"Youth has its own special grace. This is one of the best CD's of 2000 or any year! It's safe to say Jonny Lang is a prodigy, although some credit has to go to producer David Z. There's not a bad track here, but "I Am," (co-written by Prince, David Z, and Levi Seacer, Jr.) "Angel of Mercy," and "Wander This World" are three astonishing standouts. Better still is "Right Back," written by Jerry Lynn Williams and Danny Kortchmar. Even better than that is "Before You Hit the Ground," written by Kevin Bowe and Mr. Lang. And best of all is the brilliant (Bowe/Lang) "Breakin Me," already a radio hit. Discussing blues influences is like peeling back layers of an onion to find a center, but I definitely hear echos of the great Paul Butterfield Blues Band, especially in the drumming and piano arrangements. What pushes Lang ahead of other great guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton is his singing voice, reminiscent of Joe Cocker's style. Do we do the boy harm raving about his work at such a young age? If he can withstand the ravages of fame, there's not much telling what this kid can come up with. Get this--it's a masterpiece."
Lighten up, he's just a kid.
Karl, a Blues fan | Brainerd, MN USA | 12/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When he was still Kid Jonny (16), he used to come over from Fargo to play in Brainerd (yes, that Fargo and Brainerd). We knew then that we would be seeing a future Blues star and he packed 'em into the old hardware store converted to a bar to the tune of about 1200 people. We saw him several times with The Big Bang and his band on Lie to Me. Jonny was never the best musician on the stage. In the Big Bang, his guitar teacher who was in the band was a better guitarist.In his next band, Bruce McCabe on keyboards is phenomenal (pick up a CD by The Hoopsnakes to check out his talent featured and look who wrote Still Rainin', Second Guessing, Wander This World and Angel of Mercy on WTW, and Lie to Me, Darker Side, and Rack 'em Up on LTM). What Jonny did have was stage presence, his young age, and a lot of talent that he has worked hard at developing and maturing. No he's not SRV, (see Walter Trout live if you want to get closer to that), no he hasn't "paid his dues"... no more than any other 19 year old growing up in the Upper Midwest in a "normal" family and community. He happened to hear The Blues, love them, and chose to work extremely hard at learning to play, sing, and eventually write them. Much the same that any of you adoring, young fans could do at something you loved and chose to work as hard as Jonny has at his passion. Just as Lie to Me was, this is very good music, not totally what I was expecting, but still entertaining. For my sake and other Blues lovers, I hope he stays grounded in the Blues because Jonny has a great future. He deserves it because he has talent and he's worked very hard developing it."
Exhilirating peice of blues work for a up and coming star.
p1284 | decatur,ga | 12/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This cd marks an astonishment on an ever growing career in blues for a 18 year guitarist from minnasota.He mixes blues with a modern blend of his own,with catchy songs such as (breakin me,second guessing and i am)to the deep song enthusiasm he puts in such great song as the leeve and cherry red wine. He surely will someday follow in a great group of guitarist's such as eric clapton and jimi hendrix he can only get better in time. This cd his second following the prior release LIE TO ME is a 4 star only miscounting for 1 star cause he is just so young but just oh so talented WANDER THIS WORLD is every thing you want in a blues/modern rock compilation so i recommend you buy this for an ever loving blues fan in your home they certainly will enjoy. If this review isn't enough to convince you check out the sample show above to listen to this great young bluesman crank out the rock solid blues."
Beautiful blues rock
R. Kyle | USA | 07/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Lang is what--19 here? He's already one of the guitar legends and his voice isn't so bad, either. Admittedly, he's had some amazing help here--David Z produced this CD, but if he didn't have the chops that wouldn't have gotten done.
This is a hard CD to pick a favorite. There's nothing I'd skip over, which is uncommon even for my ultimate favorites. When he belts out the last of "Cherry Red Wine" I've had to just start the whole CD over from the start.
"I Am" is a great soulful song and I can see why so many of the other reviewers have picked it. I keep going back to "Back to the Levee" and "Angel of Mercy" and for the moment, those are my favorites, but that's changed just about every time I've played this CD.
So far, I have liked every single one of Johnny's CDs, looking forward to a long career with a lot of good music."
It grows on you..
mlca | Newton, Massachusetts USA | 07/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At first when I listened to this album, I was somewhat disapointed. It seemed like "Still Raining" and "Breakin' Me" were the only good songs. After listening to it about 5 times though, I decided Those and "Second Guessing" are the best, but the others are pretty darn good too! I prefer "Lie To Me" but this albums good. The two albums are quite different though, I guess this one is more rock/pop/R&B but still with a lot of blues? I don't know, but "Lie To Me" sounds a lot more bluesy. "Breakin' Me" is a very nice ballad that I love! "Leaving to Stay" is another great old fashioned ballady song with great backup vocals (I'm actually listening to that now). "Still Raining" is a truly great opener. Some of the songs on the album are somewhat forgettable, like "Right Back" and "Angel Of Mercy" (and that one has such a great title!) but they're not bad, just forgettable. Jonny sometimes uses his amazing voice a little too much on the album (aka, he oversings) but that has actually grown on me too. He totally rocks all the guitar solos though! I still perfer "Lie To Me" but I play both CD's all the time! "Wander This World" takes a few listens but its good. Its really good. More like 4.5 stars I guess."