8 - Ene - 2018

Feel The Blues

The Kid from North Dakota, Jonny Lang

By Rodrigo Cortés from Feel The Blues

Imagen from Blues On Stage

North Dakota is definitely known for its blues scene, but as fate would have it, one of the best contemporary blues guitar prodigies comes from there. As a child of 12 years old in the 90’s, he attended a show by the Bad Medicine Blues Band, one of the very few blues bands in Fargo, North Dakota. Lang started taking guitar lessons from the bands lead guitarist, Ted Larsen, and several months later he joined the band leading the pack as the only under age member. They renamed the band Kid Jonny Lang and the Big Bang and they released their first album in 1995 called Smokin’.

Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Band – Smokin’

Today he is 36 years old, which may seem young, but it’s hard to believe that 24 of those years have been part of formal his music career. His first solo album in 1997, “Lie to Me”, went platinum. So, when he was only 15 years old he already had a full time music career – an age when many young people are starting to play music. The album placed Jonny Lang above other child prodigies floating around in the late 90’s because he did no rehashing or covers, but rather presented his own material with a style of his own that grew and evolved as he did during the years to come.

Jonny Lang – Lie to Me

Lang loved early electric blues guitarists like BB King, Buddy Guy and Albert Collins which influenced both his playing and singing. But as time passed, R&B and gospel strongly influenced his work and became a part of his repertoire. His fifth album in 2006, “Turn Around”, is an example of how external and internal forces have influenced his evolution as an artist. On the one side, you can hear how gospel music has a strong presence in his album with church style choirs as well as the undeniable church feel in some of the songs. But on the other, after his turn to Christianity, Lang states that the songs “Only a Man” and “Thankful” from his album “Turn Around” are about his belief in God.

Jonny Lang – Thankful

Jonny Lang is no longer the 12 year old kid that started playing guitar. But through is music we can see how this great guitarist and singer has grown and the journey his life has taken him on from album to album. The more he records, the more we get to know him. At only 36 years old, we hope to keep getting to know more of him for many many more years to come.