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Blues - Released February 21, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Louisiana guitar slinger Sonny Landreth returns to the studio with his quartet two years after 2017's Grammy-nominated Recorded Live in Lafayette. Blacktop Run is more than just a new studio outing, however. Landreth reunites with producer R.S. Field for the first time since 2005's Grant Street. Field produced Landreth's three breakout sets for Zoo as well as several later albums. He is a studio empath and extends artists full faith and credit. Landreth possesses a distinct sound to be sure, direct, resonant, and simple, but he's restless when it comes to experimenting with styles. He juxtaposes, combines, and balances them with alarming regularity and reckless abandon. But he always anchors them into easily relatable grooves. He and the band recorded live to tape at Dockside Studios. Landreth's band includes keyboardist Steve Conn, drummer Brian Brignac, and bassist David Ranson. The guitarist wrote eight of these ten tunes; Conn penned the other two, which include the stellar instrumental "Beyond Borders," a jam that melds hard Southern swamp rock, electric slide blues, and Latin cumbia. The opening title track begins with fingerpicked National Steel guitar, a droning bassline, washboard, and bumping tom-toms. Landreth's singing voice at almost 70 years of age is better than ever: he glides through the lyrics, allowing his guitar to help carry them with his deft plectrum and slide-guitar picking, often in the same line. The tune is a rambling blues, infused with the energy of a pickup rolling down the open highway. "Lover Dance with Me" is a dirty Cajun blues instrumental with funky overtones. Landreth's scorching leads crisscross jazz, R&B, and garage rock on his way to blues while Ranson's bass growls with distorted passion in the backdrop propelling him forward. "Mule" is a Cajun stomper complete with button accordion; zydeco and Delta blues melt together on a honky tonk dancefloor. "Groovy Goddess" is a spiky instrumental showcasing Landreth's electric slide-playing swing. It has a hooky chorus line inserted to break up the pyrotechnics, but only holds them in check momentarily "Somebody Gotta Make a Move" is a cautionary tale with a reggae-cum-R&B backbeat injected into swamp blues. "Don’t Ask Me" brings the acoustic National Steel back to the fore in front of a shuffling drumkit and singing accordion. While "Many Worlds" commences as a slow-ish Americana tune, Landreth's nasty electric slide delves deep into shades of Southern blue. "Something Grand" is a country song written by Landreth. Accompanied by martial snares and a shimmering, soulful Hammond B-3, Landreth's fingerpicked acoustic frames a vulnerable lyric that amounts to narrative poetry. It argues the place for love: one that heals tragedy, ruin, and broken promises. It sends Blacktop Run out on notes of tenderness and mercy born of grit. Landreth and Field bring out the best in one another. They are symbiotic in their restless energies and experimental visions, and have consistently delivered excellence together; Blacktop Run is no exception. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 30, 2017 | Provogue

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Blues - Released February 13, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released January 24, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released June 4, 2015 | Provogue

The last time Sonny Landreth released a stripped-down blues trio date recorded in a studio was 2003's The Road We're On in 2003, and his previous album to this was 2012's maximal Elemental Journey, which ranged over blues, jazz, zydeco, and reggae and had ambitious arrangements that included everything from steel drums to strings and winds. Bound by the Blues features his longstanding group (bassist David Ranson and drummer Brian Brignac) and was recorded at his Comoland Studio in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was co-produced by Landreth and Tony Daigle, and includes originals and standards, vocal tunes and instrumental workouts. A raucous version of Robert Johnson's "Walking Blues" opens it with blazing slide guitar. Courtesy of Daigle, it has an enormous (but natural-sounding) drum mix and offers a killer bridge. Landreth reprises Johnson's "Dust My Broom" later and recombines Elmore James' version with hard-strutting Chicago bravado and a Hendrixian flourish. Speaking of James, his "It Hurts Me Too" is also here; it has a roiling, midtempo churn with Landreth's guitar playing extended by his soulful vocals. The title track is an original, with the guitarist on an acoustic National Steel with his electric, bumping, almost funky bassline and martial snare shuffle adding balance and illustrating the Como style. On "The High Side," he offers an excellent modern take on the country-blues. The instrumental "Firebird Blues" is dedicated to the memory of Johnny Winter. Landreth evokes the late guitarist's slow, wrangling, Delta-cum-Texas style in scorching form. But there's a surprise in the bassline which is mixed like a tuba at a New Orleans funeral march. Landreth's version of Skip James' "Cherry Ball Blues," with its strident pace and distorted, wrangling solo, offers an entirely new interpretation. On Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway," Landreth simultaneously pays tribute to Buddy Guy and Jimmy Reed. "Simcoe Street" is another original instrumental, this time a choogling boogie made for the roadhouse dancefloor. Bound by the Blues is certainly a welcome return for the guitarist and his trio doing what they do best, and well worth the wait. Here, Landreth reaffirms his commitment to the blues as a free-spirited and still vibrant creative form. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 1, 2010 | Landfall Records

Following a few years after Levee Town, an album tightly focused on a specific place and time, Landreth dedicates The Road We're On to the more intangible magic of the blues. The music this time scans a vast panorama, from the Texas shuffle of "All About You" and zydeco pulse of "Gone Pecan" through the tub-thump beat of some Bayou dive on "Juke Box Mamma." Aside from a couple of cuts on which he plays standard guitar, Landreth fills this album with wizardly slide work: A shimmering lick at the end of "A World Away" provides the most gorgeous sonic moment, though his extended jam on the environmental call to arms "Natural World" sustains a high level of intensity through several choruses. On most of these tracks Landreth performs in a raw trio setting, almost all the time recording live; on "Hell at Home" he even keeps the scratch vocal, rather than overdub a fresh version, because the four-beat groove, reminiscent of "Walking Blues" on Paul Butterfield's East-West, is so in-the-pocket. With more focus on the playing and less on studio polish than he's shown in years, Landreth affirms his mastery in all the feels of The Road We're On and, more importantly, reminds listeners that bottomless power still lives in the body of the blues. © Robert L. Doerschuk /TiVo
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Blues - Released February 2, 2014 | Landfall Records

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. The water theme appears in a few post-Katrina songs like the scathing "Blue Tarp Blues ("Air Force One had a heck of a view, lookin' down on the patchwork of the blue tarp blues") and others such as the bluesy "Storm of Worry," featuring Clapton's trademarked licks. Dr. John pays a house call on "Howlin' Moon," bringing his New Orleans piano and backing vocals to a second line burner that shifts into harder-edged rock but maintains its inherent Crescent City vibe. Jimmy Buffett, who sings backing vocals on the track, is virtually inaudible. The lovely ballad "Let it Fly" slows down the mood and sounds somewhat like something that Landreth's old boss John Hiatt might write. Ford sings and plays on "Way Past Long," a terrific meeting of the minds where both contribute guitar and vocals to a funky stomper that is a true collaboration and one of this album's many highlights. Guitar freaks will salivate over the raging instrumentals "Uberesso" and "The Milky Way Home" the latter where Landreth trades riffs with Eric Johnson, whose own style complements that of the headliner. At just over 45 minutes, it's over too quickly, but there isn't a wasted note here. The songs are some of Landreth's most heartfelt, his singing is emotional and understated, the production (Landreth with Tony Daigle, who also engineered) perfectly captures these performances in their swampy glory and the playing, by everyone, is inspired. The guest guitarists do their jobs well, but this would be a strong project even without them, and is surely one of Landreth's finest sets to date. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo
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Blues - Released February 2, 2014 | Landfall Records

"Landreth's voice is a nice strong addition to his guitar pyrotechnics, and he can handle a steely-eyed blues like 'Wind in Denver,' as well as the occasional quiet number." © TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released February 6, 1995 | Volcano

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Blues - Released May 26, 2008 | Proper Records

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. The water theme appears in a few post-Katrina songs like the scathing "Blue Tarp Blues ("Air Force One had a heck of a view, lookin' down on the patchwork of the blue tarp blues") and others such as the bluesy "Storm of Worry," featuring Clapton's trademarked licks. Dr. John pays a house call on "Howlin' Moon," bringing his New Orleans piano and backing vocals to a second line burner that shifts into harder-edged rock but maintains its inherent Crescent City vibe. Jimmy Buffett, who sings backing vocals on the track, is virtually inaudible. The lovely ballad "Let it Fly" slows down the mood and sounds somewhat like something that Landreth's old boss John Hiatt might write. Ford sings and plays on "Way Past Long," a terrific meeting of the minds where both contribute guitar and vocals to a funky stomper that is a true collaboration and one of this album's many highlights. Guitar freaks will salivate over the raging instrumentals "Uberesso" and "The Milky Way Home" the latter where Landreth trades riffs with Eric Johnson, whose own style complements that of the headliner. At just over 45 minutes, it's over too quickly, but there isn't a wasted note here. The songs are some of Landreth's most heartfelt, his singing is emotional and understated, the production (Landreth with Tony Daigle, who also engineered) perfectly captures these performances in their swampy glory and the playing, by everyone, is inspired. The guest guitarists do their jobs well, but this would be a strong project even without them, and is surely one of Landreth's finest sets to date. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo
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Blues - Released April 21, 2009 | Landfall Records

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. He takes the time here to do a number of acoustic songs and shows that there is more to him than a loud flash. Give a listen to "Love and Glory," in which he is helped out by Jennifer Warnes and Herb Pedersen doing background vocals, Errol Verret on accordion, and some stunning fiddle work by Michael Doucet. He wrote all the songs except "Angeline," which he co-wrote with Will Jennings, and his sophistication as a storyteller is becoming more fully developed. This is a disc that shows his true maturity as a songwriter. He has a tight band working with him, and he employs his friends, who help him out to his best advantage. There is plenty of straight-ahead high voltage Zydeco here, and there is also the quieter more introspective song. A well realized and balanced piece of work that truly reflects Landreth's Zydeco/Louisiana roots. © Bob Gottlieb /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released March 29, 1993 | Volcano

Sonny Landreth is a Louisiana-based slide guitar master known for his work with John Hiatt and Britich Columbia's Sue Medley (both make backup vocal appearances here). Like fellow ace Ry Cooder, Landreth's playing sizzles and slashes on his debut solo outing Outward Bound. There's lots of space where what isn't played is just as important as what is. "Back to Bayou Teche" echoes the performer's early days backing some of Louisiana's best known Cajun musicians; aboriginal rhythms grace "Sacred Ground"; commercial pop meets Southern boogie on "New Landlord," and Landreth borrows a lick or two from buddy Hiatt for "Common-Law Love." © Roch Parisien /TiVo
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Blues - Released December 6, 2019 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released July 17, 2012 | Demon S&C (CC)

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Country - Released March 3, 2004 | Silver Shot Records

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Blues - Released June 30, 2017 | Provogue

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Blues - Released May 28, 2012 | Proper Records

Sonny Landreth is known for his brilliant Mississippi and Louisiana-styled slide guitar playing, and he's a pretty good songwriter as well, and he can sing just fine, and he has a strong sense of place and purpose, and he knows how to play the blues. But most of all, Landreth plays guitar, and he does it so elegantly and gracefully that it becomes a voice of its own. Elemental Journey is Landreth's 11th solo album, and it's his first all-instrumental outing, and folks, this isn't a blues album. It's a wonderfully bright, woven mesh of blues, strings, rock, zydeco, country, reggae, and jazz that shifts and turns and builds within each track, and all of it fits seamlessly together like a huge musical quilt made for guitar heaven. Track after track surprises and amazes here, from the opening "Gaia Tribe," which features guest Joe Satriani on guitar, through the stirring "Heavy Heart Rising" and the joyous "Wonderide" and "Passionola" (this one features Eric Johnson on guitar) to the Caribbean shuffle of "Forgotten Story," complete with steel drums from Robert Greenidge. Members of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra are here, too, and the touches of violins, cellos, and violas that appear and fade appropriately throughout these tracks keep everything fresh, and there's always some new guitar line coming in. This is a wonderfully bright album, stirring and impressive. This man can play guitar, and while his one-of-a-kind slide playing may always be his bread and butter, he shows clearly in these tracks that he can play the instrument in a thousand different ways. This isn't a typical Landreth album by any means, at least not to date, but it is one of his best. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Blues - Released April 6, 2009 | Edsel

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Blues - Released May 4, 2009 | Proper Records

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. He takes the time here to do a number of acoustic songs and shows that there is more to him than a loud flash. Give a listen to "Love and Glory," in which he is helped out by Jennifer Warnes and Herb Pedersen doing background vocals, Errol Verret on accordion, and some stunning fiddle work by Michael Doucet. He wrote all the songs except "Angeline," which he co-wrote with Will Jennings, and his sophistication as a storyteller is becoming more fully developed. This is a disc that shows his true maturity as a songwriter. He has a tight band working with him, and he employs his friends, who help him out to his best advantage. There is plenty of straight-ahead high voltage Zydeco here, and there is also the quieter more introspective song. A well realized and balanced piece of work that truly reflects Landreth's Zydeco/Louisiana roots. © Bob Gottlieb /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 8, 2017 | Provogue