10 songs time-41:36
I like me some Sonny Landreth. What’s not to like? The Creole influenced slide guitarist-singer-songwriter has full control of his guitar as he slips and slides through our conscience and conjures up images of New Orleans and other places south. I’ve been hooked since I bought his “South Of I-10”, a rockin’ creole masterpiece. He brings his unique slide wizardry to this project whether playing blues or singing about it and life. This is his first blues outing since 2003’s “The Road We’re On”. The approach here is Sonny backed by drums and bass with occasional backing vocals. As per his usual practice at times he overdubs two or three guitar parts. He is meticulous without lessening the energy.
On the cover songs he retains the original foundation of the songs while at the same time stamping them with his easily recognizable style and tone. His voice is as expressive as ever. He adds a few new lyrics to “Walkin” Blues” and swirls his guitar magic to make your head spin in a good way. The title song isn’t a blues, but rather a Landreth-style song paying tribute to the universality of life’s experiences-love, death, birth and transcendence all punctuated by his keening slide work. Much of the slide on this tune is acoustic. “The High Side” follows in much the same fashion. Both of these songs could of easily fit into “South Of I-10”.
His treatment of Elmore James’ “It Hurts Me Too” finds him sliding all over the place. On the original “Where They Will”. “Let the blues take me were they will”. It speaks about his relationship to the blues. It contains some fine syncopated guitar. He pays tribute to another slide guitar master, Johnny Winter in the slow instrumental “Firebird Blues(In Memory To Johnny Winter)”, played on Sonny’s vintage Gibson Firebird a model associated with Johnny. Although Robert Johnson’s immortal “Dust My Broom” has been covered umpteenth times over the years Sonny unsurprisingly breathes new life into it.
His rearrangement of “Key to the Highway” features a smooth vocal along with more crazy good slide. The original instrumental “Simcoe Street” closes the album out as it jauntily bounces off the walls with some juicy slide.
Everything works here from Sonny’s multi talents, the spot on rhythm section and the production values of Sonny Landreth and Tony Daigle. If you are a long time fan like me, never heard of him or dislike music you’ll find much to enjoy and get your spirit moving here. Sonny’s guitar playing thrives in its’ own universe. Shut off your computer NOW and pick this gem up.