by Linda Ray
At age 13, blues prodigy Jonny Lang had a voice like a swampy blues cat. Fans wondered just whose soul this North Dakota tunesmith had inherited; his guitar solos were burning as much as his vocals were Smokin', the title of his 1995 debut CD.
At 15, his career took off with his major label debut, Lie to Me. Lang has never looked back and, as he showed at the Rialto on Wednesday, Jan. 8, he's relaxed, matured and still puts everything he has into a riff.
What is life like after landing on the moon as a teenager? Justin Bieber, who last week announced his retirement for what may be the first of many times, might never find out. But at 30, Lang seems to be in it for the long haul. His most recent release, 2013's Fight for My Soul, was his seventh. And as long as fans of B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan draw breath, he'll draw a crowd.