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 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.
Lang at Harvest Festival Jan 2007
|Birth name||Jeffrey Lang|
|Born||8 November 1969|
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
|Genres||Folk, blues, rock and roll|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin|
He plays various types of guitar, both slide and standard, as well as banjo, mandolin, Chumbush and drums. 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.
In 2012, Lang was presented with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's National Folk Recording Award.
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. 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.
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. 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.
|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|
|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|
Lang is known as a strong live performer, which is reflected in the number of live recordings he has released.
|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. 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. Some of the guitars he has used live and in the studio are:
- Churchill guitars – acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars and acoustic lap steels built by David Churchill in Ballarat, Australia.
- Beeton Brass guitars – built by Greg Beeton in Belmont North, Australia
- National Reso-Glass guitars – Dobro-like guitars from the 1960s.
- 1960's Guyatone electric guitar
- 1976 Fender Starcaster
- Turkish Electric Baglama Saz
- Godin Glissentar
- 1950's Harmony mandolin
- 1930's Kalamazoo acoustic
- 1930's Oahu Hawaiian guitar
- 1930's Regal Dobro
- 1980's Fender Squire Stratocaster modified with Teisco pickups
- 1950's Supro lap steel
- Valco Reso Phonic
- Tim Kill Weissenborn and fretless acoustic guitars
- Stomp Box
- "Never Idol – Jeff Lang Interviewed by Sydney Morning Herald's Bruce Elder". Sydney Morning Herald. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "AU Review Interview with Jeff Lang". Theaureview.com. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- Soap. "ARIA Awards Past Winners". Aria Awards. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- National Film and Sound Archive: National Folk Recording Award Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "The Dues Interview 'Jeff Lang Lays It on the Line'". Musicians.asn.au. 23 August 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- Dickens, Rob (2 July 2013). "TRead about Owen Campbell's new release The Pilgrim". Listening Through the Lens. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Jeff Lang Website – Equipment Page". Jefflang.com.au. 22 August 2009. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "John Butler Trio, Barry Cleveland". Guitarplayer.com. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "Interview: John Butler – Blending Styles & Gear". Premier Guitar. April 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "Interview with Jeff Lang in Australian Musician". Webcache.googleusercontent.com. 4 September 2010. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- Official web site
- Jeff Lang's MySpace
- Jeff Lang's Facebook page
- Jeff Lang at allmusic.com
- Jeff Lang collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive