Ever since he burst onto the rock scene in his mid-teens, Jonny Lang has been able to let his guitar do the talking. That six-string makes plenty of noise on Turn Around, but for the first time, Lang makes just as much of a mark with his voice -- and, perhaps more important, the words he delivers. Turn Around is vividly colored by Lang's long-entrenched but seldom articulated spiritual side, an inclination that manifests itself in ways both obvious (the gospel choir that lifts "It's Not Over") and subtle (the quietly mystical bent that wafts from the jazzy "My Love Remains"). Fans of Lang's no-holds-barred riffing will still find plenty to appreciate here -- he wails with funked-up urgency on "Bump in the Road" and swings with soulful grace throughout the love-thy-neighbor screed "One Person at a Time." What's more enticing, however, is how Lang's decision to let down his spiritual guard is mirrored in the relaxing of his stylistic restraints. You can hear that in the rustic purity of the country licks that drive "On That Great Day," a storefront-church paean that features a guest spot from Buddy Miller, and the raw Delta-isms of the ragged-but-right title track, as well as in the unabashedly sentimental ballad "Anything's Possible." On occasion, Lang's insistence on delivering his message becomes overwhelming, but his forays onto the pulpit are tempered with enough sonic power to make even nonbelievers groove along empathetically.
Performance CreditsJonny Lang Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Sam Bush Mandolin
Michael McDonald Piano,Vocals
Jackie Wilson Choir, Chorus
Javier Solís Percussion
David Angell Violin
Jim Anton Bass,Bass Guitar
Michael Bland Drums
David Davidson Violin
Chris Dunn Trombone
Barry Green Trombone
Jim Horn Baritone Saxophone
Anthony LaMarchina Cello
Buddy Miller Guitar
Doug Moffett Tenor Saxophone
Kristin Wilkinson Viola
Kim Keyes Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Kenny Meeks Hurdy-Gurdy
Matthew Emery Johnson Choir, Chorus
Melinda Doolittle Background Vocals
Shannon Sanders Organ,Choir, Chorus
Quentin Ware Trumpet
Sara Watkins Fiddle
Jason Eskridge Background Vocals
Aaron Pearce Choir, Chorus,Wurlitzer
Cynthia Matthews Choir, Chorus
Chimere Scott Choir, Chorus
Ametria Dock Choir, Chorus
Danelle Corbin Choir, Chorus
Haylie Lang Vocals
Rebecca Shocklee Choir, Chorus
Drew Ramsey Guitar
Ester Dean Choir, Chorus
Technical CreditsSteven Curtis Chapman Composer
David Davidson String Arrangements
Matt Hyde Engineer
Jonny Lang Composer,Producer,Contributor
Kenny Meeks Guitar Techician
Jon Alexander Graves Engineer
Shannon Sanders Composer,Producer
Quentin Ware Horn Arrangements
Mark Linger Engineer
Reeve Carney Composer
Greg Fuqua Pro-Tools
Drew Ramsey Composer,Audio Production
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not his usual. Don't know why. I have Lie to Me and that Blows me Away. Johnny I love you. I can so relate to the Blues and Johnny does it better than Clapton and a few others. Stevie Ray was maybe tied with this guy. Saw him Live too. Excellent. I like #5 on Lie to me Matchbox.
If you are considering this title because you love Jonny's previous releases... stop! This is nothing like what he built a name on. I think many of his existing fans may be very disappointed in his new direction, I know that I am. This is more church organ than guitar. I assume that he is looking for a new audience with this release and losing his existing one. Good luck.
Let me sum it up short & sweet- Johnny Lang stretches his talent and shows a great side of himself.I remember Johnny playing as an unknown in Annandale,Minnesota and what a great growth and transition-It clearly shows that while the groove and the riffs are just as great as always,Johnny isn't afraid to color outside the lines-Congratulations to Johnny Lang and also to A&M Records-
I have been a jonny lang fan for years and with 'turn around' i have found a new respect for him as an artist and as a person. By listening to the first few tracks you immediately know that he's not just singing the lyrics, he means them whole-heartedly! He is still as talented as ever, showing growth now in his songwriting. What a bold move- old and new fans alike should take a good listen to the Truth that he is singing about! This album excites me- can't stop listening to it!
Maybe I've been gone somewhere but I had never heard of Jonny Lang before. I was sent an email with a couple of snippets of songs from this album. I bought it and was absolutely blown away. What an amazing talent. I love this album and every single song on it. However, I listen to Turn Around over and over again. When I found out Jonny has been around 10 yrs. already, I had to look for his other albums. They sound good too and I will find out because I'm buying them all.
I'm a throw back to the Jesus Freak days, when there was some hope that Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, and Phil Keaggy were going to bring some original and significant rock to the Christian scene, and they did . . . to a degree. But there has been a long season of mediocrity. I've been able to assuage my hunger by listening to the old Clapton (when he was in Cream) from the early 70s and Bob Dylan's Christian albums, and I even find myself hearing Christian overtones in the newest Dylan album. I hope it isn't just wishful thinking. This album, "Turn Around," by Johnny Lang brings some real substance to Christian rock in the same way that Dylan's Christian albums did a while back. There is a bit of Joe Cocker in Lang, and some of the selections are a little less than outstanding, but there is a real spark here, some real drive, originality, and sincerity. Brothers and sisters need to pray for him: he may bring a voice worth listening to back to Christian rock.
This is not the same Jonny Lang from "Smokin" and "Lie to Me". I have loved all his albums, until I bought this one, which is Jonny doing Gospel. The Blues are historically closely linked to Gospel, so I thought I would like it. Big mistake. Jonny sounds like Al Green or Stevie Wonder. And his virtuoso guitar is completely gone. This is not the same Jonny Lang. Personal evolution can be a wonderful thing. Look at Eric Clapton, another Blues great. He has evolved throughout his career from The Yardbirds, to Cream, to Derek & The Dominos to a solo career. His music changed, but the quality of the music remained top notch. Not impressed by this album. Would give it zero stars, if I could.
As Jonny continues to grow as an artist and shift his musical style with each album, he continues to deliver an over the top experience with Turn Around. This album has gospel, funk, R&B, rock, his own unique style and so much more. His already dedicated fans along with so many others will continue to enjoy his originality and unbelievable talent. This is an amazing--must have album. I highly recommend it! Once you pop it in your CD player, you won't take it out!
Future generations will look back upon the music of Jonny Lang's youth and wish they could have been there. Like Sinatra. Like Aretha. Like Elvis. The first generation of discovery is always the most satisfying. p Fortunately for us, this album tells the story of a young man coming into his own during a time of rapid change aspiring to live a life that is truly worthy of his calling and purpose. p Along with being a timely encouragement for anyone trying to find their balance in this world, the album stretches Lang musically as well. p Listen to the lead guitar. dang. Bring it, Jonny Lang. p In particular, we enjoyed the following: p "One Person at a Time" - how do we influence our world? p "Turn Around" - beg, plead, love, challenge, or whatever it takes. The end result will be worth the effort. p "My Love Remains" - a partnership with Steven Curtis Chapman. p "Thankful" - a worthy remembrance as we approach the Holidays. p "Only a Man" and "Last Goodbye" - if they don't make ya cry, ya got no heart. p "That Great Day" - something to look forward to. p This album was worth the wait. Bring on the concert! p pD
Long-time fans of Jonny Lang who are expecting hard hitting blues numbers will be disappointed in this latest release. The songs are soft and churchy. Perhaps it should be called his gospel album as it certainly does not fit in the genre he is for which he is known. Even though I am all for artists trying new things, going in different direction, searching out new areas, it is not the style I was lookng forward to hearing from Jonny Lang.
jonny lang has been blesses with a special gift from god though his songs.
Anyone arguing this album doesn't fit within the realm of blues is just plainly missing the point of blues. Plenty of blues songs reflect transition, and plenty of blues records have some kind of spiritual underpinning to them, although most of them seem to land squarely in the camp that leaves God "over there," as it were. Really, if one really wants to trace a logical growth arc, both musically and spiritually for Jonny Lang, than this album is the most logical one he could have done. And anyone feigning complete and utter surprise at his overt conversion should just knock it off right now, because the predications have been there from the start. Jonny Lang’s previous offerings had plenty of spiritual currency to them, and reflected not only a desire for more against the backdrop of human doubt (“Leaving to stay,”) internally, but a relationship predicated on the concept of a sovereign God (“The Goodbye Letter.”). That said, I do not consider this a “blues” album directly, but that delineation began with Long Time Coming, not this one. Let me say at the outset, that I love this album, especially from the standpoint of where Jonny has taken his ever-versatile vocal gifts. Lang manages to navigate between the grit and the whisper, and shows perhaps the greatest penchant for emotion since he started playing Irish Angel during his shows. The album is definitely an autobiographical one—one that carries Lang’s personal journey. While not passive in anyway lyrically, the album in no way indicts secular the listener into defensive mode, but rather conveys a sense of “would you perhaps try to see what I’m seeing?” Highlights for me personally: “The other side of the fence,” a very riffy song, even if one feels slightly cheated that Jonny doesn’t peel forth as much on his telecaster. “Don’t stop for Anything,” is a vamp, a bluesy/funky glottal fry that, besides putting the hair up on my arm, made me realize the Prodigal Son could get 21st century treatment without seeming pedestrian and cloying. And yes, his guitar shows up, too. I’ll avoid dragging this out with snippets of the whole thing, but I will predict that those inclined to believe Jonny Lang has entered some Dylan-esque “phase” by tinkering with Christianity will not have their predictions borne out. “That Great Day,” is not only blatantly traditional in its gospel construction, but carries certain revelatory clues about baptism and consecration that transcend the “I need a good phrase that rhymes here” lines that were never broached when Pete Seeger sang “Mary Don’t You Weep.” And maybe that will be perhaps the issue that re-defines his fan base. One cannot listen to any Jonny Lang song and come to the conclusion that conviction and belief are not present at every nuance—that is perhaps part of what made him who he is at a young an age that he is. And such is the case here. Not all of his fans will like Jonny’s neo-Apostolic emergence, but they will not need another album to arrive at this albums ultimate premise: “I’m Jonny Lang. I’ve been changed, and I mean it.”