Mainstream Blues

Jonny Lang

Jonny Lang
Jonny Lang

Jonny Lang made his name as a 16-year-old blues guitar prodigy. Since then, he’s dabbled in rock, blues, gospel and pop — all the while remaining one of the most respected guitar slingers in the business.

Like John Mayer meets Eric Clapton, Lang’s got the voice — and good looks — of a teen pop idol, evidenced in 2013’s pure pop-leaning record Fight for My Soul.

All in all, there ain’t much left for blues purists in Jonny Lang, despite the record kicking off with a boogie-blues riff from track “Blew Up (The House).”

Instead, like a guitar-playing John Legend, Lang seems content following the blueprint of pop-crossover artist Santana more so than blues-gone-mainstream legends John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters.

Soul track “What You’re Looking For” is slightly Autotune-inflected, vaguely blues-rock tinged pop-soul scorcher that could fit alongside many current radio hits from artists like Rob Thomas.

But there’s plenty left in Lang for fans of virtuosic guitar playing. Just check out the Santana-meets-George Harrison ballad “The Truth.”

Jonny Lang plays with The Runaway Saints 8 pm Sunday, Nov. 8, at McDonald Theatre; $35 adv., $40 door. All ages.

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