Guitarist discusses tour with blues legend Buddy Guy

It has been a busy summer on the road for Jonny Lang. The former teen blues prodigy has been touring heavily in the United States and Europe in support of his late 2013 release, “Fight for My Soul.”

He will close the summer on the Experience Hendrix Tour alongside Billy Cox, Zakk Wylde, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others. Before that, however, Lang has a handful of dates with 78-year-old blues legend Buddy Guy, including a concert at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Friday, Aug. 15.

Lang, who first met Guy when he was 14 years old, recently shared his thoughts on their longtime relationship.

A BLUES ORIGINAL

“It’s seems like just about every year me and Buddy will do some shows together. It really is an honor. It’s been just the coolest thing to say playing shows with Buddy Guy is something I get to do. It hasn’t lost its awe to me. I don’t take it for granted. He’s one of a kind. He hits it so hard for 78, it’s just amazing. There’s a handful of these old blues guys left. When they’re gone, that’s it, just the imitators are left.”

AN ORGANIC APPROACH

“I’ve never been somebody who has worked to achieve a level of technical proficiency. I’ve never necessarily worked hard at that. I’ve always been the kind of person to fly by the seat of my pants. I used to feel a little insecure about being kind of reckless but watching Buddy and seeing him play, I saw that’s all he does. He’s reckless almost 100 percent of the time and somehow lands on his feet at the end of the song. It was such a big weight off my shoulders to see somebody that has that approach too so I was able to embrace that part of my own style.”

VALIDATION AND SUPPORT

“Buddy is just an extremely nice guy and he’s really supportive of young musicians. I was just this little white kid who really had no idea what it took for him to make it where he is today. He didn’t have any of that stuff like, ‘You’re not a member of this club, kid.’ He was extremely supportive of me and every other young person I’ve seen him around. He’s so welcoming and really validates them and makes them feel special. After somebody like Buddy Guy does that for you, nobody else can tell you that you don’t deserve to play that style of music.”

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