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Interview:
First 15 years have been a bluesy blur for Jonny Lang
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

"Kid" Jonny [cq] Lang turned 31 in January, a far cry from the teen blues prodigy who released his national debut album "Lie to Me" 15 years ago. But age, the singer, songwriter and guitarist has found, has its benefits.

"Y'know, experience is the only story I've got to tell," says Lang, a North Dakota native who now resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three young children. "Having kids and doing all the growing-up stuff...You go along and you live your life and you make all these profound mistakes, and then you go, 'Oh, wait, I'm grown up! I have to answer for this now.' You don't know you're an adult until you've made a bunch of mistakes.

"But I'll tell you what's funny; I thought I was all grown up, and then I turned 30 and I figured out I'm still a kid. I have a lot to learn, still."

Lang is nearing completion on his first new album since 2006, recording and writing with producer Tommy Simms. But the idea that the critically lauded "Lie To Me" is turning 15 this year gives him pause.

"From a certain point of view it seems like yesterday, from another it seems like a million years ago," he says. "I feel a certain amount of accomplishment when I think that it's been that long. It's kind of cool to have that.

"Y'know, when I was that age and heard people talk about, 'I've done that for 10 years' or 'I've done that for 20 years,' I was like, 'That's ancient! You're old!' And here I am now -- hard to believe."

Jonny Lang performs with Buddy Guy at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $35 pavilion, $15 lawn with a $44 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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