I have always loved kd lang. I liked her country-punk performance-art style back from Angel with a Lariat. She caught my eye in the 80s with her spiky hair, Buddy Holly glasses, and country-western wear; she was a genre-bending artist as much as a gender-bending one.
Somewhere in my Texas life, where I was raised by a family of genuwine wannabe cowboy poets, I developed a secret, half-assed appreciation for the older fiddle-and-banjo country sound. Probably at the roller rink.
I didn’t pay much attention to Lang’s music until Shadowland, though. I played the heck out of that CD because it harkened back to a nostalgic phase of Texas living, and dating a redneck fella with a truck and a feed-store hat. Plus, it recalled the Urban Cowboy days, when country music once again crossed over to pop, when country music became more acceptably popalicious with John Travolta. Lang’s Shadowland summoned forth the spirit of Kitty Wells/Patsy Cline country-torch. It’s all about nostalgic sugar, not anything real.
So, the Shadowland CD has a medley with Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, and Brenda Lee. It’s pure silky pleasure. The album is produced by the famous Owen Bradley, who was Cline’s producer. I read somewhere once that kd believed she was Patsy Cline’s reincarnation, thus the name of her band, “The Reclines.” She later denied this.
Of course, there’s kd’s hotness. That can’t be denied.
Once, during a dinner conversation with someone, during the Absolute Torch and Twang era, we discussed who we would be if we could be someone else. My immediate answer was kd lang. I just wanted to know what it felt like to have that powerhouse voice come out of me. Her voice is indescribable.
Here are two delightful kd videos. The first is an interview with Dame Edna. The second is a duet of kd and Dame Edna singing, of course, “I’m Every Woman.” It’s not to be missed.