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JONNY LANG

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Performing Thursday, May 18, 2017

On The  Sahlen's Center Stage

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Jonny Lang

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ABOUT THE PERFORMER

Jonny Lang

Sixteen years ago, at the age of 16, Jonny Lang found incredible success with the release of his major label debut album Lie To Me.  Fame does not seem to have impacted him from being the same country farm boy from Fargo, ND who got his start in the local clubs of Minneapolis.  He survived the passage of youth to adulthood, fell in love, began a family, and in the process passed through the life lessons we all endure.  He has a keen sense of what he aims to achieve creatively, what music means to him, and is focused on the impact that his songs bring to the lives of those that encounter his repertoire.  For Lang, with the release of Fight For My Soul, he is entering a chapter wherein he has found his true voice.

 Lang has been working on the release for three years with Producer Tommy Sims, who co-wrote Eric Clapton’s Grammy winning “Change the World.”  The duo collaborated on the project from the ground up. This grass roots approach was new to Lang, whose four earlier studio albums were written and crafted under the watch of his previous record labels.  It was a welcome change. After Lang released his Grammy winning Turn Around in 2007, he made the decision to forego the major label route and became an independent artist. The first result was 2009’s Live At the Ryman, but Fight For My Soul, by its nature, is his first fully realized artistic achievement through his own label SayRai Music, featuring his own touring band: drummer Barry Alexander, bassist James Anton, rhythm guitarist Akil Thompson, keyboardist Dwan Hill and background vocalist Missi Hale.  

Lang’s full touring schedule as well as making his family a priority in his life, are the primary cause for the length of commitment it took to deliver this album.  He reflects, ” Between being with my family, and being out on the road touring, the last thing you want to do when home is to go and make a record.”

As an artist he has evolved since he began the writing process.  The sound of that evolution is all over Fight For My Soul. “What You’re Looking For” carefully layers banjo, guitars, spacey keyboards and a percussion sample to create a sonic dreamscape for its story of searching for life’s essentials — faith, love, hope. The arrangement of “We Are the Same” evokes the freewheeling spirit of Motown’s Psychedelic Shack era.

The path Lang has been on has brought him the opportunity to interact with some of the most respected legends in music.  On the way up, he shared the stage with The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Aerosmith, Sting, and Buddy Guy, who he continues to tour with today.  As a 12-year-old, he began a journey in Fargo, ND that has brought him to points across the Globe, and as he looks on the upcoming near-term future, he shares, “With this album, I really look forward to bringing our music to people in places where I’ve never been before.  Music is one of the greatest conveyers of ideas and emotions, and in a sense that doesn’t have as much to do with the individual performing, but the power of the connection.  One of my goals is the music can be a blessing to the people listening to it in some way.  And if Fight For My Soul can help somebody by making them feel better or that they’re not alone, that’s my idea of success for this album.”

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