Eric Clapton calls him "the most underestimated musician on the planet and also one of the most advanced.” John Hiatt, Junior Wells, John Mayall, Irma Thomas, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Kenny Loggins, Mark Knopfler, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, Bonnie Raitt and hundreds of other world-class artists who have had the privilege to make music with him would emphatically agree. Sonny Landreth’s slide guitar prowess is supernatural.
This is music from the Saturday night dances in Louisiana; the hot and sweaty have a good time dancing, drinking, and looking at all the people. Do not look for the Royal Albert Hall production on this CD, as on his stunning South of I-10 with its myriad "guest artists." The feel for this music is shown by someone who grew up with it. Listen to the respect and feeling he gives to Clifton Chenier's "If I Ever Get Lucky." Try to keep your body and feet from bouncing to the beat of "Sugar Cane" or "Little Linda." Doesn't your eye start to look around for a dance partner, even though you're in your living room? There is solid playing throughout this CD even though the sound is a bit thin at times and the big-name guests are nowhere to be found. It is a solid effort that spans the musical boundaries of all of Louisiana. Cajun, zydeco, blues, and country are all blended together so they are no longer confining, but a homogenous mix. A solid effort.
Louisiana slide master Sonny Landreth takes his time between releases – his last studio disc of original material was five years prior to this – but when they arrive, the wait seems justified. For the debut album on his own Landfall records, Landreth calls in marquee name guitarists Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, and Vince Gill to bolster the visibility factor. Rather than focusing on guitar duals, Landreth wrote songs that incorporate their styles, and occasional vocals, organically into the material. There are plenty of stunning solos of course, but they are integrated into the tunes that stand up just fine without the six-string fireworks. The album's title is a double entendre as "reach" is a body of water and also describes Landreth inviting his guests to be part of the project.
If you’re already tuned in to Sonny Landreth, you can skip the following prose, get right to the click, and start working with this masterpiece of a blues electric slide course immediately. If by some cruel twist of fate, you have not yet treated your ears to Sonny’s magical slide guitar work AND you yearn to learn electric slide blues guitar — you’ve just hit the jackpot.
Sonny Landreth’s new album Bound By The Blues marks a return to the slide guitarist’s musical roots. It presents a bold, big-sounding collection of recordings that climb to stratospheric heights of jazz informed improvisation, the best of classic rock, and inevitably remain deeply attached to the elemental emotional and compositional structures that are at the blues’ historic core. Bound By The Blues is a powerful tribute to the durability and flexibility of the genre, and to his own creative vision. Sonny name-checks Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and some of Landreth’s other musical heroes along the way. He also pays homage to fellow slide guitarist Johnny Winter, with the instrumental “Firebird Blues"…
Sonny Landreth's screaming slide guitar plows right into you and carries you along on its feral journey. This CD opens going for your guts and never quits, though at times its touch is more caressing than careening, as in "Cajun Waltz." This CD got a lot of airplay yet never got tiresome, the true test of good music. A wide variety of slide guitar styles, backed by an extremely tight rhythm section and various other New Orleans musicians adds to the pleasure of the album. This music combines the best of zydeco, New Orleans R&B, Cajun, and rock & roll into one mood-elevating experience. Listen to "Mojo Boogie" next to "C'est Chaud," then go on to "Shootin' for the Moon"; there is no letdown, but there is great variety. A must-buy.
Levee Town is the 5th studio album by Sonny Landreth. Released on Sugar Hill Records Oct. 17, 2000 and re-released in an Expanded Edition on Landreth’s own LandFall Records April 21, 2009. This is slide guitar wizard Sonny Landreth's most ambitious work, and true to form it comes with no glossy fanfare (even the packaging is sepia tinted), just straight-ahead, well-crafted songs played with his usual intelligent, heartfelt playing. Like the photos that are easily passed over due to the quiet subtly of the sepia tones, the intricacy of his guitar work can easily be overshadowed by the flash that is inherent in the slide guitar…