K.D. Lang with Mak Grgic
Sun, Sep 16 7:30 pm
K.D. Lang: k.d. lang is that rare performer who, over 25 years as a major-label artist, has matured before our very ears. The Western Canada native launched her career with a blend of country-rock stylings and playfully punk-like attitude, by turns whimsical and subversive; back then, she practically put the alternative in alt-country. But from the very beginning, her bravura singing belied her kitschy cowgirl outfits and spiky hair; anyone lucky enough to attend very first appearance in the United States, on a triple bill of unsigned artists at New York City’s Bottom Line, could hear that she was marked for greatness. After independently releasing A Truly Western Experience on a Canadian label in 1984, which generated serious major-label interest in the States, lang joined Sire/Warner Bros. at the behest of Seymour Stein for her 1987 U.S. debut, Angel With A Lariat, produced by one-time Rockpile guitarist Dave Edmunds and cut with her then-band the Reclines. 1988 follow-up Shadowland brought lang—rather daringly—right to the heart of Nashville for a countrypolitan-themed collaboration helmed by legendary producer Owen Bradley, mentor to lang’s idol, Patsy Cline, as well as to Brenda Lee. (In fact, Lee, Loretta Lynn, and Kitty Wells make a guest vocal appearance on the album’s “Honky Tonk Angels’ Medley.”) Though the Nashville establishment may have remained skeptical about lang, Shadowland reached #8 on the Billboard Country album chart. Mak Grgic: “Grgić has quickly established himself as one of the up-and-coming performers in the guitar genre.” Mak is an innovative player, who programs music as far reaching as works from the avant-garde, film music to the great classics of guitar repertoire and transcriptions of Brahms and Kreisler. His new recording on Marquis Music entitled Cinema Verismo focuses on music used in cinema over the last few decades, which mixes classical works used in films and transcriptions of cinematic scores. The CD includes Asturias by Albeniz, for which one critic stated that “Grgic did an excellent job of catering to the expectations of the audience while still make the piece his own.” Cinema Verismo also offers music ranging from films such as The Godfather, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Volver, The Mission, West Side Story and Chariots of Fire.