At just 15 years old Grammy award winning Blues prodigy Jonny Lang went platinum with Lie To Me (1997) and he’s bringing his arsenal of guitar riffs, soulful voice, and distinctive mix of blues, Gospel and rock rhythms to Bluesfest Windsor 2018 on Saturday, July 14th.
It is hard to believe that at 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. “I got married, had kids, and that arc has been recorded on albums along the way,” says Lang. “There is a lot of personal history in there, and also some things that relate to world events.”
What began as a bluesy sound, influenced by electric pioneers like Albert Collins, B. B. King, and Buddy Guy, evolved over those recordings into a modern R&B style closer to Stevie Wonder and contemporary gospel music. Lang’s distinctive, blues-inflected licks appeared on every album, but became one element in a sea of passionately sung and tightly arranged songs. In this simpler spirit, Lang, Drew Ramsey, and Shannon Sanders convened in a Los Angeles studio with some melodic and arranging ideas and proceeded to crank out a dozen basic tracks in a few days. With a bit of overdubbing and further recording in L.A. and Nashville, and some further help from Dwan Hill, Dennis Dodd and Josh Kelley, his latest album Signs was done. The record, which features funk, rock, and blues elements, is held together by Lang’s distinctive playing and singing, and the lyrics, which center on themes of embattlement and self-empowerment. “Some of the songs are autobiographical, but not usually in a literal way,” Lang explains. “The main goal is for folks to be able to relate to what I went through. If I can’t make it work using just my personal experience, I use my imagination to fill in blanks.”
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. Fans who 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.
Don’t miss the distinctive sound of Jonny Lang live in Windsor during Bluesfest Windsor 2018 this July.
For more information about Jonny Lang visit https://jonnylang.com
Additional acts performing at LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor 2018 will be periodically announced throughout the month with the final lineup tentatively to be released on February 21st. The first act announced was Multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated rock band Extreme who will take the Bluesfest Windsor stage on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Organizers have also announced that 70s Guitar Guru Pat Travers will take the stage in July on Friday the 13th.
Now in it’s twenty-fourth year, last year’s attendance was the largest since LiUNA took over the festival in 2014. In fact, the record breaking 2017 crowd was more than double just the year before. The high-powered lineup in 2017 included Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Fabulous Thunderbirds Featuring Kim Wilson, Foghat, and Stray Cat’s Slim Jim Phantom.
Organizers have hinted at another weekend rock extravaganza that will be the best Bluesfest Windsor yet. Early bird tickets are set to go on sale on February 9, 2018. For more information visit http://www.bluesfestwindsor.com