Jonny Lang Ticketholders: Due to the continued impact of COVID-19 his performance in the Strand Theatre on December 16, 2020 has been rescheduled. We are excited to announce a new date for his concert in the Strand Theatre at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts in York, PA – Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7:30 PM
All current tickets will be honored at the rescheduled date. No replacement tickets are required.
If the new April 9, 2021 date does not work in your schedule, would you consider donating the value of your tickets to the Appell Center Emergency Stabilization Fund? Your donation would provide essential support during a time when our industry is shut down and we are unable to host events. We will also exchange your tickets towards another future event or offer refunds.
If you need to donate, exchange or refund your tickets, please leave a message with the Appell Center Box Office, 717-846-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org and an agent will contact you. Due to the Governor’s order concerning closure of non-life sustaining businesses, our box office staff is working remotely and will do their best to return your message. We thank you for your patience.
Please note: exchange and refund requests must be received by Friday, September 4. Appell Center Members at the $300 Star level and above can exchange tickets up to 48 hours prior to the new date.
It is hard to believe that at 38 years old Jonny Lang has already had a successful career for two decades.
Easier to believe when you learn he released his first platinum record at 15 -- an age when many young people are just beginning to play music. Lie to Me revealed a talent that transcended the crop of blues prodigies floating around in the late Nineties. No flashy re-hasher of classic blues licks, even at that early age Lang was a full-blown artist with a style of his own. Also, setting Lang apart from the wunderkind crowd was a 15-year-old voice that sounded like a weathered soul shouter. Actual life experience was yet to come, and has been subsequently chronicled in a series of five uniformly excellent recordings. "I got married, had kids, and that arc has been recorded on albums along the way," says Lang. "There is a lot of personal history in there, and also some things that relate to world events."
What began as a bluesy sound, influenced by electric pioneers like Albert Collins, B. B. King, and Buddy Guy, evolved over those recordings into a modern R&B style closer to Stevie Wonder and contemporary gospel music. Lang's distinctive, blues-inflected licks appeared on every album, but became one element in a sea of passionately sung and tightly arranged songs.
Signs is not merely a return the artist's guitar-based beginnings, but an embodiment of an even more elemental sound. Beyond focusing attention on his soloing prowess, it is about recapturing the spirit of the early blues, where the guitar was front and center, fairly leaping out of the speakers. "A lot of my earlier influences have been coming to the surface, like Robert Johnson, and Howlin' Wolf," he reports. "I have been appreciating how raw and unrefined that stuff is. I had an itch to emulate some of that and I think it shows in the songs. Still, I let the writing be what it was and that was sometimes not necessarily the blues."
In this simpler spirit, Lang, Drew Ramsey, and Shannon Sanders convened in a Los Angeles studio with some melodic and arranging ideas and proceeded to crank out a dozen basic tracks in a few days. With a bit of overdubbing and further recording in L.A. and Nashville, and some further help from Dwan Hill, Dennis Dodd and Josh Kelley, Signs was done. The record, which features funk, rock, and blues elements, is held together by Lang's distinctive playing and singing, and the lyrics, which center on themes of embattlement and self-empowerment. "Some of the songs are autobiographical, but not usually in a literal way," Lang explains. "The main goal is for folks to be able to relate to what I went through. If I can't make it work using just my personal experience, I use my imagination to fill in blanks."
Starting off the record with a juke joint stomp, "Make It Move" is the singer's story about going to the mountain rather than waiting for it to come to you. "There have been times in my life where I thought something would take care of itself, when I should have put some effort forth to help it happen," says Lang. "Being proactive has been a weak spot for me, and the song is about doing your part to get things moving."
Fueled by some evil guitar sounds, "Snakes" turns the well-known warning about "snakes in the grass" into a poetic tale of a young man dealing with hubris and temptation. "It is mostly about the mistakes I made through not approaching life with humility, and the things I was susceptible to that distracted me," says Lang. "You are overconfident, thinking you are ready for whatever the world will throw at you, but have no idea some things are affecting you until much later in life."
The anthemic "Last Man Standing" started with a hook Drew Ramsey brought to the recording date. "We built the song around that premise," Lang explains. "When I was coming up with lyrics, it was personal, but I don't want to analyze it too much. I want it to be whatever it is going to be for the listener. That song could be applied to any situation in which you feel like you are struggling."
Lang breaks out the slide for the title song, "Signs," which extends outward from personal stories into the dramatic events of today's world. "I try to disregard politics as much as I can, but it seems like every day when you wake up there is something else crazy going on -- not normal crazy, but more like movie script crazy," he says.
The rampaging guitars and driving groove of "Bitter End" reflect Lang's frustration with a seemingly endless cycle of history: "Why tear down a wall to build it up again." But he brings us back up with the lilting affirmation of "Stronger Together," and the funky exhortation to step "Into the Light."
A stunning guitar solo marks the Josh Kelly produced "Bring Me Back Home." "Josh and I cut six or seven songs together and had a blast doing it," Lang says. "I am saving the other ones for who knows what, but I definitely wanted that one to be on this record."
Since the release of his debut album, Grammy Award winning Jonny Lang has built a reputation as one of the best live performers and guitarists of his generation. The path Lang has been on has brought him the opportunity to support or perform with some of the most respected legends in music. He has shared the stage with everyone from The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Aerosmith and Buddy Guy, who he continues to tour with today.
Fans who discovered Jonny Lang through his searing instrumental work will revel in the huge guitar tones and go for broke solos on Signs, while those who have appreciated his growth as an honest and passionate songwriter will find that honesty and passion unabated. Though he long ago left blues purism behind, Lang has never abandoned its spirit of universal catharsis through the relating of personal trials. Signs reaffirms his commitment to the blues and the guitar without sacrificing the modern approach that has made him such a singular artist.
Gary Douglas has long been waging battle with the forces of greed and injustice, both as rebel rocker and as a Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame attorney who spends each and every day fighting for workers rights and the victims of corporate greed. Now, with The Gary Douglas Band’s bracing new single release of DEEP IN THE WATER, Douglas has crafted his most powerful statement thus far, a clarion call of passionate rock ‘n’ roll fueled by expertly crafted melodies, stadium-sized choruses, and Douglas’ uncompromising lyricism. Songs like “Nothing Ever Goes As Planned” and the forceful title track find the singer-songwriter-bandleader opening up his rousing American sound to better explore the social and emotional effects of politics and power on living, breathing people.
“Law is about fighting for people who have been exploited or taken advantage of,” Douglas says, “people who have been harmed and hurt by the powerful elites in our society. Music is just a different medium to get to the same result. These songs, they’re about the same people, their struggles and their lives. Both things, it’s about giving voice to the voiceless.”
Indeed, DEEP IN THE WATER’s remarkable title track reflects Douglas’ recent efforts on behalf of multiple plaintiffs battling DuPont for injuries sustained by the chemical giant’s illegal dumping of the dangerous chemical C8 into the Ohio River. Douglas spearheaded the milestone litigation, representing the unsuspecting communities along the Ohio River Valley to whom DuPont referred in internal documents to as “‘human receptors.”‘ Much like the recent ruling against Monsanto in California, Douglas won a series of record-shattering settlements in the multi-district litigation, earning more than $700 million in punitive damages after juries agreed DuPont had acted with a “‘conscious disregard”‘ for the health and well-being of the families living along the river in Ohio and West Virginia. “‘We connected all your dots/And we’ve become your worst nightmare/Agitators/And we’re rising up…”‘ Douglas sings on “‘Deep In The Water,”‘ using his extraordinary music to reaffirm his powerful message to corporations who destroy communities with little care for those who live there.
Gary Douglas (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keys)
Jeremy Goldsmith (Guitars)
Tom Curiano (Drums)
Trevor Coen (Bass)
Jessica Antonette (Backing Vocals)