Jonny Lang Wows at HOB
January 12, 2018
Guitar prodigy Jonny Lang brought some much-needed heat to the frozen wastelands of downtown Cleveland Wednesday evening. A crowd of die-hards braved the post-holiday streets and were treated to a master class of shredding by one of the best guitarists of his generation.
The Nebraska-bred thirty-something axeman played for almost two hours, thirty minutes of which were a continuous encore. Having a natural rapport with the audience and a preternatural ability with his axe, Lang held court while showing off several new tunes from his recently dropped album, Signs.
Musically-inclined from a young age, Lang has taken the stage with such legends as BB King, The Rolling Stones and Buddy Guy. Never eschewing one genre over another, it's wildly apparent that he feels just as comfortable around a gospel tune as he does a Blues standard.
Taking the main stage at the House of Blues at 9:15, he played continuously until a little after 11:00. Sporting a multitude of facial expressions that highlighted and compounded the kinetic, frenetic energy spewing from his fingertips, Lang's playing looked downright effortless.
Austin-based Blue Water Highway, a troupe of twenty-something up-and-comers, opened for Lang in up-and-comer fashion. The five-piece ensemble played a scorching forty-five minute set with an interesting mashup of Peggy Lee's "Fever" and Adele's "Rolling With the Deep" as its centerpiece. The best part? Lead vocalist Zack Kibodeaux sang Lee's part while Catherine Clark harmonized in the competing Adele portions of the tune.
One of dozens of emerging Americana/Folk/Indie bands, this outfit may be one to keep an eye on.
Photos and article by Brian Lumley