Modern blues in the '90s had a weird phenomenon of teenage blues guitarists rocketing to popularity with their first album.
The entire trend culminated with Jonny Lang, a guitarist from Fargo, North Dakota, who released his solo debut album, Lie to Me, when he was 15. At the age of 12, he had attended a show by the Bad Medicine Blues Band and began playing with the group. Several months later he became their leader, and the newly renamed Kid Jonny Lang & the Big Bang relocated from Fargo to Minneapolis and released their debut album, Smokin', in 1995. The LP became a regional hit, leading to a major-label bidding war and culminating in Lang's signing to A&M Records in 1996. Early in 1997, his major-label debut, Lie to Me, was released to mixed reviews; the stronger effort, Wander This World, followed late the next year. Lang's next release, Long Time Coming, arrived in 2003 and garnered often withering critiques for its turn toward over-produced hard rock mixed with sometimes heavy-handed religiosity; 2006's gospel-informed Turn Around was more favorably received. Live at the Ryman was issued by Concord Records in 2010. After a seven-year hiatus, he announced details of his sixth studio album, Fight for My Soul which was scheduled for release in September 2013; it peaked at number one on Billboard's Blues Albums chart. Lang released his next album, the politically charged Signs, in September 2017. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi