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Jonny Lang

Turn Around

Guitarist Jonny Lang burst on the blues scene in 1997. Barely out of junior high, Lang was signed to A&M and released the much anticipated Lie to Me before his 16th birthday. The CD promptly went to the top of the Billboard charts, and the title song's video, featuring the blonde and beautiful Lang, hit MTV. Wunderkind status ensured, Lang went on the road, sharing the stage with B.B. King, Buddy Guy and the Rolling Stones. So what does a good-looking teenager do when he's on tour with guys like Keith Richards? He drinks, he smokes, he gets high. Oh, and he studies witchcraft, just for fun. Fast-forward to 2001: Lang is married and has found Jesus. His music hasn't changed much, but Lang sure has. Turn Around is about that change. The hypnotic title track, easily the CD's most powerful testament, features Lang's soulful voice, complete with an incredible falsetto, and his blazing guitar riffs. "That Great Day," a mournful ballad, has more of the same. With titles like "It's Not Over," "Thankful" and "Only a Man," each of the tunes is clearly inspired by his religious beliefs, but Lang (thankfully!) never preaches or pontificates. Throughout Turn Around, he manages to mix raw emotion with exquisite technique, blending the Delta blues with river-bottom Southern gospel and roots rock, all to form his own "good news" message. If church choirs sounded anything like this, Sunday would be every music fan's favorite day.

 
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