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Ian Lang | The Whisper

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Country: Americana Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Whisper

by Ian Lang

Anglo-Americana Music From The Midlands, England.
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Under the Sun
4:39 $0.99
2. The Moon and the River
3:19 $0.99
3. Rollin' Home
4:20 $0.99
4. The Girl Who Chased Storms
4:30 $0.99
5. Roses and Rust
4:00 $0.99
6. O'Casey's Ghost
5:19 $0.99
7. Between the Bells
4:03 $0.99
8. Button
3:27 $0.99
9. What About You
4:14 $0.99
10. Radio Days
4:28 $0.99
11. Great Expectations
7:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ian Lang’s latest release, The Whisper, is a superb collection of the finely crafted, beautifully arranged Anglo-Americana songs for which Ian has become widely known on both sides of The Pond. An inspired acoustic set of 11 songs make subtle reference to Lang’s influences but shine vividly with their own light. A brilliant follow-up to Blood on a Pale Moon (2003) and Radio Days (1998), Ian’s soulful voice is in perfect gritty contrast to the grace of the dancing melodies and sparkling crystalline production. Performances by a host of top musicians from the UK and North America mix it up here with textures of pedal steel, fiddles, dobro, mandolin, layered harmony and ethnic percussion. Ian is a gifted songwriter whose stories are told with rare intensity, wisdom and tenderness. Tales of a near-to-retired boxer (Between the Bells), a soldier who gives his life far from his home and the girl he loves (Button) and the impossibly tender Girl Who Chased Storms segue easily into a reprise of Lang’s popular Radio Days, the darkly sensual Roses and
Rust and the ultra-spooky O’Casey’s Ghost.
This is a collection of songs you will return to again and again always hearing something new.
Musical contributions from UK artists Gavin Sutherland (Sutherland Bros), Chris Parks (Any Trouble) and Ollie Collins (Angie Palmer) sit quite comfortably next to those of Seattle Americana artists Nancy K. Dillon, Zak Borden (Rachel Harrington, Darren Smith) and Paul Elliott (Michelle Shocked) bringing Ian’s songs into full flower. The Whisper was recorded in truly innovative fashion in England, Scotland, Canada and the US. Thanks to connections formed via internet music sites such as MySpace and the ease with which e-mailing tracks over many miles and even oceans can be done in our time, you can hear first-hand how musical connections form and grow and how the power of music erases distance. Lang is currently based in The Midlands, England and performs whenever the mood strikes in the UK and America.
The Whisper has reached #3 in the UK Roots Radio chart and #21 in the Worldwide Roots Airplay chart , it has also been Spotlight album of the week on UKCountry Radio.com.



to write a review

Net Rhythms

The Whisper
Formerly of 80s outfit Small Change, Lang’s been called Stoke On Trent’s very own Leonard Cohen, presumably by someone who inadvertently misfiled his Dylan albums in Cohen sleeves and never noticed.
Truth is, variously recorded in Vancouver, Seattle, Scotland and Staffordshire, with Any Trouble guitarist Chris Parks, Gavin Sutherland and Americana singer Nancy K Dillon among those contributing, none of these 11 acoustic songs sound remotely like Cohen, musically, vocally or lyrically.
They do, however, bear testament to the role of Dylan, Guy Clark and John Prine among Lang’s influences. Indeed, down to the raspy voice and kissed by pedal steel, the opening Under The Sun sounds like Bob at his most tenderly romantic while the melancholic What About You and the bluesier Roses And Rust are equally mined from the same seam.
Elsewhere Clark and Prine’s colours can be heard streaking the bluegrassed fisherman’s love lament Rollin ‘ Home and the crystalline, guitar ringing folk-country Radio Days while a spooked O’Casey’s Ghost bears witness to Tom Waits storytelling and the lovely The Moon And The River nods gently to the tune of Let It Be Me.
However, as both writer and singer, Lang’s much more than a mirror of his influences. Listening to that sepia burnished, cracked and nicotine stained voice is like curling in front of a crackling log fire, his melodies curl like fireflies in the night sky and his narratives of love steadfast, battered or lost ease open the heart to lodge in your soul. Listen to Between The Bells, a poignant trad folk flavoured snapshot of a worn down ageing boxer facing the final rounds of his career. If Springsteen hadn’t been around it would have been a perfect theme song for The Wrestler.
Then, set to fiddle, dobro and mandolin backing, Button tells of a young soldier dying and buried far away from home and the girl whose coat once held the button around his throat, The Girl Who Chased Storms rewrites She’s Leaving Home in a Canadian winter, and, harmonica and squeezebox adding melancholy, What About You calls upon Antony and Cleopatra and Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn as testament to love’s endurance.
It’s an artist and album that deserves to be heard far and wide. Time to start a whispering campaign.


The Whisper
This short epistle is being typed while The Whisper once again is being played on my old, faithful CD player. This album has many beautiful songs to digest. Rarely are there songs of beauty like that of Ian Lang, a British singer-songwriter who has a lot of years on the counter.
In 1997, Ian’s first solo album released by Nursery Records, a record company more or less having been set up to give his music to the rest of the world. Previously, Ian Lang known as frontman of Small Change, a pop band mostly in the eighties which rather caused a furore.
Now there is The Whisper, Successor to the 2003 released Blood On A Pale Moon and already his fourth solo album. This CD contains eleven acoustic songs which undeniably show Lang’s ability. Inspired by soul mates like Taylor, Waits, Prine and Dylan. And to make a bold statement , in moments they are by no means inferior to his influences. The music shows he is assisted by a host of guest musicians that many Americana fans will know. Acoustic guitar parts are supplemented with masterly played pedal steel, fiddle, dobro, mandolin and percussion and backing vocals are the beautiful vocal contributions of Nancy K. Dillon. The album The Whisper was recorded in England, Scotland, Canada and the United States . That Ian’s guests reside in these countries means of course he is no stranger to them. It is certainly nice to hear bands recording songs using things like e-mail with other MySpace found musicians .
Ian is a gifted songwriter, that's for sure. The stories he tells in his songs are punctuated by wisdom and tenderness. In Between The Bells there is a boxer who meditates on his past life, while Button sketches the story of a soldier far from home while his love is left behind. The dark and sensual Roses and Rust is probably my favourite song, both lyrically and musically, though all eleven songs on The Whisper are worth a listen. Believe me when I say that this collection of songs will have you playing them over again.
Lang currently lives in the English Midlands and plays both in Great Britain and the U.S., depending on how he feels. We can only hope that the man quickly crosses the Channel again.
(Lewis) Rootstime.


Timeless and original...
To be honest I felt that I should disqualify myself from reviewing this CD since I had the honour & pleasure of singing some harmony vocals on it ;-). However, I just bought several copies of The Whisper to give for Christmas presents and cannot resist the opportunity to comment. Ian Lang's newest album is every bit as astonishing and captivating as his previous two acoustic/folk cds both of which have stayed in constant rotation here on the Ranchette. The Whisper will be no exception that's for certain. While there is perhaps a bit more Americana edge to this recording due to the addition of some stellar musicians from the US and Canada alongside his amazingly talented UK musical posse (and with which his fans will already be familiar), Ian's roots reach deep and strong tapping into his island's musical lineage and tradition. As with his earlier albums, I'm tremendously impressed by the quality of the arrangements for the songs on The Whisper and Ian's mastery of creating a mood with sound. Each song becomes my favorite by turn...there are no 'filler' tracks to be found here at all ! The lyrics are spare and yet they paint vivid pictures and tell timeless stories. There's a little bit of mystery left in the songs which gives a listener the chance to inhabit each story. Ian's voice is uniquely his own...by turns gritty and smooth...tender and strong. A truly wonderful collection well worth the price of admission...


I recently returned from a driving trip, and forgot to throw some CDs in the truck. I listened to pop country for most of the trip and found it tiring and eventually unbearable. So much of it is compressed until it is lifeless, and autotuned until it is just as bland as the songs before and after. After a while, it feels like sonic punishment - Nashville sound torture. Two days later, I left for another trip WITH some music, including this album, given to me by a new friend. Wow. Breath, breadth, space, dynamics, emotion, character… all of the things lacking in commercial country now. If you would be excited by an all-acoustic album by Dylan, Kristofferson, Donovan, or as other reviewers mentioned, Tom Waits, you will enjoy “The Whisper” thoroughly

Brian Frain

The Whisper by Ian Laing
I haved been a big fan of Ians for many years and this is his best album to date. The opening track Under the Sun is not to be missed. O'Casey's Ghost and Between the Bells struck me straight away. The whole album grows on you the more you play it. Look forward to the next

Christy Claxton

Stave Magazine
Fans of dark storytelling should give Ian Lang a listen.


IAN LANG The Whisper (Nursery Records)

(4 ****)

To cut a long story short: After covering the period 1979-1986 It Was What It Was (With Small Change) Primitive 1997, Radio Days 1998, Blood On A Pale Moon from 2003 Tight Lines in 2006 the sixth of the British bard Ian Lang, is an excellent CD. With a galaxy of guests including Gavin Sutherland (Sutherland Brothers), Chris Parks (Any Trouble), Ollie Collins (Angie Palmer), Zak Borden (Rachel Harrington), Paul Elliott (Michelle Shocked) and Nancy K. Dillon . Shows him active from the Midlands. Lang shows his influences as Eric Taylor, John Prine and Bob Dylan. Like his influences he writes not only very beautiful songs, he uses them on numerous occasions to provide beautiful short stories. About an almost retired boxer in the song Between The Bells. Or about a life far from home and leaving his loved one far away, in Button, These are some of the many highlights here to dwell on. Sublime songs which Lang elegantly expresses a preference for the imported product Americana but with undeniable links to his British influences. The result, call it Anglo-Americana, whatever it is of a timeless beauty. A real must therefore!


The Whisper
This is GOOD, you have surpassed yourself. A great combination of thought provoking lyrics, lilting melodies, great music rolled together to make a whole bunch of really, really good tracks that made me want to play and play...and play. Thank you

Victory Magazine

These are good songs featuring clear poetry,and out-front lyrics. The arrangements befit the delivery and the tasteful use of local musicians Wes Weddell, Nancy K. Dillon, Bob Knetzger and M.J. Bishop. My favorites from this CD are ‘Rollin’ Home’ and ‘Radio Days’ but all the writing on this effort is good. [J.W. McClure]


its the dogs b******ks
Love the 'between the bells' track - on my no 1 playlist ! Sort of Cash meets Young'ish; nice one mate!
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