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.



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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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