How did you get into playing the guitar?
I heard a lot of guitar playing growing up, as my parents would play recordings of Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, Bob Dylan, Roy Buchanan and the like.
What was your first good guitar and how did you get it? (Do you still have it?)
My first decent instrument was a Fender Squier Stratocaster which I bought with money saved from an after-school job. I modified it a fair bit through the years but I don’t have it any more – sold it to Melbourne guitarist Shannon Bourne, who puts it to good use.
What were your early musical influences?
The aforementioned Dylan, Cooder and Kottke, along with blues players like Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson, British folk guitarist Bert Jansch and rock guitarists Jimmy Page, Ian Moss, Angus Young and Jimi Hendrix.
Favourite piece of gear?
Acoustic-wise the guitars made by David Churchill in Ballarat. I love my Fender Coronado II electric, as well as my slide Stratocaster, and my “frying pan” electric lap steel made by Ross Coole in Fremantle.
What gear that you still use today has been with you the longest?
I still use the Rex Mascot amplifier that I bought in around 1987, and the Airline resonator guitar I bought in Sydney in 1991.
What are your top 3 guitar albums (or songs)?
Ry Cooder – Paris Texas Soundtrack.
Ali Farka Touré – Radio Mali
Bill Frisell – East/West
What’s your latest release/recording?
My book “Some Memories Never Die” is my latest project, and it comes with a download of 22 songs recorded especially for the book.
Any upcoming live/streaming gigs?
Nothing concrete at present.
What’s your scene?
Well, I’m in Melbourne where there currently IS no scene… but it’ll return when we’re through this weird time period.
About Jeff Lang
Australian guitarist-songwriter-vocalist-producer, Jeff Lang has built a reputation for making startling music that is accomplished, intricate, gutsy, melodic and loaded with soul. Often taking unexpected turns, he has consistently inspired his audiences by creating a stylistically diverse catalogue of over 30 albums.
As many journalists have written over the years, Jeff is not one to be easily pegged, though in a general sense it’s fair to say he largely trades in roots-oriented rock; wider reaching in collaborations with the likes of roving guitar anthropologist Bob Brozman, American blues-rocker Chris Whitley, India’s desert-dwellers Maru Tarang and world music virtuosos Bobby Singh and Mamadou Diabate. Jeff’s work with the latter won the 2010 ARIA for Best World Music Album, while he and Brozman took one home for Best Blues and Roots Music Album in 2002. Jeff received that same award on his own in 2012 for the album ‘Carried In Mind’.
In 2020 Jeff published his first book – “Some Memories Never Die” – a memoir of three decades on the road; Memories of gigs where the pay was akin to blood money, reflections on how the road’s twists and turns can be lightened by the presence of fellow travellers and occasionally darkened by them too.