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Peter Lang

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  • Years Active: 1970s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Fingerstyle guitarist Peter Lang was among the many discoveries and disciples of the pioneering John Fahey, whose Takoma label issued Lang's cult-classic 1973 debut LP, The Thing at the Nursery Room Window. Born and raised in Minnesota, Lang was in middle school when a friend invited him to a Minneapolis coffeehouse for a performance by folk revival trio Koerner, Ray & Glover. Dave Ray's picking style would prove the most profound influence on his own guitar playing, and through the music of another Minnesota legend, Bob Dylan, he further traced the roots of contemporary folk music back to America's prewar country and blues. Lang's technical acumen, melodic imagination, and profound grasp of the blues inevitably brought him to the attention of American Primitive icon Fahey, who in 1973 issued The Thing at the Nursery Room Window. A year later, Takoma also released a compilation featuring Fahey, Lang, and fellow fingerstyle virtuoso Leo Kottke. Lang issued his next LP, the Grammy-nominated Lycurgus, on the Flying Fish imprint in 1975, followed two years later by the Waterhouse release Back to the Wall. Fame and fortune eluded him, however, and upon returning from a six-week East Coast tour $600 in the hole, he agreed to give up performing in search of steady employment. Apart from co-authoring the 1982 book 20th Century Masters of Finger-Style Guitar with John Stropes, Lang spent close to two decades outside of the music industry, working in film and animation until 1999, when he began work on his 2001 comeback LP, Dharma Blues, released via his own Horus label. The follow-up, Guitar, hit retail in 2004.