Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
South of I-10
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
Sonny Landreth is a special guitarist. He has combined the idiosyncratic rhythms of his home state, Louisiana, with the intricate finger-picking of Chet Atkins, and the blues-rock slide of Duane Allman, into a distinctive ... more »
Sonny Landreth is a special guitarist. He has combined the idiosyncratic rhythms of his home state, Louisiana, with the intricate finger-picking of Chet Atkins, and the blues-rock slide of Duane Allman, into a distinctive style entirely his own. When he was backing up John Hiatt, John Mayall, or Beausoleil, his astonishing guitar licks were all Landreth needed, but now, as a bandleader himself, he has to rely on his songwriting and singing skills, which are considerably less impressive. On his 1996 solo album, South of I-10, Landreth does his best job yet in shoring up his weaknesses and showcasing his strengths. Landreth's best-known composition, a 1985 tribute to New Orleans called "Congo Square," has been recorded by Mayall, the Neville Brothers, Tom Principato, and Landreth himself, who re-records it for this album with help from guitarist Mark Knopfler and pianist Allen Toussaint. Landreth's vocal is much better this time, sticking close to the notes and timbres he can control and staying away from those he can't. With the help of his guest soloists and his producer R.S. Field (Webb Wilder), Landreth has his voice set the scene and then lets his guitar provide the eloquence. The new album features similar tributes to the music and weather of Louisiana: the title track, "Cajun Waltz," "Mojo Boogie," "C'est Chaud," and "Great Gulf Wind." These simple reflections of subjects close at hand are far more successful than Landreth's attempts at poetry and sweeping commentary. Most successful of all are Landreth's dazzling guitar fills and solos that express far more than his voice ever could. --Geoffrey Himes
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Take a trip south
booknblueslady | Woodland, CA United States | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Get out your road atlas and take a look at Louisiana south of I-10. I-10 runs through the great city of New Orleans and the state capital of Baton Rouge. South of there is the land of Cajun and Creole, a land of swamps, bayous and moss hanging thick from trees, and air that is so heavy with humidity that it can be cut with a knife. To hear what it sounds like slip Sonny Landreth's disc South of I-10 into your cd player and prepare. Shooting for the Moon blasts out at you with a propulsive beat. This powerful song is just the beginning of the extent of Landreth's ability as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Creole Angel jumps out at you with a zydeco beat. Mark Knopfler assists on guitar as Sonny sings:Bottle rocket combo got a corner on the crowd
Under her old balcony above a bar called
The Blat Cat Prowl
Sets off memories how she laughed every time
I'd break her silence with a piece of my mindWhen Native Son begins, you know this is like nothing you have ever heard before. This is rollicking riotous music with a zydeco beat. Native Son is an infectious instrumental which showcases Landreth's unique slide guitar style. You can hear sliding and ringing and when checking the instruments on this song there is only the guitar the bases and the drums. It sounds like so much more.While there is not a throw-away song on this cd Congo Square is the most commanding. It is a mesmerizing song from the first note. Congo Square takes the listener to the heart of voodoo land. As Landreth says "It might be superstition." who is going to take a chance.Sonny Landreth is a "musician's musician", a singer/ songwirter/ guitarist who was born in 1951 and has worked professionally since being hired by zydeco bandleader Clifton Chenier in 1970. Landreth has a well established career as a sessions guitarist performing with such diverse performers, as John Hiatt, Mark Knopfler, Kenny Loggins, John Mayall, Junior wells, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Dolly Parton. As a solo performer he has come into his own and is producing music that defies classification.As a songwriter Sonny Landreth is serious about developing his art. He notes that his influences are both southern writers and bluesmen. He claims William Faulkner as one of his influences along with noted bluesmen, Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt.Landreth is an incredible talent who produces music like no other artist. South of I-10 is a wonderful example of the kind of his music. Take a listen to it, you'll find yourself longing to take a trip south."
...only because SIX stars isn't an option!
Richard J. Atkinson | Queensbury, NY USA | 01/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, if you got to this page then you obviously have at least some interest in Sonny Landreth. Here are four easy steps to follow: (1) Ignore the 'Editorial Reviews' drivel about his weaknesses (2) Listen to the sample of "Native Stepson" (3) Listen to the sample of "C'Est Chaud" (4) Quit wasting time, and order this album. I first heard "South of I-10" in late 1994 (about a month before its January '95 release) when I happened on a pre-release review copy. I had heard of Sonny Landreth a few times before, notably on John Hiatt's "Slow Turning" and Kenny Loggins' "Outside:From the Redwoods". None of that admirable session work prepared me for what I heard on this album. There are plenty of good slide guitarists in the world, and there are lots of good Cajun musicians, but nobody puts those two things together like Sonny Landreth does. I defy you to get through the first three tracks of this album without becoming a Sonny Landreth fan. The songs are well written, and fire the imagination from the first notes. As a guitarist, Landreth's style is truly unique, and his instrumental breaks overflow with virtuosity and inventiveness. Slide guitar work suddenly gives way to fabulous picking, and then flows seamlessly back into slide. By the time you hear the instrumental "Native Stepson" you'll be convinced that the album just can't get any better. And you'll be wrong. So go back to the four steps listed above, and get to step four right away. By the time you've heard this album once or twice you'll even be ready for step five: Order Sonny Landreth's newest album, "Levee Town". Then you'll be ready for many long arguments with yourself over which album is better."
START WITH THIS CD!
Kelly A. Chitwood | Arkansas!!! | 09/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You'll want 'em all. "Shootin for the Moon" starts it off with a little vocal assistance from none other than Mark Knopfler. (He sits in with Sonny on Creole Angel...) I just witnessed Sonny perform in Fort Smith, He encored with "Congo Square" and we were screaming "Don't go, Sonny!!! Please don't go!!!" He is even better live (if that is possible) than on the CD. What a band too! EXCELLENT 3-Piece band. He ends the CD with a spiritual beauty of a song "Great Gulf Wind"... Being a Southerner and having lived in South Louisiana, I can identify with many of the lyrics. If you haven't... his music will take you there. Simply AWESOME 10+++++++!!!!!"