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October 06


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Jonny Lang
Turn Around


Jonny Lang has always been a little suspect to me as being bona fide blues guy, and Turn Around doesn’t do much to “turn that around.” He’s got the blues’ voice, most definitely…and there’s not much to complain about in his guitar work. Trouble is, there’s too little of it for my taste. Only on “Don’t Stop (For Anything)” and “It’s Not Over” does Lang open the axe up enough to blow the gray matter around.

“Bump in the Road” and “A Person At A Time” hold some grit too, but Lang’s guitar is secondary to his voice. And, again, he’s got an appealing voice. The CD’s slow, moody cuts — “Only A Man,” “That Great Day” and “Last Goodbye” — and the gospel influence on many of the cuts, point to where Lang seems to be going in projecting his vocal powers.

Lang’s talent with the guitar is evident but he just doesn’t seem interested in having it carrying more weight in his work. Maybe that’s why Turn Around seems a little too slick production-wise and geared toward radio play. Makes this reviewer wonder how Lang sounds live with just his guitar, bass, drums and rhythm, minus the handclapping and backup singers. —Bruce Rodgers (posted 10/13/06)

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