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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 68.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper
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Grown-up blues prodigy Jonny Lang reflects on fatherhood on Fight for My Soul
Proud papa
on
Lang gets personal on his new album.
Lang gets personal on his new album.

Jonny Lang took some time off after his last studio album, Turn Around, which won the Grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album in 2006. What's the guitar-playing singer and songwriter been doing since then? Having kids, for one. A child prodigy who, at 12, joined the first band he saw in concert -- the Bad Medicine Blues Band -- Lang is proud to have a brood of his own.

"[Fatherhood] has completely changed who I fundamentally am," Lang says. "Probably the reason the new record is a bit more serious is that I'm not as afraid...to be so personal. I think maybe I was steered away before from some of the things I'm singing about on this one."

This new album, Fight for My Soul, is about the different phases of life Lang has experienced during his recording hiatus, and "some things I've seen that I don't like and some I've seen that I do," he says. If that seems a little ambiguous, it's because he means it to be.

"I hate to give away too specifically my perception of my songs. I've always had this fear that one day I'm going to hear what James Taylor wrote his songs about, and I'll be crushed because it's not what they meant to me."

While Lang's lyrics are open to interpretation, one thing is for sure: His guitar solos and deep, bluesy vocals are a crowd pleaser. In the past, Lang's toured with some of the best, including B.B. King, Sting and the Rolling Stones. His Sept. 21 concert at Overture Hall should be no different. There he teams up with blues legend Buddy Guy.

Lang says the show's energy stems from its spontaneity.

"You never know with Buddy what's going to happen," Lang says. "There usually ends up being some kind of jam with him and whoever else might be around at the show. Buddy's always really good at getting his friends involved."

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