The Jonny Lang Reunion!

June 4, 2011

Nashville, TN – The Ryman Auditorium

OK, so what do I mean by reunion?

About 14 years ago, a good friend and contact at A & M records – Al Marks – called me up and told me I  had to come out and meet the new artist he was working with.  I was still working up in Chicago then and this new artist was only 15 years old.  Jonny Lang had just started touring in support of his first major release, Lie To Me, and Al was hoping Shure would start working with him.

Sometimes, choosing to work with an artist can be really easy, especially when they have as much talent as Jonny has.  After seeing him, it was clear that we had to. A few years later though , after a few management changes, Al was not working with Jonny.

So we fast forward to this wonderful Saturday, when for the first time in 11 years, it’s Al, Jonny, and Shure all in the same room – together again.  It was a great thing to see.

I spoke with Jonny right before his soundcheck at the historic Ryman Auditorium and he started to mention how much he liked his champagne KSM9 wired vocal mic,  stating that it was like “not knowing I needed glasses and then getting them.”   He loves the clarity and openness of the mic, whether it’s singing out strongly on the heavier tunes or holding back on the ballads, or a combination of both.

FOH engineer, Mike Ronkainen, also commented on how well the KSM313 is working on one of Jonny’s guitar amp. Mike also uses the KSM32 on his second amp. I was able to grab a quick shot of Mike at FOH trying out the new SRH840 headphones and he gave them a thumbs up!  He also said he likes to monitor using Shure earphones.

I hung around and ate dinner with Mike and Al to get caught up on things.  As I was watching the show, a lady came up to me and asked if I worked on the crew.  I informed her that I worked for the microphone company that provided Jonny’s mics.  She said “That must be a cool job.” I agreed with her. She went on to say that Jonny was such a great performer and she had never seen that much emotion coming off the stage.  I agreed with her a second time.

If you have not seen Jonny Lang live yet, please check his tour schedule and make it a point to.  He is truly a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist.  I have always enjoyed his shows and apparently, so does Vince Gill who was in attendance that evening.

On several songs, Jonny would break it down and vamp for a while while some of the other band members would solo.  During the encore, he gave them all a chance to shine.

The Ryman was 99% sold out.  What more can I say to convince you?

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Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969.

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