This story was updated at 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, with information about the show being rescheduled.
UPDATE: The show, originally scheduled for Wednesday night, Jan. 15, has been canceled.
Jonny Lang's performance at the Walker Theatre has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Oct. 14, due to a physical health issue. All previously purchased tickets will be honored on the rescheduled date. Jonny Lang will recover, but in the interests of long-term well-being, the prudent move is to reschedule where possible. From the start of his career he has always aimed to never miss a confirmed show, and personally offers a sincere apology to all fans impacted by doctor's orders, which came earlier on Jan. 10 that Jonny needs more time to heal his voice.
- Walker Theatre
ORIGINAL STORY: Jonny Lang says his album, "Signs," is an example of just letting an album be what it wanted to be musically.
"I don't know what will come next," Lang said in a phone interview. "But yeah, this one was just the record that felt right in this season of my life."
"Signs" is the kind of album that's likely to please a lot of longtime fans who first heard Lang when he was in his teens and releasing albums "Lie To Me" in 1997 and "Wander This World" a year later.
With his fiery blues-rock sound, his accomplished guitar playing and a rough-and-tumble singing voice that sounded decades older than his actual age – 15 at the time he recorded "Lie To Me" – Lang was touted as the next Stevie Ray Vaughan.
"I think there are a lot of people who want us to make our first record over and over again. But it's obviously not the way of things," Lang said. "So yeah, I think it made some of those folks kind of happy to hear just a more raw approach to the music (on "Signs").
If you go
› What: Jonny Lang
› Where: Walker Theatre inside Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.
› When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15
› Admission: $35, $42.50, $67.50
› For more information: 423-757-5580
The fans Lang mentions probably wondered if they would ever again hear another Lang album made up primarily of hard-hitting blues rock. That's because with the albums that followed "Wander This World," the singer/guitarist's music took a notable turn.
Beginning with his third album, 2003's "Long Time Coming," Lang began to incorporate strong elements of soul, funk, Motown and gospel into his sound. By 2013's "Fight For Your Soul," blues-rock had taken a back seat to more of a soul-based sound.
So the turn back to blues and a more guitar-centered sound on "Signs" will come as a surprise to many fans. But the shift came about naturally.
"I don't know if reinspired (is the right word), but I had been listening to a lot of Howlin' Wolf and Tom Waits, just like that open room sound, like live in the studio, not too producer-refined stuff," Lang said. "I was like 'Man, I think that should be the approach on this next one (album).' It just felt like the right way to go. But that was pretty much the only thought that I had or guideline that I had going into it. The songs themselves, the style of the songs, wasn't something I tried to guide in that direction. It was more from a production standpoint, the approach I wanted to take."
The way "Signs" came together supports the idea that Lang and his collaborators weren't forcing their creativity or any preconceived ideas on the project. Most of the songs were written with Lang's co-producers for the album, Drew Ramsey and Shannon Sanders, in about a week and the basic tracks were recorded live in the studio in just three days.
Now Lang is getting the chance to see how his new songs – as well as his lyrics — translate to live performance – something that should be fairly effortless considering his touring rhythm section of Barry Alexander on drums and Jim Anton on bass played on the album and most of the tracking was done with the musicians playing together live in the studio.
"We're doing five or six (new songs) right now at the moment, depending on the night," Lang said of his set list. "And we want to try to put stuff in from previous records, too, that folks want to hear. So we do about a two-hour show. To fit everything in is a little challenging, to pick the songs. But yeah, we've been doing a lot of new stuff.
"It's going pretty well live," he said. "It's working out well."
Lang will be performing at Walker Theatre inside Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave., on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7:30 p.m.