No­body, and I mean no­body, brings more to a per­for­mance than k.d. lang. But she’s not on the road that much, so you might have to set­tle for record­ings. A good record­ing to set­tle for would be Shad­ow­land, fea­tur­ing pro­duc­tion by country-music leg­end Owen Bradley and guest ap­pear­ances by oth­er divas-with-twang. This is prob­a­bly the best song on Shad­ow­land.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

I ac­tu­al­ly saw k.d. last year, on her “Ingenue” tour, in which she played that break­through al­bum end-to-end, then a bunch of hit­s. The place was packed, most­ly with the gay and/or grey-haired. I’m not huge on In­genue and it took k.d. a while to re­al­ly warm up, but she got there and made the walls shake, and even­tu­al­ly sang Hal­lelu­jah, not a dry eye in the house.

But I’d seen her twice be­fore. Once in the Nineties and that night’s ver­sion of Walkin’ After Mid­night con­tained the most beau­ti­ful singing I’ve ev­er heard in my life, by any­one. And a thou­sand years ago in her pure-cowpunk phase; a thrill a minute and you couldn’t stop smil­ing.

Any­how, Western Stars has a com­plete­ly won­der­ful steel-guitar part, and some high notes that will make you shud­der. You can’t go wrong with it.

Links · Spo­ti­fy, iTunes, Ama­zon, live video - best sound, best voice.



Contributions

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From: hawkse (Jan 03 2018, at 12:15)

Oh yes, this is very good stuff! Thank you.

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From: John Sellens (Jan 20 2018, at 14:12)

I remember cowpunk KD Lang at the Waterloo Motor Inn in the mid-80's. I was doing followspot (from about 20 feet away - it was a thin club), and during "Johnny Get Angry" when she fell to the floor, and the music stopped, the crowd loved it and couldn't get enough. It was obvious that she was a star. I spoke to her very briefly in the afternoon around sound check, and she had just recently been booked on Carson for the first time, which the web says was May 27, 1987, so that was likely March/April 1987? Maybe? (It's been a while since I've worked shows like that ...)

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