As has been his habit for a decade or more, Lang creates records filled with his original songs, with top bluegrass artists doing the picking and singing. It might be the opposite approach followed by most songwriters, but has served him well over six previous albums.
Working now with Dark Shadow, this latest single, White Dove of the Desert, is a “true song,” as Bill Monroe used to say, about a 18th century mission built in what is now Tucson, Arizona. It was founded in 1692 by Jesuit priest, Fr. Eusebio Kino, and the church built there in 1797 remains an active Roman Catholic parish to this day, run now by the Franciscan order, and is the oldest intact European structure in the state.
Producer/engineer Stephen Mougin describes the track thusly…
“White Dove Of The Desert depicts the true story of the San Xavier Del Bac Mission, built in 1692 in Tucson, Arizona as a way to tame the west, and introduce Christianity to that region. Since it was a Southwestern theme, and because the music allowed, we decided to approach portions of the song with a ‘bluegrass rhumba’ vibe (á la Jim and Jesse, Johnny and Jack), interspersing with regular bluegrass time on the chorus.”
To sing lead on White Dove Of The Desert, Rick and Stephen chose Kati Penn, veteran bluegrass singer and current fiddler with Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. Mougin plays guitar, with Ned Luberecki on banjo, Becky Buller on fiddle, James Kee on mandolin, and Todd Parks on bass. Stephen also ads a harmony vocal, along with Junior Williams.
Here’s a taste…
Rick also put together this video to explain the song and the history behind it.