters, offering an intimate “listening room” atmosphere. Besides being good friends Ted, Stan and I have all written together over the years. Should be a really fun evening! The Frontier Cafe is a cultural destination featuring a full- service restaurant and bar, theatre, cafe and event venue. For more info log on to: www.explorefrontier.com
The Reviews Are In, Here’s What They’re Saying
Over the last few months more than a dozen “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” album reviews have come in, praising the new Gospel Album. They are beyond anything I could have expected or ever hoped for. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
Credit goes to all who contributed to the making and launch of this wonderful new recorded work: Producer/Arranger Jerry Salley, my co-writers, the musicians, vocalists, sound engineers, Chris Latham who mixed and mastered the 12 tracks, and the Billy Blue Records staff who did an amazing job handling the release. It was a team effort from beginning to end. Here are a few excerpts from the reviews, click here for more.
When it comes to bluegrass Gospel, Rick Lang is one of very best songwriters in the genre. The latest proof can be found on Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout, a dozen songs “from the pen of Rick Lang” on Billy Blue Records. It’s a top-shelf collection from Lang, assisted on some by IBMA Songwriter of the Year recipients Jerry Salley, Becky Buller, and Jon Weisberger, along with multi-time nominee Mark “Brink” Brinkman and a couple of other writing partners.
A previous Gospel collection from Lang, 2010’s Look to the Light, was nominated for Dove and IBMA awards. That was a powerful record. This one, to me is even stronger and should pick up its share of nominations and maybe, this time, take home a trophy. Trophy or not, Lang has delivered a winner that’s worth singing and shouting about.David Morris, reviewer for Bluegrass Today
I’ve been listening to gospel since I was a little girl growing up in the south. It’s really nice to have a record like this one that draws its essence from a raw, roots-based music like bluegrass.
Rick Lang’s songwriting here is simply breathtaking, and the performers who give themselves over to his work do so with a respectful integrity that is really something to marvel at.
Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout will have you doing everything that its title suggests you should when giving praise, and that’s what this kind of music is truly all about.Reviewer IMAAI
The beautiful songwriting of Rick Lang, as performed by a collection of bluegrass music’s finest players, takes us on a journey to the Promised Land in the twelve gold nuggets that Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout has to offer listeners of all ages.
Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout is a gospel album that doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is – pure, unadulterated bluegrass with an important statement to make about life, love and what it means to really appreciate both.Reviewer Indie Pulse Music
Joe Val Songwriting Workshops
Been busy this month preparing to host a couple songwriting workshops at this year’s Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival in Framingham MA. The Festival kicks off Friday Feb 15th, and is something I always look forward to. A big thank you to Tony Watt & the BBU staff for having me back this year. This will be the first time that the IBMA has been represented at Joe Val. The “IBMA Songwriters Workshop” will feature Dawn Kenney, David Morris and myself. We are all long time IBMA members, and are on the IBMA Songwriter Committee. In addition to performing/discussing our individual approaches to writing songs, we’ll share some insight into our work on the IBMA Songwriter Committee, and what the IBMA offers our songwriter constituency. This includes the value of membership, our World Of Bluegrass Songwriter events, and Songwriter Mentor Program.
Here’s when the workshops are scheduled.
Saturday 2/16 3:00 PM “IBMA Songwriters Workshop” – Dawn, David, Rick
Sunday 2/17 11:00 AM “The Essence Of Good Songwriting” – Rick
Really looking forward to both, hope to see you there!
More info about the Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival and workshop schedule is available at www.bbu.org
1st Rick Lang Music Scholarship awarded
I’m excited to announce that the 1st Rick Lang Music scholarship has been awarded to East Tennessee State University student Alexis Hamilton-Mele. Alexis is enrolled in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music studies program directed by professor Dan Boner. Former graduates of this esteemed program include some of Bluegrass Music’s finest including Tim Stafford, Becky Buller, Adam Steffey, Barry Bales, Hunter Berry, Beth Lawrence, Darrell Webb and Wyatt Rice among many others.
I was very honored to receive the songwriting scholarship. I try to put a lot of time and effort into my music and I felt that receiving the scholarship was a sign that I was doing something right. Not only does it help me a lot with school, but it also give me a reason to keep on working hard to make more music.
I started writing songs when I was about 6 years old and I think that I’ve been writing ever since then. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. My great grandfather got me hooked on classic country music at a young age. I started learning how to play guitar around the age of 12 and was able to get regular shows around my hometown in upstate New York. In high school I got a little more serious about my songwriting and started looking for places to go to college. I found ETSU and knew that I wanted to be a part of the music program so I applied and started attending in fall of 2017. Since I’ve been at ETSU, I’ve learned a lot about music and songwriting and I’ve had some great experiences like going to Woodsong writing retreats and being able to perform at local venues in Johnson City. I’m thankful that I have songwriting as an outlet to stressful times and as a way to share my story. I write a lot about my struggle with O.C.D. and things I faced growing up. I’m excited to continue to write and work with great people every day at ETSU. I hope to further my career as a songwriter, and as a musician in the future.
The Rick Lang Music Scholarship was established in the spring of 2018 to offer financial help to students attending the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music studies program who show a strong interest in songwriting.
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” Album Release
The wait is over! “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” was officially released on Billy Blue Records on Friday November 16th, and I couldn’t be happier. Produced by my good friend Jerry Salley, GSGS features 12 new original Gospel songs and whole new cast of performers. The vocalists on the album include some of my very favorite singers, and all-time music heroes. This is the album of a lifetime for me personally, and am so grateful to everyone who contributed to the the making of this incredible recorded work.
- Thinkin’ Outside The Box – Dave Adkins
- Heaven’s Back Yard – High Road
- I See God – Marty Raybon
- Don’t Tune Him Out – The Whites
- Back Of The Church – Jerry Salley
- Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout – Claire Lynch
- Henry Clayton Parker – Bradley Walker
- There Will Be Singing – The Cox Family
- I’ve Read The Book – Marty Raybon
- They Were Fishermen – Kenny & Amanda Smith
- Sunday Morning Gospel Jubilee – Larry Cordle
- Light In The Window – Dave Adkins
To purchase and listen to the “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” song tracks just click here.
For a hard copy of “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”, or any of the other Rick Lang Recordings, send a check for $15 for 1 copy or $25 for 2 copies (price includes shipping) to:
PO Box 424
Kingston, NH 02848
* Please indicate if you would like a signed copy. Thanks you!
Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout – First Single
I’m super excited to announce that the first single from my new Bluegrass Gospel album “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” was just released on the Billy Blue Records label. The song “Thinkin’ Outside The Box” is one I co-wrote with Jerry Salley for the project. It features the powerful vocals of Dave Adkins, who totally crushed it in the studio. Tammy King (Steeldrivers), along with Jerry Salley, complement Dave’s singing with spine tingling harmony parts. The supporting cast includes Jason Roller on guitar and fiddle, Justin Moses, dobro and mandolin, Aaron McDaris on banjo, and Mike Bub on Bass. I am very grateful to all the singers and musicians who contributed to this amazing song track. Think folks are going to really enjoy hearing it!
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” (my 2nd all-original Gospel album release) was produced by good friend Jerry Salley and includes twelve new Gospel tunes I either wrote or co -wrote. The full album will be released on November 16th on Billy Blue Records, and features several of my all-time favorite vocalists including: High Road, Marty Raybon, The Whites, Claire Lynch, Bradley Walker, Cox Family, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, Larry Stephenson, Brandon Rickman, Josh Swift and Maggie Salley. This is the album of a lifetime for me personally. I’m as happy as a little kid at Christmas!
“Thinkin’ Outside The Box” is available for download by Radio Programmers on Airplay Direct.
The new single is available for sale starting Friday Oct 11th:
You can add this song to your Spotify playlist, or you listen to the new single right here.
2018 IBMA “World Of Bluegrass”
It’s that time of year again! Our annual IBMA business conference, kicks off next Tuesday in Raleigh NC, promising to be one of the best ever. It is a week filled with great music showcases, seminars, workshops, networking opportunities, IBMA Awards Show, and Fan Fest. Our IBMA Songwriter Committee has a record 11 song-centric events to offer our attendees this year, something for everyone. Our panelists, moderators, event leaders, showcase artists, represent some of the very best songwriters in Bluegrass today. I’m pleased to say that Rick Lang Music will be sponsoring two of this year’s events: “Songwriter Meet & Greet”, and “Songwriters In The Round” Showcase.
Our 2018 WOB Songwriter Track schedule of events include:
How To Craft A Great Song
Co-writing: The Benefits Of Collaboration
Publishing 101: A View From The Front Lines
Songwriter Mentor “One-On-One” Session
Song Critique Session
Songwriter Meet & Greet
Publishing 201: I’ve Got A Song, Now What
Youth Songwriter Workshop
The Songwriting Of Hazel Dickens
Bluegrass Ramble: “Songwriters In The Round”
Hope to see you there!
Signed to newly launched Billy Blue Records Label
Have some super exciting news to share…that’s been in the works for the last few months. I have been officially signed to the new Billy Blue Records Label, who will be releasing my upcoming Gospel project “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” in November, 2018.
The new label was launched under the umbrella of the Daywind Music Group, owned and operated by Ed Leonard, a successful Nashville based Christian Music company. Ed along with award-winning performer/songwriter Jerry Salley (who will serve as A & R and creative director) came up with the idea and will be working together signing artists and releasing new music. This new venture will enable the label to enter the Bluegrass world, and release secular music projects as well as some Bluegrass Gospel.
I was actually the 2nd artist signed, the 1st being Appalachian Road Show. Below is a link to an article about the new label. Next RLM Music post will offer more detail and info about “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”.
More To Come!
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.
Will keep you posted.
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”.
Shari is a great resource and has been a big help preparing for the upcoming release.
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.