After regular studio-made blues outings over the last decade, slide-guitar genius Sonny Landreth finally releases a great live CD.
Most guitarists would be happy for a tenth of the licks Landreth plays with ease. His wind-howling screams on “Wind in Denver,” the angry pulled notes on “All About You” and the joyous pumping riffs of “Gone Pecan” show why he’s been the slide guitarist of choice to fill out countless recordings for artists like John Hiatt, Clifton Chenier and Mark Knopfler.
This recording was culled from the band’s annual gig at the Grant Street Dancehall in Lafayette, La., close by where Landreth lives, and the mojo is definitely working. In one intense solo after solo, Landreth feeds off the zydeco rhythms of his band and the enthusiastic crowd.
It’s not all just raw energy, though. Landreth’s originals, such as “Congo Square,” already a New Orleans’ staple, are superb compositions and his singing voice is both gritty and nuanced. It’s his fretwork, though, that amazes. The way he simultaneously fingers chords while working the slide makes it seem he can do it all, and on “Grant Street,” he very nearly does.
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