Jonny Lang

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Jonny Lang
Background information
Born(1981-01-29) January 29, 1981 (age 32)
GenresGospel, rock, blues
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1995–present
Websitehttp://www.jonnylang.com/
 
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Jonny Lang
Background information
Born(1981-01-29) January 29, 1981 (age 32)
GenresGospel, rock, blues
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1995–present
Websitehttp://www.jonnylang.com/

Jonny Lang (born Jon Gordon Langseth, Jr., January 29, 1981) is a Grammy Award-winning American blues, gospel, and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and recording artist. Lang's music is notable for both his unusual voice, which has been compared to that of a 40-year-old blues veteran,[1] and for his guitar solos. His solo patterns have especially been noted for his frequent use of wide vibratos.

Contents

Biography

Jonny Lang was born in Fargo, North Dakota, United States. He started playing the guitar at the age of twelve, after his father took him to see the Bad Medicine Blues Band, one of the few blues bands in Fargo. Lang soon started taking guitar lessons from Ted Larsen, the band's guitar player. Several months after Lang began, he joined the band, which was then renamed Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Bang.

The band moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and independently released the album Smokin' when Lang was fourteen. Lang was signed to A&M Records in 1996. He released the critically acclaimed multi-platinum Lie to Me on January 28, 1997. The next album, Wander this World, was released on October 20, 1998 and earned a Grammy nomination. This was followed by the more soulful Long Time Coming on October 14, 2003. Lang also made a cover of Edgar Winter's "Dying to Live". Lang's 2006 album, the gospel influenced Turn Around, won him his first Grammy Award.

In more than ten years on the road, Lang has toured with the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Blues Traveler, Jeff Beck and Sting. In 1999, he was invited to play for a White House audience including President and Mrs. Clinton. Lang also makes a cameo appearance in the film Blues Brothers 2000 as a janitor. In 2004, Eric Clapton asked Lang to play at the Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise money for the Crossroads Centre Antigua.

Lang also appears regularly as a part of the Experience Hendrix Tour along with many other well-known guitarists to pay tribute the deceased guitar legend.

Musical equipment

Jonny Lang originally used Benedict guitars but now mainly uses a Fender Telecaster Thinline made by the Fender Custom Shop. He also takes out a Gibson Les Paul for some occasions. The Telecaster Thinline has a Spruce body, maple top and birdseye maple neck. He uses Bill Lawrence Pickups (500L Neck, 500XL Bridge) and a Seymour Duncan P-90 in the middle. He uses a Route 66 pedal of Visual Sound and a Vox 847 reissue Wah Wah pedal for some songs. Live, he plays through a pair of Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue Amps. Jonny also used an arbiter Fuzz Face and an Electro Harmonix POG for The Experience Hendrix tour. Lang has also used Audiotech Guitar Products ABC Selector CCM on his 2005 acoustic tour.

Band personnel

From 1993 to 1996, Lang's backing band was The Big Bang. This group consisted of three founding members of the Bad Medicine Blues Band: Ted "Lightnin' Boy" Larsen on guitar, his brother Michael Rey Larsen on drums, and Jeff Hayenga on bass. Keyboardist Bruce McCabe joined The Big Bang in 1995 after Lang and this young band from Fargo impressed him with their set opening for McCabe's band at the time, The Hoopsnakes.

From 1996 to 2004, Lang's backing band included Paul Diethelm on guitar, Bruce McCabe on keyboards, Doug Nelson on bass and Billy Thommes on drums. Also appearing on keyboards during 2003 and 2004 was Donnie La Marca, filling in for McCabe during his break from touring. Nelson was killed in a traffic accident in 2000 and was replaced by Billy Franze. Franze was in turn replaced by Jim Anton in 2003. Saxophone player David Eiland was added in 2000, providing Lang with a foil for extended instrumental jams. In 2005, Lang replaced the entire lineup, except for Anton, and embarked on an acoustic tour. He performed with Wendy Alane Wright at the 2000 pre-Grammy party. Guitarist Reeve Carney was the band's opening act for several shows in 2005, as well as for the 2006 and 2007 tours. The new band also includes organist and Houston, Texas native Charles Jones, drummer Barry Alexander, and organist Bill Brown from Minneapolis.

The current band line up includes:

Personal life

Lang married former Kids Incorporated star, Haylie Johnson, on June 8, 2001. Jonny and his wife share the same birthday, although she is one year older. They have three children: a twin son and daughter, Raimy Lee and Saylor Monroe, born November 2007, and a daughter, Rennix Belle, born August 2010. They live in Los Angeles, California.

Lang has two older sisters, Stephanie and Heidi Jo. He also has one younger sister, Jessica ("Jesse"), who was a contestant on season 8 of American Idol. Actress Ashley Johnson (Growing Pains, What Women Want) is Lang's sister-in-law. Jonny Lang is a Christian.[2]

Discography

Guest appearances

Filmography and television appearances

References