Sonny Black is an English guitarist who has absorbed several styles of American music and made them his own. It’s a hard sound to describe, but suffice it to say it contains jazz, blues, and some roots rock feel.
The opener, “Through Heaven’s Eyes” starts with some very sinewy lines reminiscent of Mark Knopler’s early work with Dire Straits. Throw up some very nice jazzy chordal and octave work, and Sonny’s off to a good start. His effortless playing on the shuffle “If I Ever Get to Heaven” showcases his intellect and imagination. The changes are wonderful, as is his soloing. The funky soul/blues of “Grant’s Groove” is enough to make that song’s namesake smile from heaven. And just to show some versatility, the acoustic blues of “Raggin’ the Strings” shows off some awesome fingerpickin’.
Black is a fine player; one of those guys who just oozes soul. If you’re a jazz or R&B fan, this one’s recommended.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.