Jonny Lang

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since blues-rocker Jonny Lang burst onto the scene—at the ripe age of 15—with his major label debut, Lie to Me. Speaking recently with Vintage Guitar, Lang said he thinks modern blues music is in a good place at the moment.

“As a business—as a marketable thing—I think it’s doing pretty good,” said Lang. “The shows I’ve seen, like Buddy Guy, he’s always selling shows out, and people love him. There are a lot of new young people playing guitar that have those older influences too, so it has probably gotten a little stronger since I was a kid.”

For the guitar work on his latest album, Signs, Lang relied mostly on a ’59 reissue Les Paul that he’s owned for 15 years.

“Compared to the last couple [of albums], the guitar is more up-front—a bit more raw,” he said. “I had the intention of having at least a few of the songs harken back to some old blues guys. I’d been listening to Howlin’ Wolf and stuff like that, and was a bit inspired to go down that road.”