When Jonny comes rocking home: Lang returns with new album under his belt
FARGO — Earlier this year, Jonny Lang turned 37, which may come as a surprise to those who saw him playing the bars of Fargo-Moorhead 23 years ago as "Kid" Jonny Lang.
Where does the time go? For Lang, the last two-plus decades have been spent in the limelight, sometimes brighter than others.
He's back home and back in the spotlight tonight, playing the Fargo Theatre.
Here's a recap of Lang's career to date.
- Jan. 29, 1981: born Jon Gordon Langseth Jr.
- 1993: Started playing guitar, taught by Ted Larsen of the Bad Medicine Blues Band. Lang later joins the group as a singer-guitarist and they become Kid Jonny Lang and The Big Bang.
- 1995: The band moves to Minneapolis and independently release the album "Smokin'".
- 1997: The day before his 16th birthday, Lang makes his major label debut with his solo disc, "Lie to Me". The album would go platinum and sit atop the Billboard Blues chart for 20 weeks.
- 1998: Lang makes his film debut in "Blues Brothers 2000" as a janitor playing guitar and singing "634-5789". Later that year, his sophomore album, "Wander this World" is released and earns him his first Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
- 1999: Plays the Inaugural Ball for Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and later the White House at the invitation of President Bill Clinton. The highlight for FM fans, however, was seeing him open for the Rolling Stones at the Fargodome.
- 2001: A year after moving to Los Angeles and getting lost in substance use, Lang becomes a Christian. That same year he marries former "Kids Incorporated" cast member Haylie Johnson.
- 2003: He releases "Long Time Coming" and plays the Fargo Civic Center at year's end. "If everyone tells a friend, next time we can fill the Fargodome," he joked to the crowd.
- 2006: His faith comes out on his new album, "Turn Around," and he wins the Grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.
- 2008: It would be seven years between albums, but Lang stays busy on the road and returns to play the Fargo Theatre in August.
- 2009: He joins the Fisk Jubilee Singers to record "I Believe" for the Christian compilation album, "Oh Happy Day". The song is nominated for a Grammy.
- 2013: In "pretty cool" bit of what he calls "happenstance," Lang releases "Fight for My Soul" to a hometown crowd, playing the Fargo Theatre the same day his first disc in seven years is released.
- 2017: Lang brought in another influential friend, playing with his idol, Buddy Guy, at Bluestem Center for the Arts in June. Three months later he released his sixth solo studio album, "Signs," which showed a continued interest in R&B, gospel and soul in addition to the blues.
If you go
What: Jonny Lang
When: 8 tonight
Where: The Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway, Fargo
Info: Tickets are $47.50, plus applicable fees. https://jadepresents.com, (866) 300-8300.