Half Seas Over – Jeff Lang
By Chris Peken
Jeff Lang is a true musical troubadour, crossing the length and breadth of this country (and others) plying his ancient trade, guitar in hand, countless stories in his pocket. Without the “burden” of commercial success and market expectations Lang has forged his own road, a road of roots and blues marked by his considerable talent as a guitar player. The latest fork in that road – Half Seas Over – is a move towards folk from his blues roots, and one of considerable merit. With just a smattering of electric guitar, Lang caresses and coaxes sounds and textures from his acoustic and Dobro over age-old tales, legends and myths passed down from century to century by troubadours such as Jeff Lang. The House Carpenter is a traditional tune Lang has given a jolly good acoustic rollicking too – his version comperable with Dylan’s 1962 recording of same name. Half Seas Over also sees Lang in the best vocal form yet, boldly allowing his considerable guitar skills to be subtly subservient to the tales he needs to tell. A rich and delicate album that will keep rewarding.