About Jonny Lang
Jon Gordon Langseth Jr. , known as Jonny Lang, is an American blues, gospel, and rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He has five albums that charted on the top 50 of the Billboard 200 chart and has won a Grammy Award for Turn Around.
Jonny Lang is of Norwegian descent and was born in Fargo, North Dakota, United States. He started playing the guitar at the age of 12. He got his start playing guitar for his friends on the Vallagers' porch at their lake place. He would play everything from modern hits to the classics, even performing an astounding rendition of Jimi Hendrix's take on the National Anthem. Soon after his father took him to see the Bad Medicine Blues Band, one of the few blues bands in Fargo, Lang 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. Two years later A&M Records, then home of Janet Jackson and Soundgarden, was invited to come see him at a live performance at Bunkers Bar in Minneapolis, and he was signed to the label becoming the latest in a trend of young blues guitarists that then included Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Derek Trucks. The band moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and independently released the album Smokin' when Lang was 14. He 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 his earliest performing years, Lang always performed barefoot on stage, because "it feels good" and once in tribute to Luther Allison, a friend who had recently died. He has since given up that practice, after several near-accidents and electric shocks.
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 that included President and Mrs. Clinton. Earlier that year he was selected by the newly elected Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura to perform at his Inaugural Ball. 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 to the deceased guitar legend.
Jonny Lang, since the beginning with The Big Bang, has used a 1972 Fender Telecaster Thinline made by the Fender Custom Shop, as well as a 1958 reissue custom shop Gibson Les Paul in more recent years as his sound and style have grown and flourished. His original Custom Shop Tele - with a black flamed maple top, flamed maple neck, pearl signature inlay and his trademark pinup girl character on the aft body was stolen some years ago. He has added a couple more custom thinline teles-all carrying the basic aesthetic motif, but with varying colors from a burnt orange/amber to a deep violet throughout the years since. The 1972 Fender Telecaster Thinline is a semi-hollow spruce body, maple top, and a maple neck and fretboard. He has not, however, sported the pearl "Jonny Lang" signature inlay since his original custom tele, but still stays true to his WWII-style pinup girl aftbody artwork. Jonny's Telecasters have three Bill Lawrence Pickups with a 5-way pickup switch and a coil-tap for accessing a single-coil tone. On his pedalboard for his 2014 tour were the Analog Man King of Tone, a Whirlwind The Bomb boost, a Visual Sound V2 Route 808, a Fulltone Ultimate Octave, a JAM Pedals Tube Dreamer, and a Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah. On this tour he played his Custom Shop Tele and the 1958 reissue Custom Shop Gibson Les Paul through a pair of modified Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb 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.
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