Jeff Lang

Jeff Lang (born 9 November 1969) is an Australian songwriter, singer and slide guitarist. He is a leading performer in the Australian roots music scene[1] and purveyer of his self-described "disturbed folk" style, which incorporates primarily folk, blues and rock. The songwriting in his music is heavily influenced by the folk music of the southern United States and the British Isles but has distinctly Australian lyrical content whilst his guitar playing mixes folk, blues and rock styles with Indian and African modalities.

Jeff Lang
Lang at Harvest Festival Jan 2007
Background information
Birth nameJeffrey Lang
Born (1969-11-08) 8 November 1969
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
GenresFolk, blues, rock and roll
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin
Years active1986–present
LabelsABC Music

He plays various types of guitar, both slide and standard, as well as banjo, mandolin, Chumbush and drums.[2] He has won ARIA awards for his 2002 collaboration with Bob Brozman Rolling Through This World (Best Blues and Roots album), the album Djan Djan (Best World Music album 2011) and for his 2012 solo album Carried in Mind (Best Blues and Roots album). In addition, Lang's 1996 album Native Dog Creek was named Best Australian Blues Album in a Rhythms magazine readers' poll, as were his 2005 release You Have To Dig Deep To Bury Daddy and the 2006 album Dislocation Blues, a collaboration with the late Chris Whitley.[3]

In 2012, Lang was presented with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's National Folk Recording Award. [4]

Early years

Lang's interest in music was sparked at a young age, inspired by records his parents played at home. His early influences were AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Leo Kottke, Ry Cooder, Roy Buchanan and Neil Young.[2] After playing the clarinet for six years he took up the guitar after discovering his older sister's discarded nylon string acoustic. He played electric guitar in various local bands in his hometown of Geelong before forming his own band and moving to Sydney in 1990 with the aim of playing his own compositions.

Solo career

In 1992. Lang split his band up and concentrated on playing solo shows. For the following two years he wrote the songs that later appeared on his first independently released CD, Ravenswood.[5] Since then, he has become known as a prolific songwriter, releasing 12 studio albums in the following 16 years and numerous live recordings. Seven of these albums have been nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Blues and Roots Album, with his collaboration with Bob Brozman, Rolling Through This World, winning the Award in 2002. In June 2013 he provided guitar and mandolin for Owen Campbell's second album, The Pilgrim.[6]


Solo albums

Title Release Notes
Ravenswood 1994 Produced by Les Karski.

Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Joe Accaria – drums, percussion; Les Karski – bass, percussion; Robin Riley – mandolin

Native Dog Creek 1996 Produced by Kerryn Tolhurst.
Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Dirk Dubois – bass; Chris Finnen – percussion; Adam Dicker – drums; Kerryn Tolhurst – tipple
Cedar Grove 1998 Produced by Kerryn Tolhurst.
Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Grant Cummerford – bass; Ashley Davies – drums; Kerryn Tolhurst – guitar
Everything is Still 2000 Produced by Kerryn Tolhurst.
Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Angus Diggs – drums
Whatever Makes You Happy 2004 Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Grant Cummerford – bass; Angus Diggs – Drums; Tim Hall – guitar, vocals; Sarah Carrol – vocals; Suzannah Espie – vocals; Trish Anderson – vocals; Chris Wilson – vocals; Matt Walker – harmonica; Chris Finnen – percussion, acoustic guitar
You Have to Dig Deep to Bury Daddy 2005 Produced by Jeff Lang and Tim Hall.
Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars, distorted ukulele, drums, percussion; Grant Cummerford – bass; Tim Hall – vocals, percussion; Ian Collard – harmonica; Anthony Shorte – drums; Ali Ferrier – fiddle, percussion
Prepare Me Well 2007 A Jeff Lang Anthology 1994 – 2006
Half Seas Over 2008 Produced by Jeff Lang.
Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars, glissentar, chumbush, clarinet, percussion, harmonium; Grant Cummerford – bass; Ali Ferrier – fiddle
Chimeradour 2009 Produced by Mark Opitz.
Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars, chumbush; Grant Cummerford – bass; Danny McKenna – drums; Don Walker – piano, Bec Matthews – kamele n'goni; Michelle Lang – vocals; Suzannah Espie – vocals; Ali Ferrier – fiddle and vocals
Carried in Mind 2011 Produced by Jeff Lang, except "Fisherman's Farewell" which was produced by Mark Opitz and Jeff Lang
I Live in My Head A Lot These Days 2014 Produced by Jeff Lang
Rarities 2016 Produced by RedHairRecords
Alone in Bad Company 2017 Produced by Jeff Lang


Title Release Notes
Live at the Vineyard (with Chris Finnen) 1996 Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Chris Finnen – vocals, guitars, percussion; Dirk Dubois – bass; Steve Peturka – drums; Kerryn Tolhurst – lap steel
The Silverbacks (with Hat Fitz) 1999 Personnel: Hat Fitz – vocals, guitars; Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Tony Eissentragor – drums; Dick Zero – bush bass, trumpet
Rolling Through This World (with Bob Brozman) 2002 Personnel: Bob Brozman – vocals, guitars; Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars, chumbush; Angus Diggs – drums
Dislocation Blues (with Chris Whitley) 2006 Personnel: Chris Whitley – vocals, national guitar, guitar, foot stomp; Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars, lap steel, chumbush, banjo; Grant Cummerford – electric and upright bass; Ashley Davies – drums
Djan Djan (with Mamadou Diabate and Bobby Singh) 2009 Personnel: Jeff Lang – acoustic slide guitar; Bobby Singh – tabla; Mamadou Diabate – kora; Greg Sheehan – percussion; Ben Walsh – percussion

Live recordings

Lang is known as a strong live performer, which is reflected in the number of live recordings he has released.

Title Recorded Notes
Disturbed Folk 1995 Live album recorded 1995 in Queensland, Australia.
A Crowd in Every Face 1996/97 Live in Melbourne, New York City and London during 1996/97 with mainly solo tracks augmented by some songs recorded backed by Grant Cummerford on bass and Chris Nable on drums.
Real Scars 1998 1998 live limited edition bonus disc that came with first 1,000 copies of "Cedar Grove", features live songs from Melbourne accompanied by Grant Cummerford on bass and Shley Davies on drums, with Matt Walker playing lap steel on one song.
Disturbed Folk Vol. 2 1999 Live solo recordings in Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle Australia.
Live at the Basement DVD 2001 Recorded in Sydney. Personnel: Jeff Lang – vocals, guitars; Angus Diggs – drums; Don Walker – piano
No Point Slowing Down 2002 Live solo recordings from the USA.
Engines Moan 2009 Japan-only live CD of a Melbourne show with Grant Cummerford on bass and Danny McKenna on drums.


Lang primarily plays acoustic guitars, although he has an unorthodox way of amplifying them, running a combination of a built-in microphone and a Sunrise magnetic pick-up together for his clean acoustic sound, while also running the output of the Sunrise pick-up through various effects through an electric guitar amplifier allowing him to obtain both acoustic and distorted electric guitar tones from the same guitar.[7] This approach has been hugely influential in the Australian scene, particularly after the well-known guitarist John Butler was inspired by Lang's playing and sound to pursue a very similar setup.[8][9] Some of the guitars he has used live and in the studio are:


  1. "Never Idol – Jeff Lang Interviewed by Sydney Morning Herald's Bruce Elder". Sydney Morning Herald. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  2. "AU Review Interview with Jeff Lang". 14 May 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  3. Soap. "ARIA Awards Past Winners". Aria Awards. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  4. National Film and Sound Archive: National Folk Recording Award Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "The Dues Interview 'Jeff Lang Lays It on the Line'". 23 August 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  6. Dickens, Rob (2 July 2013). "TRead about Owen Campbell's new release The Pilgrim". Listening Through the Lens. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  7. "Jeff Lang Website – Equipment Page". 22 August 2009. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  8. "John Butler Trio, Barry Cleveland". 9 July 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  9. "Interview: John Butler – Blending Styles & Gear". Premier Guitar. April 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  10. "Interview with Jeff Lang in Australian Musician". 4 September 2010. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2010.

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