Provogue/Mascot Label Group
Mississippi born Sonny Landreth has lived most of his life in the greater Lafayette, La. area. Landreth first played guitar as the only white member of Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band. Landreth has since been nick-named “the King of Slydeco” as he plays guitar with a strong zydeco influence. He has developed a technique where he frets notes and chord fragments behind the glass slide he uses; and wears the slide on his little finger so as to keep the other fingers free. Landreth released his solo debut in 1981 and recorded three early albums with producer R.S. Field, including his 1995 ground breaking “South of I-10”. Landreth has recorded with John Hiatt (“Slow Turning”); toured and recorded with Jimmy Buffet, and recorded or appeared with numerous others. Landreth has performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2019. Clapton states “Landreth is probably the most underestimated musician on the planet, and also probably one of the most advanced.” Landreth is a two-time Blues Music Award winner for Best Instrumentalist – Guitar having won that award in both 2009 and 2016; and is also a two-time Grammy Award nominee. His last recording in 2017 was the career retrospective, “Recorded Live in Lafayette”, also on Provogue.
This is Landreth’s third album for the Provogue label and fourteenth overall. Landreth is re-united with producer Field and they are joined by co-producer Tony Daigle. Landreth says “Field’s brilliance and creative energy recharged us. We came up with new and better ideas, and that’s what you want. It couldn’t have gone better”. The album was recorded at the Dockside Studios on the Vermilion River just south of Lafayette. Landreth, guitar and vocals; is joined by keyboardist Steve Conn; bassist David Ransom, and drummer Brian Brignac.
Landreth has written eight of ten compositions including four instrumentals. He opens with a vocal on the droning title track with the lyric “A new day is dawning and I have never felt so alive”. Landreth’s vocal clarity is displayed again on the rhythmic “Mule” complete with Cajun accordion; “Wilds of Wonder” expresses his environmental concerns. “Something Grand”, the first composition in years not to feature a guitar solo “is a song of redemption, and although it’s between two people in a relationship, it also speaks to life’s larger challenges.” The instrumentals include the sultry pulsing tremolo of “Lover Dance With Me”; the jazz rockin’ “Groovy Goddess”; the Latin styled “Beyond Borders” featuring keyboardist Conn originally written for, but left off of, an earlier project; and the shape-shifting “Many Worlds”. Two songs were written by keyboardist Conn; the sonic “Somebody Gotta Make A Move” featuring Conn on both piano and B-3, and the modified shuffle “Don’t Ask Me”.
Landreth, the bandleader, states “the purest form of music is improvised, when it flows, it’s exhilarating. It just seems to come out of nowhere and connect your heart and soul to your fingertips.” Guitarist Landreth, the master of tone, textures and nuances, excites us again on this fabulous new release.