Half Seas Over — Jeff Lang

CD cover to come

(ABC/Warner)

JEFF Lang performing live (he’s touring now) will move most with his lyrics — poetic and at times bleak or acerbic — and impress with his skill on guitars, whether acoustic, lap steel, bottleneck, electric, dobro, Glissentar (11-string fretless) or Chumbush (12-string Turkish).
Lang’s 12th solo album comprises eight original tracks, one written with Suzannah Espie and one with Alison Ferrier, and two arrangements of traditional tunes.
Half Seas Over, which harks back to the simplicity and power of Everything is Still, is vintage Lang. With Grant Cummerford on bass, he draws on Gothic tales for a compelling, disturbed folk feel.
Typically for Lang, the lyrics are often dark — “She’s face down on the dresser . . . By the time that they found her the smell was real bad” — but the biting edge has softened.
Lang’s guitar work is contained, but aficionados should look to Ghosting on My Mind and Night Draws In.

DOWNLOAD: Ghosting on My Mind
FILE BETWEEN: Richard Thompson and Sonny Landreth

Review by ROGER MITCHELL

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