Creative Review New Music
American Blues star Jonny Lang has released another track from his upcoming album Signs, out August 25th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
Speaking about Stronger Together, Lang explains: “A song can be an amazing thing for somebody.It can be something that turns your entire life around. When you finish a project, I am convinced I have absolutely drained whatever well of creativity I have access to, and then a year later it turns on again. You can’t really control when it happens, but when it does I try and get as much of it as I can and record it. With ‘Stronger Together’, I remember sitting with my wife and playing her the melody and the chords for this song, and asking her if she liked it. She said I should write it. I often ask her if it is worth pursuing, and with this one she offered a green light to continue writing that one. I’ve been doing this since I was about 13 years old, travelling around playing music. Certain parts of it get old, but the parts of it that are awesome outweigh all those parts. I still really love it, and being able to do what you love for a living is pretty amazing.”
Anyone who originally discovered Jonny Lang through his searing instrumental work will revel in the huge guitar tones and go for broke solos on Signs, while those who have appreciated his growth as an honest and passionate songwriter will find that honesty and passion unabated. Though he long ago left blues purism behind, Lang has never abandoned its spirit of universal catharsis through the relating of personal trials. Signs reaffirms his commitment to the blues and the guitar without sacrificing the modern approach that has made him such a singular artist.
It is hard to believe that at only 36 years old Jonny Lang has already had a successful career for two decades. Easier to believe when you learn he released his first platinum record at 15—an age when many young people are just beginning to play music. Lie to Me revealed a talent that transcended the crop of blues prodigies floating around in the late Nineties. No flashy re-hasher of classic blues licks, even at that early age Lang was a full-blown artist with a style of his own. Also, setting Lang apart from the wunderkind crowd was a 15-year-old voice that sounded like a weathered soul shouter. Actual life experience was yet to come, and has been subsequently chronicled in a series of five uniformly excellent recordings.
Signs is not merely a return the artist’s guitar-based beginnings, but an embodiment of an even more elemental sound. Beyond focusing attention on his soloing prowess, it is about recapturing the spirit of the early blues, where the guitar was front and center, fairly leaping out of the speakers. “A lot of my earlier influences have been coming to the surface, like Robert Johnson, and Howlin’ Wolf,” he reports. “I have been appreciating how raw and unrefined that stuff is. I had an itch to emulate some of that and I think it shows in the songs. Still, I let the writing be what it was and that was sometimes not necessarily the blues.”
Signs was produced by Lang, Drew Ramsey, and Shannon Sanders, Josh Kelly helmed “Bring Me Back Home.” Lang offers, “Josh and I cut six or seven songs together and had a blast doing it. I am saving the other ones for who knows what, but I definitely wanted that one to be on this record.”
Since the release of his debut album, Grammy Award winning Jonny Lang has built a reputation as one of the best live performers and guitarists of his generation. The path Lang has been on has brought him the opportunity to support or perform with some of the most respected legends in music. He has shared the stage with everyone from The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Aerosmith and Buddy Guy, who he continues to tour with today