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Live At the Ryman

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Album Review

Nashville's Ryman Auditorium may no longer be the home of the Grand Ole Opry, but it is still known for country music. Jonny Lang claims the venue for the blues on this live recording, however. Before an enthusiastic audience, he turns in a representative set full of energy and screaming electric guitar playing. The band seems amped up from the outset on "One Person at a Time," a statement of purpose as well as a plea to disc jockeys to play Lang's music and help him to platinum status. Elsewhere, he sings of love gone wrong and right, as well as his determination to succeed. His voice is one of those functional ones for a blues musician who is more of an instrumentalist than a singer, as if he'd taken lessons from Eric Clapton and Warren Haynes. The point is expressiveness more than hitting the right notes. The ten-minute "Red Light" is the show's centerpiece, a philosophical ballad that keeps threatening to turn into Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" as Lang repeats "Everything is gonna be all right." "Thankful" is closer to gospel than the blues, which may be more appropriate to the venue. The songs are more than just platforms for Lang's guitar, just as the band is more than just musical support for it. But he is still a guitar hero, and this spirited performance only confirms that.

Customer Reviews

jinky1967

At last-a new(ish) album from a superb blues player.I have been playing and listening to this guy for at least 10 years now and he just gets better and better.The album opens with some real scorchers in One Person at a Time and Bump in the Road, mellows a wee bit with the next three tracks and segues beautifully into the showstopper Red Light-if this don"t melt you baby you need help.Tracks 8,9 and 10 are, in my view a young blues man coming of age, listen to his guitar sing on Breakin" Me and you can hear elements of Clapton Unplugged, all too soon the album concludes with the floor filler "Lie to Me"-if you need an introduction to this man"s music this is perfectly paced, a great live album.

Biography

Born: 29 January 1981 in Fargo, ND

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Modern blues in the '90s had a weird phenomenon of teenage blues guitarists rocketing to popularity with their first album. The entire trend culminated with Jonny Lang, a guitarist from Fargo, North Dakota, who released his solo debut album, Lie to Me, when he was 15. At the age of 12, he had attended a show by the Bad Medicine Blues Band and began playing with the group. Several months later he became the leader, and the newly renamed Kid Jonny Lang & the Big Bang relocated from Fargo to Minneapolis...
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Live At the Ryman, Jonny Lang
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