Johnny Lang has evolved into a multifaceted performer

Jonny Lang
Live at The Ryman
Concord Records (CRE 32007-02
Grade: ★★★★

By Michael Popke

Jonny Lang has come a long way. The former teenage blues phenom, now 29, has evolved into a multifaceted performer in which “guitar slinger” is only one of his roles. Lang’s evolution, although still not complete after 15 years, is on full display throughout “Live at The Ryman.” This memorable concert recording, captured at the famous Nashville venue during the summer of 2008, showcases not only the man’s depth and range of the blues, but also the genre’s relationship to R&B, soul, rock, funk and gospel.

In fact, one of the show’s highlights is “Turn Around,” the title track to Lang’s 2006 disc, which nabbed a Grammy for Best Gospel Album. He takes listeners for a slow-burning ride on live favorite “A Quitter Never Wins” (originally performed by veteran bluesman Tinsley Ellis); exposes his soulful, sweet side on a 10-minute version of “Red Light;” and comes full circle by leaving scorch marks with 1997’s “Lie to Me,” his first hit.


For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• A great resource for record collecting is Goldmine’s “Standard Catalog of American Records, 1950-1975, 6th Edition,” in large paperback and DVD
• Check out an informative read in “The Everything® Rock & Blues Piano Book with CD, Master riffs, licks, and blues styles from New Orleans to New York City”

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