Sonny Landreth is arguably the finest living slide-guitar player on the planet – and one of the few not ransacking Duane Allman’s lick library. On his latest, he paints upon a blues canvas with his own indelible fingerprint.
Triple-thick slide tones masterfully permeate old favorites such as “It Hurts Me Too,” “Dust My Broom,” and “Key To The Highway.” He invokes honesty rather than caricature, as the meaning of the songs reveal his humanity, instead of covering it up.
Soul-ripping solos are everywhere, as on “Cherry Bomb” and “Firebird Blues” with it’s dedication to the late Johnny Winter.
Landreth departs from the predictability of the genre with the countrified Americana of the title track, “The High Side,” and “Where They Will.”
Landreth can’t help but pour his Louisiana swamp juice on everything. This and his no-frills fervent vocal style, make his renderings completely devoid of blues shenanigans.
His band blends the perfect marriage of professional groove and neighborhood stomp, as Landreth surfs topside on a cushion of beautifully raw rhythmic incantations. The instrumental “Simcoe Street” takes us home as Landreth leaves us with the feeling that the blues makes all the other genres sound better. – Oscar Jordan
This article originally appeared in VG‘s September ’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.