Jonny Lang emerged as a teenage guitar-playing prodigy in the mid’90s, playing blues-rock like a whiskey-soaked veteran.
But when he looks back on that now, at 25, it seems like another lifetime.
“From my perspective, it’s this guy who sings and plays guitar, but it’s not his music,” says Lang, who was born Jon Lanseth in North Dakota and earned a Grammy nomination for those early albums. “He’s sort of saying what other people feel or singing about their experiences — maybe pulling it off, but, yeah, it just didn’t seem like the real me.
“I’m not a busted-down, broken guy who’s singing the blues anymore.”
In fact, Lang has been happily married for fi ve years and, after taking a couple years off at the turn of the century, is cutting a little closer to the bone in his music. That’s certainly true of the new “Turn Around,” a full-fledged gospel album that blends soul, funk and blues, and celebrates the spiritual awakening he had about the same time he took his career break.
“My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life,” says Lang, who duets with Michael McDonald on one of the new tracks, “Thankful.” “I want what I do to reflect that. All my records have been things that were close to my heart that I’ve written about or want to share, and that’s what it was on this record.
“But I also want anybody to be able to sit down and enjoy the music and just be blessed by it like they would any other music they like. Hopefully it’s not offensive; it’s just something I feel is important for me to share right now.”
Jonny Lang performs Thursday (November 2nd) at the Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 in advance, $32 day of show. Call (586) 913-1920 or visit
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