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Prepare Me Well compiles material from singer/guitarist Jeff Lang's ten previous releases. Though he's well known in his Australian homeland and other parts of the world, Lang's introduction to American audiences is long overdue. Influenced by Bob Dylan, Lang sings original songs that tell a story. His up-close and personal interpretations leave us with plenty to think about. His easy to understand lyrics prove delightful.
Bateman's Bay tells about hoping and waiting from an acoustic folksinger's point of view. We've all been there. "Prepare Me Well, on the other hand, deals with what could happen in a somber tone that lives and breathes the blues. "Gina," a previously unreleased track, laments from a bleak ballad background about how things have turned awry. "Cedar Grove, another previously unreleased piece, employs a folk tradition to express sadness and dismay. "Rain on Troy gathers the songwriter's experiences together for a tale of regret and longing.
Too Easy to Kill moves away from Lang's traditional folk presence and instead drives into a fierce political arena. The lyrics (all included in the liner booklet) provide an adventurous foray into contemporary and progressive territory. Lang's creative position on this blazing-fast tirade gives him a unique presence that is sure to be noticed. He's so overwhelming that you can't help wanting more. Fortunately, there's plenty of music here, and it gives a good cross-section of his many musical ways to tell a story.
Track Listing: The Save; The Road is Not Your Only Friend; London; Molasses and Stone; Whatever Makes You Happy; Too Easy to Kill; Mr. God; And All the Snow Melted; Batemanís Bay; Gina; Ravenswood; Cedar Grove; Everything is Still; Prepare Me Well; Rain on Troy.
Personnel: Jeff Lang: vocal, guitar, mandolin, trowel, harmonium, banjo, brick; Grant Cummerford, J.
Carson Gray: bass; Angus Diggs: drums, percussion; Ashley Davies, Martin Lynds: drums; Les
Karski, Joe Accaria: percussion; Azo Bell: singing saw; Bruce Haymes: Rhodes electric piano;
Greg OíLeary: fiddle; Tim Hall: acoustic guitar, backing vocals; Suzannah Espie, Sarah Caroll,
Trish Anderson, Chris Wilson, Eric Brace: backing vocals.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.