Concerts

Jonny Lang Shows Mature Blues at Parker Playhouse

Being a prodigy sucks. Take Jonny Lang, for example. When he burst onto the scene as an astonishingly gifted 14-year-old guitar wünderkind, it must have seemed like the coolest thing in the world. Of course, as gifted as Lang is, his success was intimately linked to his youthfulness — a sort of novelty factor. Pretty quickly, that novelty began to take on a different air, with critics frequently applying his age as a qualifier, asking, essentially, if his limited years had an inverse relationship with his audience's perception.

Lang, however, chose to do something at which prodigies often fail — he grew as an artist. Over the course of a decade and five albums, Lang has moved away from the strictures of structured blues, embracing a host of styles ranging from Southern-fried rock to Memphis-style soul to gospel, finding room in his music to embrace the spirit of the blues that got him started in the first place. These days, Lang applies these sonic backdrops to lyrics with a decidedly spiritual bent. Although sometimes a bit corny, they always come off as completely genuine, giving Lang a voice of his own, one that is both a validation of and worlds apart from his initial boy-wonder label.

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Nicholas L. Hall
Contact: Nicholas L. Hall