When Kelly Lang’s long-time friend Paul Shaffer visited Nashville for vacation recently, they did what most musicians do. They made music, recording a track for her upcoming album in their first studio session together.
Lang’s performance with the former musical director of Late Show With David Letterman is one of several star-studded cuts from her upcoming album, which is set for release later this year. The singer-songwriter was excited to get to record with Shaffer, especially considering the musical magic that they created in their first performance together.
“I’ve known Paul forever, but we’d never had the chance to perform together,” said Lang. “He came down on vacation to see me, check out Nashville, and do a show. After that, we decided, ‘Why not record this for the record’?”
Shaffer had originally come to town to visit Lang and to play a July 4th show as Lang’s special guest. Lang is a regular performer in the annual Remembering Conway Twitty show at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. This year, she performed “Goodbye Darling,” a song she wrote about Twitty. For her second song, she chose “Last Date,” a song Twitty fans know for the moving lyrics he wrote to the Floyd Cramer tune.
It was the magic of “Last Date” Shaffer and Lang decided to capture when they made it into the studio. “It’s just such a magical song, and Paul brings so much to it, so much feeling and passion,” Lang said. “You can hear it all on the record when it comes out. And there’s a lot of surprises, too.”
Lang is playing it close to the vest about the songs she’s including on the album. And, while she won’t reveal the full song list or popular names that might find their way into the credits, she does say people will be surprised and pleased with the collection, which she likens to her last album of classic songs, Shades of K, which drew critical praise from Billboard. “I’ve been so blessed in my life to have people like Paul, so many incredibly gifted, talented musicians,” she said. “I’m just as blessed to have so many great songs to include on this record.”
Growing up in the music business, Lang’s father was Twitty’s longtime tour manager. She turned first to performing, with her first Billboard single “Lady, Lady” at the age of 15. Over the years, she’s toured extensively, and she is a talented and sought-after songwriter, as well. She is set to appear July 18 at the Grand Ole Opry with husband TG Sheppard, with whom she frequently performs duets in live shows. The couple released Iconic Duets, an album of celebrated love songs, in 2013.