The Distance is the fourth album released by The Phil Langran Band. Band leader Phil Langran's songs are a powerful combination of immediacy and slow-burning subtlety. Their melodies instantly take up residence in the mind while the lyrics pack a considerable emotional punch. This is set off to great effect by Phil's line in dry, laconic humour which accompanies the live shows. The songs and lyrics are masterpieces of succinctness, and seem to work effortlessly on several levels, belying the craftsmanship that has gone into their making. Phil is not only a fine musician but also a writer steeped in the poetic traditions of Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. The result is a brilliant intertwining of Americana, Celtic, Folk and Blues themes in distinctive original songs. Like all the best songwriters, Phil has created his own genre, where Harlem nights and New York cityscapes rub shoulders with the west coast of Ireland and scenes from Werner Herzog's films.
The Distance represents another collection of fine original songs from The Phil Langran Band with it's opening track 'Time's Dark Wing' receiving high praise from some notable contemporaries:
"Oh that is lovely. A good song and very moving performance. I am very pleased to have listened to that before bed." - Teddy Thompson
"That's a great tune. Prine & Van Zandt would approve!" - Roddy Woomble
"I love that song so much." - Kathryn Williams
Previous releases have also attracted praise:
"Musically astute and lyrically absorbing...A warm, intelligent set of songs for folkies"
– The Morning Star
"His vocals are utterly British and delivered with understated charm...The band synthesises folk, Americana, and blues influences to produce a languorous, folksy backdrop for the words"
– BBC Celtic Heartbeat
"Provides a smooth engaging listen for the folk music lover who likes it straight and true."
– David Hintz, Folkworld #49
The band regularly play live and are regulars at the Otley Folk Festival.