Sonny Landreth

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Sonny Landreth

The Road We're On (Sugar Hill) The road has taken Louisiana guitarist Sonny Landreth all over the map. He's spent entire albums traveling such disparate musical landscapes as zydeco and jazz, playing on recordings from Dolly Parton to Kenny Loggins. His latest release for Sugar Hill, The Road We're On, is all about one place and one music, however: Delta blues. From the opening notes, there's no doubt where this album's headed. The good news is Landreth is a skillful enough -- particularly on slide -- to make it work. While opener "True Blue" and plenty of others are slow-burning 12-bar blues, Landreth, who wrote all 12 songs here, doesn't rest on that formula alone. Boogies, slow jams, shuffles, and rockers all crop up, and there's no shortage of stellar solos. Landreth is not only masterful, he's patient, working every measure like he's got all day. There's not much new going on here, but then, blues is not exactly a musical form in revolution of late. Landreth digs the old formulas, and he plays the slide like he was born to it. One just has to wonder why, instead of paying homage to the tried and true, an artist of Landreth's caliber doesn't step up and make something new out of the blues -- make these blues his blues. (Antone's, Thursday, March 13, 1am)

*** 

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