Music » Critics' Picks

Jonny Lang

8 p.m. Thursday, November 16. The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard).

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Six years ago, Jonny Lang was at a crossroads. Too much underage drinking and cigarette-smoking, too many drugs, and an obsession with witchcraft threatened to ruin his career and create havoc in his personal life. But a revelation gave rise to his current sobriety and new musical identity, and he has found the strength to overcome his personal turmoil through family, Christianity and God. Lang's new CD, Turn Around, chronicles this new spiritual life by focusing on gospel-inflected R&B and soul in the vein of his mentors Donny Hathaway, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder. The album's fifteen stellar tracks range from quiet ballads to energetic, uptempo burners and the emotionally charged title song; blue-eyed soul singer Michael McDonald even wails in response to Lang's falsetto voice on "Thankful."

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