Jeff Lang


This page last updated at 05:43pm September 7 2011
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Dig Deep to Bury Daddy You Have To Dig Deep To Bury Daddy
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Live At The Basement Live At The Basement
Everything Is Still Everything Is Still
Disturbed Folk Vol. 2 Disturbed Folk Vol. 2
Cedar Grove Cedar Grove
A Crowd in Every Face A Crowd in Every Face
Native Dog Creek Native Dog Creek
Disturbed Folk Disturbed Folk
Ravenswood Ravenswood

Djan Djan cover Djan Djan
Blessed South The Blessed South
Disturbed Folk Music 2008 Disturbed Folk 2008
Dislocation Blues Dislocation Blues
Rolling Through This World Rolling Through This World
The Silverbacks The Silverbacks
Real Scars Real Scars
96 Tour Pressie 96 Tour Pressie
Live at the Vineyard Live at the Vineyard

Blues and Roots Festival Compilations
Live At The Basement - DVD
Year of Release: 2001  
Cat. Number: - Release Status: Not Available
Track Listing:
  1. I Still See You
  2. Big Feeling
  3. Is She Slipping
  4. Prepare Me Well
  5. Too Easy To Kill
  6. Bateman's Bay
  7. London
  8. Elvis Is Dead
  9. No Good Answers
  10. Can't Raise My Head
  11. Some Memories Never Die
  12. Everything Is Still
  13. Frightened Fool
  14. Burn That Bridge
Recorded live at the Basement, Sydney 24th May 2001. DVD contains bonus acoustic studio performances and interview.
You Have To Dig Deep To Bury Daddy


Jeff Lang - Vocals, Guitars
Angus Diggs - Drums
Don Walker - Piano


By John Lancaster

This DVD is one of a series of live recordings of visiting artists to The Basement Club, Sydney and presents acoustic guitar virtuoso Jeff Lang playing at the Circular Quay on 24th May 2001.

Growing up in Geelong, Victoria, Jeff initially played clarinet but when fourteen started teaching himself guitar by listening to his father's Roy Buchanan, Eric Clapton and Ry Cooder records. Evolving a distinctive guitar style based on unorthodox fingerings and tunings, Lang first released a five-track instrumental cassette Cramp Your Style in 1989 and his first album, Ravenswood followed in 1994. Having achieved a following in the USA and cult status in the London music scene, Jeff has more recently been recognised as one of Australia's leading guitarists and is being increasingly appreciated in his own country.

This recording mostly features songs from his last two albums (Everything is Still and Disturbed Folk Vol.2) but opens with Jeff playing the early song I Still See You from Native Dog Creek solo. Writing the great majority of his own songs, and having a reasonable voice, Lang is a veritable tour de force on guitar. Whilst he could be loosely be described as a blues musician, the wall of sound produced by combining innovative picking and slide techniques defies belief. The talent of his guitar playing is highlighted when, during the climax of Too Easy To Kill he loses the Dobro's D string yet still manages to carry on unfazed, whilst wrestling with flaying loose ends, with no discernible loss of sound. Whilst the slide guitar songs are strongly reminiscent of Leo Kotke, there are subtle shades of Dylan, sitar-like picking on London and even a Celtic jig on Prepare Me Well. Lang is joined on track 2 by Angus Diggs on drums for the rest of the set and in the latter tracks by Don Walker on piano. The cozy cellar-bar type ambience of The Basement is ideally suited to Lang's intimate yet forceful style of music and this DVD captures the atmosphere well, even down to the irritating silhouettes cast by audience visits to the bar.

For guitar playing musos hoping to pick up a few tips, there are plenty of shots of finger-picking and fretwork. For those who merely require a little live visual entertainment to augment the atmosphere of a live club performance, the slightly claustrophobic, subterranean intimacy of The Basement is well conveyed.

Personally, I would have appreciated having my view of the stage intermittently blotted out (10:58, 11:08, 24:08) by heads and torsos of passers-by edited out, but I guess some will argue that that's all part of the show! The video is sharp and detailed. The limited lighting of The Basement is concentrated mostly on stage with little light cast on the audience, and hence shadow detail is very limited by the ambient lighting. There is low level noise and mild aliasing throughout the transfer on the usual culprits of guitar strings, mike stands and wind-shields.

Colours are displayed in accordance with the ambient lighting, mainly spots on the musicians whose skin-tones were realistically portrayed, but little colour is seen in the club area, save the neon over the bar.

This is a superb audio track and beautifully presents the rich, clean vibrant tones of the acoustic guitars. There is one audio track recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 kbytes/sec. In surround sound mode, the recording heavily features the centre channel so if your centre speaker isn't up to the job of conveying an almost mono mix of vocals and guitar you might be better off down-mixing the 5.1 to 2 channel stereo for your front mains. Either way, it sounds superb and is as good a recording of acoustic guitar as I have heard on any medium or using any encoding technique.

The dialogue was clear and clean with no microphone pops or sibilance and, unlike the video, a creditable lack (thank goodness) of club-background sound effects such as scraping of chairs or the clink of glasses. Audio sync was accurate and no problems were detected.

The surrounds were used to provide quiet reverberation and crowd effects with the occasional tinkle of percussion and as such usefully augment the atmosphere but could be easily dispensed with. The subwoofer was barely utilised and quiet throughout the recording until near the concert end when the bass drum suddenly comes to life through the .1 channel. As there is no bass or synthesiser accompaniment, this is not a problem. It's a shame that we are provided with the barest minimum of extras, especially as Jeff Lang is not well known and details of his background and biography are scarce, even on the web. Lyrics of songs and a biography wouldn't have taken up much disc space and still allowed the single layer recording.

I hadn't heard of Jeff Lang before this review but stunned as I was by his guitar playing I will certainly look out for him in the future. The video is far from reference quality but sharp and adequate although a little raw and could have benefited from a little more consideration in the final edit for the DVD viewer. The sound quality is superb although maybe a little over-reliant on the centre speaker. Strongly recommended for folk, blues, acoustic guitar and of course, Jeff Lang fans.

Ratings (out of 5) VIDEO 3 AUDIO 5 EXTRAS 2 1/2 PLOT 4 OVERALL 4

Damian Madden -

Recorded on the 21st of May 2001 this performance features an up and coming Australian performer by the name of Jeff Lang. Now I had no idea who Jeff Lang was and I still don't. I do know, however, that he is a very talented guitar player/songwriter who should have a big career ahead of him. It is good that places like The Basement exist so that talented yet relatively unknown artists can get to ply their trade to an audience.

Surprisingly the video is very good, especially considering the conditions under which it was filmed. The image is pretty sharp and looks amazing. This program looks like it was filmed on hand held cameras and considering this the image is very pleasing to look at. I guess it just goes to show how far technology has come and what the right kind of systems can do. Colors are good and strong and the blacks are also decent. All up a great effort.

The 5.1 soundtrack is also of excellent quality. However it isn't the all enveloping soundfield I normally require of 5.1 concert films, which detracts slightly. Still, dialogue/vocals are clear and line up well and the music itself sounds warm and real, never tinny. Basically it is as good as it is going to get and unless you were actually there you‚d never hear it better.

Onto the extras and again we have a fantastic selection that should delight fans as well as providing viewers with plenty of information about Jeff. First up is another interview with Doug Mulray. These are really interesting and during it Jeff speaks about his music with a passion rarely seen these days. Top marks. Also included is a studio sesh in which he performs two songs: Everything Is Still and Easy To Kill. An interesting Australian artist on an interesting Australian DVD. Check it out.

Ratings (out of 5): PLOT 4.5 VIDEO 4.5 AUDIO 4.5 EXTRAS 3 OVERALL 4.5