WKSU listeners can enter a drawing for a pair of tickets to see k.d. lang in concert at the Goodyear Theater in Akron on Saturday, March 17. To enter, send an email with your name, phone number and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use k.d. lang in the subject line. Winners will be drawn on Monday, Jan. 8.
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 could hear that she was marked for greatness.
But lang wasn't looking to be pigeonholed. Her 1989 Grammy Award-winning Absolute Torch and Twang (Best Female Country Vocal Performance) combined her love of country with increasingly sophisticated, emotive torch singing typified by "Pullin' Back the Reins." She had fashioned a sound—if not a genre—all her own: an elegant and impassioned adult contemporary approach.
Along with Jane Siberry and jointly with Neko Case and Laura Veirs, lang has collaborated, in the studio and on stage, with many pop and country performers, including Bonnie Raitt and Elton John. But her best-known collaboration has been with veteran crooner Tony Bennett, with whom she recorded the 2002 Wonderful World duets album and continues to tour regularly, often in symphonic settings.