Blues guitar prodigy Jonny Lang spent his boyhood in Fargo, North Dakota, where he began taking guitar lessons at age 12. By the time he was 13, in 1995, he was leading his guitar teacher's band, with whom he made a self-released album. Lang was signed to A&M Records the following year, making a splash in the blues world with both his precociousness and his pure instrumental prowess. As he matured, so did his music, and his 2006 album, TURN AROUND, won the young bluesman a Grammy award.
Jonny Lang cut his debut album in Memphis when he was just 15, and, upon its release in 1996, the guitar prodigy from Minneapolis instantly became one of the leading lights of modern blues. He's a fast and flashy player whose approach rests equally on technical assurance and musical intelligence. Sizing up a dozen songs, he gets a pleasing, razor-sharp sound out of his ax while building excitement in his lead lines--thankfully, he steers clear of cliché and bombast. As a fledging singer, he acts out the lyrics of Ike Turner's age-old shuffle "Matchbox" and his own romantic ballad "Missing Your Love" with surprising poise and believability. Kudos to producer David Z for surrounding Lang with alert, first-rate sidemen and for helping select good material from Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tinsley Ellis, and others. --Frank-John Hadley
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