Peter Lang is one of those guys whose facility on guitar helped establish the Twin Cities as a hotbed of acoustic fingerpickers back in the '70s. In the last few years, he re-emerged after a 20-year hiatus from the music biz, his agility and supple touch on the strings intact. This week he releases his 10th album, Testament (Horus), a masterful exploration of early blues full of the assurance and insight of a career definer. Not only is it a showcase for Lang's sparkling guitar work, it's a neat bit of scholarship, with Lang's erudite liner notes and adept arrangements that put blues nuggets like "Stackolee" and "Nobody's Business Like My Own" into historic context. Lang has never sounded better as a vocalist, displaying a nicely textured instrument that nails the blues phrasing. Testament also offers some career perspective, opening with a 1979 duet between Lang and mentor John Fahey on Elizabeth Cotten's "Freight Train," and ending with a fierce arrangement of "Jimmy Bell" he learned from Dave Ray. For this milestone gig at the Dakota, Lang will be backed by a band, which will include ubiquitous drum ace Dave King.
Sat., April 12, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2008
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