Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff Lang is world renowned as a prolific artist who has defied categorization by bending and blurring genres to create his own ever-evolving sound from the base ingredients of Folk, Rock, Blues, Experimental and World music styles.
The road he has travelled over this past decade has yielded the rewards of many a hard-working musician's dreams - widespread acclaim, a devoted fan base, an exemplary back catalogue, an ARIA Award in addition to countless nominations, invitations to the world's most prestigious festivals, and coveted tours with such icons as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. So it's fitting that the title of Lang's transcendent new album, Chimeradour, suggests the life of the travelling troubadour as well as conjuring the chimera: a fantastic creature from Greek mythology of many parts; swift-footed with a lion's face, a serpent's body and a fiery breath.
Chimeradour is a spectral and many-faceted sonic journey. A voracious musical explorer, Lang has absorbed and transformed many rich influences in the course of his collaborations with musicians from Mali to Mumbai. The echoes of African desert blues reverberate in the rolling, hypnotic lap slide guitar work on South, whilst the driving guitar rock of Slow Rooms and Half Blurred Faces suggests the ragged glory of Neil Young and Crazy Horse. The blues is always present in Lang's music, tempered with expansive jazz modalities on The Janitor - the menacing closing soliloquy - and searing electric picking on the album's only cover, Richard Thompson's eerie lullaby End of the Rainbow. Lang commands atmospherics worthy of Bill Frisell or Daniel Lanois on the impressionistic opening track Two Worlds, then musters a darkly poetic rock'n'roll mood on Edge of the Light, which sounds like a jam session with Ed Kuepper and Jimmy Page in the back of a four-wheel drive, somewhere in the Sahara desert.
Lang has spent of his time touring all corners of the world, including the Fuji Rock and Asagari Jam Festivals (Japan), Safiko World Music Festival (Reunion Island), Quebec Summer Festival and Ottawa Blues Festival in Canada. He was the first artist in residence of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival and toured China. Chimeradour captures the blazing dynamism of Lang's live performance with his virtuosic accompanists, Grant Cummerford on bass and Danny McKenna on drums, at full tilt. The album was recorded by legendary producer Mark Opitz, known for his work on countless classic albums by Cold Chisel, INXS, AC/DC, The Angels and Divinyls.
The 12 compelling songs of Chimeradour are miniature character studies drawn as much from the emotions Lang wrings from his guitar as from the imagery of his rapid fire lyrics. Revered piano man Don Walker sits in on Another One Of These Days and The Janitor, contributing his subtly magnificent finishing touches to this iconic and vital Australian album.