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JONNY LANG – Fight For My Soul


Fame does not seem to have impacted Jonny Lang.  The country farm boy from Fargo, ND, who got his start sixteen years ago in the local clubs of Minneapolis and found incredible success with his major label debut album, Lie To Me, actually has managed to survive the treacherous music business labyrinth quite well.   The renowned guitarist, vocalist and songwriter withstood the early, hot spotlight, fell in love and began a family.  Along the way he learned what could only be taught by experience, by struggle and by love.  That well-earned clarity of purpose permeates his first album of brand new music in seven years, Fight For My Soul.


"The inspiration for the songs on this record varies widely,” states Lang.  “Some are about personal struggles; some are focused on injustices I have seen.  Some are random, fictional stories that hopefully people can relate to in some way.  I’ve wanted to make this album for a long time.  Creatively, I think there is a lot more going on inside of me than I’ve been sharing on record. Much of what I've experienced through music and life in general is in these songs "  


Lang’s full touring schedule combined with his first priority, his young family, is the primary cause for the length of time between new albums.  "Between family time and being out on the road, I really had to pick my spots to fit in recording the new album,” he says.  “Sometimes, the last thing you want to do when you’ve been away from home for a long time is to go into the studio.  In the last year, we've been able to work on it more consistently and finally finish it.”

Jonny Lang - Biography


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Textured arrangements, gorgeous vocal melodies, and expressive guitar playing are all found in generous abundance on Fight For My Soul however; the album defies categorization by a single genre.  For the last three years, Lang, along with producer Tommy Sims (who co-wrote Eric Clapton’s GRAMMY-winning “Change the World”) collaborated on the project from the ground up. The first step was fine-tuning the soulful numbers Lang demo’d at home.  “Sometimes I write music that I could never imagine putting on a record,” Lang admits. “Tommy has the ability to see the consistencies in the songs where I might not.”  Sims also contributed the soul-rocker “Blew Up (The House),” and played several instruments as well including resonator guitar and world-class bass on certain tunes.


As an artist Lang has evolved since the writing process began.  For example, the track “What You’re Looking For” carefully layers banjo, guitars, spacey keyboards and a percussion sample to create a sonic dreamscape that beautifully underpins its story of the search for the essentials of life — faith, love, hope.  Similar growth and artistic courage can be found on “We Are the Same” which evokes the freewheeling spirit of Motown’s Psychedelic Shack era, some of Lang’s favorite music and a side to his musicality he was eager to expose.


Lang’s four earlier studio albums were written and crafted under the careful watch of his previous record labels.  This one was different and it was a welcome change. After the release of the GRAMMY-winning Turn Around in 2007, he made the decision to forego the major label route and become an independent artist. Lang’s first indie effort was 2009’s Live At the Ryman, (subsequently released by his new label, Concord) but Fight For My Soul is his first fully realized artistic statement through his own label SayRai Music (via Concord) and features his own long-time touring band: drummer Barry Alexander, bassist James Anton, rhythm guitarist Akil Thompson, keyboardist Dwan Hill and background vocalist Missi Hale.  “Recording with the band for the first time was really gratifying,” says Lang. “They’re all amazing musicians and we’ve grown together musically and personally by playing hundreds of live shows.  This served us well in the making of Fight For My Soul.  Because of them, I have grown musically in ways I never thought I could, and it really is an honor to have them on this record."


Jonny Lang’s path has afforded him the opportunity to interact with some of the most respected legends in music.  On the way up, he shared the stage with the Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Aerosmith, Sting, and Buddy Guy, with whom he continues to tour.  As a 12-year-old, he began a long, exhilarating journey that has brought him to points across the globe, and he remains very excited about continuing the rather amazing trip. "With this album, I really look forward to bringing our music to people in places I've never been before,” enthused Lang.  “Music is a great conveyer of ideas and emotions and in a sense, that doesn’t have much to do with the individual performing as much as the power of the connection.”  He adds finally, “Music can be a blessing.  And if Fight For My Soul can help somebody by making them feel better or make them realize they’re not alone, that’s my idea of success.”


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