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Catching up with Kelly Lang 
By Christy Cowan Baker, Staff Journalist

During this year’s CMA Music Fest we ended our third day with a most memorable performance by one of the truly beautiful talents in Music City. Just a few blocks away from the Convention Center at 3rd and Lindsley is a popular neighborhood bar and grill that plays host to local and national artists seven nights a week. This particular night we were there to see the captivating singer and songwriter Kelly Lang.

Even the first time you hear her sing there is something warmly familiar and soothing about her voice; I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. For me, personally, Lang's voice is akin to sipping hot cocoa from my favorite cup on a cold night. There is a certain comfort level that just can't be explained.

Lang is a prolific songwriter and early in the show she delighted the audience with several songs she either wrote or co-wrote. She has been writing with Lorrie Morgan and Mark Oliverius for Morgan's forthcoming album and another one of their collective creations, "Somethin Fishy Goin On," will be included on a compilation CD that will be sold exclusively through Bass Pro shops and features Merle Haggard, George Jones, Vince Gill, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Bobby Bare.

Perhaps her most well known song to date is "Goodbye Darlin", a song she wrote as a tribute to the memory of a close family friend; the legendary Conway Twitty. Lang's late father, Velton Lang, worked with Twitty as his road manager for more than twenty-five years. Some of Lang's most cherished, childhood memories were born as she sat on the side of the stage with her father and watched Conway perform. She says that she knew, even back then, that she wanted to be a singer when she grew up.

"I'm Not Going Anywhere"

Another song she wrote was “I’m Not Going Anywhere” and on this evening she dedicated it to her Mother and long-time love TG Sheppard who were both in the audience. The song is beautiful and since it struck a personal chord with me, during our interview I asked about that particular song. She briefly explained how she had written the song to comfort someone she knew who was going through a difficult time but only a few months after she wrote it she was diagnosed with breast cancer and found herself comforting her loved ones with those very same words. The song is now one of her personal favorites. 

When I asked if her songwriting parallels her life she responded “If I am writing alone, yes, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and you know exactly where I am, but if I’m writing with a someone else, and it’s for their project, I go with their guidance.”

I couldn't resist asking this talented songwriter the age old question, “If you could write with anyone who would it be and why?” I somewhat anticipated her answer since I knew she had recently performed with Barry Gibb at the “Night of Healing” benefit concert in Sumner County, which she organized, and where Gibb, their most notable new resident, made a special guest appearance. Lang is a long-time fan of Gibb's and has always admired his writing talents. She was honored when he asked her to sing with him on "Islands in the Stream" at the concert; a song he wrote with brothers Maurice and Robin that was a big hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in the early 80's. Ironically, Lang tells me that several months ago she told her mother that she would be writing with Barry Gibb despite the fact that she had not met him yet. Her mother brushed off her comment with, "You don’t even know him; you're crazy girl!" Kelly continues, “Lo and behold, when I first got the idea for the benefit concert, a mutual friend knew his secretary so I emailed and invited him to sing. When he asked if he could sing with me, I thought 'this is getting scary, I'm predicting who I will meet', so I hope he will be the next one I write with,” she laughs.

Another choice for a songwriting partner would be Tennessee's most beloved icon, Dolly Parton, “because she is so insightful.” When Lang writes she likes to paint a clear picture so you don’t have to wonder what she is trying to say and she feels that Parton and she are alike in their writing style. Lang compared her own songwriting to her oil paintings. They both begin with a blank canvas and you can create whatever you want. In her songwriting, as in her painting, the pictures she creates are very clear so you don’t have to guess what they are. 

Of the many professional hats she wears, when asked to pick her favorite, she is quick to say the music business but adds that being a commissioned oil painter is what pays the bills. No matter what she chooses to do you can bet that it will be something creative that she is passionate about. It isn’t a fluke that Cindy Crawford, very famous model and beauty expert, recently solicited Lang to be an official spokesperson for her new skin care line called “Meaningful Beauty.” I'd say that is a most appropriate definition of the vivacious and eloquent Ms. Lang.

Editor's Note: Kelly Lang would like to remind everyone that you can STILL donate to the United Way of Sumner County.

Background information taken from the official website: www.KellyLang.net  and on MySpace.

 

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Real People Reviews

Kelly is the BOMB!!!!!! Why she isn't famous worldwide is beyond me. 
~ Jesse C. - Bentonville, AR


Kelly Lang Rocks! I hope that she can get more and more exposure because she is one of the ones who should be recognized in and around Nashville! Looking forward to seeing her in many new projects in the future!!
~ WL Brooks

 

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