Peter Lang

The Thing at the Nursery Room Window

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Comparable to John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Leo Kottke, Peter Lang was among the acoustic guitarists who came out of the "picker" genre in the '60s and '70s. The pickers, as they were called, played unaccompanied solo guitar and made instrumental folk their specialty. Lang isn't as well known as either Fahey or Kottke, although he is a talented and expressive musician in his own right. A lot of pickers recorded for Fahey's Takoma label, and it was for Takoma that Lang, in 1972, recorded The Thing at the Nursery Room Window. This is essentially a folk recording, although Lang's brand of folk easily incorporates elements of southern country blues, bluegrass, and Appalachian music. Lang is an impressive improviser, but he doesn't beat his listeners over the head with technique. Although the Minneapolis native has impressive chops, he never lets them get in the way of his down-home charm, and he never has a problem coming across as warm, unpretentious, and earthy. The Thing at the Nursery Room Window originally came out on vinyl in 1973 and was reissued on CD in 2000, when Fantasy added three bonus from either the 1974 Flying Fish date Lycurgus or the 1978 Waterhouse session Back to the Wall.

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