Lang hones skills 

Jonny Lang
Turn Around
A&M Records

Ever since his Lie To Me, there’s never been any doubt that Jonny Lang is a talented guitarist, with the voice of a bluesman at least 20 years his senior. With his latest release, Turn Around, the 25-year-old Lang continues to hone his songwriting skills, which he first displayed on his 2003 CD Long Time Coming.

The mood of Turn Around is a spiritual one, as there are several songs of redemption — the hope for as well as the discovery of — on this CD. The soft organ intro by Shannon Sanders (who shares songwriting duties on Turn Around with Lang and Drew Ramsey) is indicative of this album’s feel: a well-crafted mix of blues, funk and gospel.

The song “Thankful” finds Lang sharing vocals with Michael McDonald, backed by a gospel choir. Bluegrass musician Sam Bush and guitarist Buddy Miller join Lang on “On That Great Day,” while Lang does a duet with his wife Haylie on “Only A Man” (which also features Nickel Creek violinist Sara Watkins).

While Lang’s guitar playing has been compared to the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, his vocals seem to be more like another Stevie — Wonder. Lang’s blistering guitar riffs and soulful voice belie his youth on songs like “Turn Around” and “My Love Remains.”

The first 10 years of Jonny Lang’s musical career have seen the young man build upon his God-given talents. Turn Around is proof that Lang is not afraid to grow as a musician and songwriter.

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