If there was a handbook passed out when every woman embraced her sexuality, k.d lang would have a chapter of her own.
This four-time Grammy-Award winner has been active on the music front before Lady Gaga heard of Madonna. k.d. lang is one of the most critically acclaimed vocal artists still active and in high demand on today’s music scene. And with her latest offering taking her and her new band on a multi-country tour, it is evident that she is far from done with the world.
In 1983, the Canadian performer stepped onto the music scene with her now former band and released “A Truly Western Experience.” Were it not for the country musings of beloved Patsy Cline, the past twenty five years of k.d. lang-ness may have never seen the light of day. It was Cline’s music that inspired lang to form a tribute band with The Reclines, and with that entrance, lang found her calling. With The Reclines in her quiver, she started her long creative journey of merging her country foundation with a nearly folk-alternative flavor into the easy listening, soul thumping music she continues to create today. The international success of “Crying,” a soul tearing duet with Roy Orbison, made Warner Brothers perk up and say “Welcome to America.”
While on the Warner Brothers label, lang established herself as the “the best singer of her generation” in the eyes of the great Tony Bennett. And throughout the 90’s, lang made listeners sit up and pay beg for her lyrically delightful bouquet of mind ravishing singles and spine tingling covers. Toes still curl when her ground breaking “Constant Craving” strokes along their ears and her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has captured emotional fervor at its poignant peak. With her hotel linen crisp vocals, lang staked her claim on the 90’s with no less than ten singles immortalized in various silver screen moments.
As lang staked her claim, she took a career risk and admitted her sexual orientation to The Advocate stating that she feared losing her place in the spotlight because of who she wants to share her life with. Thankfully, the audiences took the high road and continued to enjoy the rich tones and mesmerizing breath control that makes her music timeless.
Throughout the 2000’s lang took the time to lay a rich foundation in her audience’s palate by covering classics such as “La Vie en Rose” with Tony Bennett on their “A Wonderful World” collaboration album and devote time to her activism with PETA and various HIV/AIDS campaigns. But lang did not say goodbye to the first decade of the new millennia without gifting her faithful fan base with a 2008 release of “Watershed.”
Now with her band, the Siss Boom Bang, k.d. lang is ushering in the second decade with her unique offerings in the form of “Sing it Loud.”
“Sing it Loud” was released on the April 12 txo the eager U.S. audience after sating their lust with her first collection of greatest hits released in 2010. This new album is the first she has made with a band since her freshmen release with the Reclines. Critics armed with their pre-release mp3s flooded the internet with their reviews, citing lang’s vocals as, “sultry… [and] filled with genuine sensuality.” Sing it Loud is an “organic collaboration” that augments lang’s masterful vocal control.
And for one night only, this dynamic star will grace the Myerhoff stage as she tours North America for the summer. This rare evening will consist of a review of her famous hits and a selection from her latest album. It is not often k.d. lang visits Charm City and hear her warm timbre in the elegant halls of the Myerhoff. Devoted fans and blushing newbies would be wise to treat themselves to this amazing show.
DETAILS: k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang. Thursday, July 14, 8pm. $38-75. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. BSOMusic.org