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CD Reviews:  Review of Long Time Coming by Jonny Lang

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How can you not respect the second coming of Joe Cocker, one that can also keep up with the likes of Eric Clapton on guitar? Such is the case with 22-year-old Jonny Lang, and Long Time Coming is aptly titled, as it’s Lang’s first release in four years. Though he still might look like a high school kid, there is an old soul maturity at work here, almost as if someone has locked this young artist in a room for his whole life, with classic rock albums and nothing else. Amazingly, the product here still comes out sounding fresh and, at times, brilliant. 

The first track, “Give Me Up Again,” sounds like vintage Cocker in the chorus, as Lang shows off a gravelly voice that you’d think was coming from someone twice his age. The first single is “Red Light” and has a bluesy anthem feel, while maintaining pop sensibility – imagine Michael Bolton singing a Sting song. “Get What You Give” is driven by Lang’s crunching guitars, and would be perfectly at home in a Black Crowes set. There’s an element of soul to Lang’s music as well, and that is most evident in “Touch,” possibly the most infectious of all the tracks here. 

“Goodbye Letter” is a tender blues ballad and “Save Yourself” is the closest Lang comes to showing his age, with a modern rock feel akin to Third Eye Blind or the heavier side of Matchbox Twenty. For “Happiness is Misery,” Lang enlisted the help of Steven Tyler not on vocals, but on harp, and it rocks straight up like Tyler’s band, Aerosmith. The title track shows off Lang’s slick slide guitar playing, and there is a live bonus track, Stevie Wonder’s “Livin’ for the City,” with a performance almost comparable to Wonder himself.

You can listen to a record like this and wonder in amazement where people like Jonny Lang come from. Every year, the planet we live on seems to grace us with younger and younger child prodigies. But unlike all of them, Jonny Lang has a mature songwriting ability to go along with precision blues guitar chops and a voice that can rumble like thunder. Beginning his already storied career at age 13, one might wonder where Lang goes from here. But if he keeps putting out records like Long Time Coming, the status quo would be just fine. 

~Mike Farley : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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