Monday, May 11, 2015

Provogue Records artist: Sonny Landreth - Bound By The Blues - New release review

I just received the newest release (June 9, 2015), Bound By The Blues, by Sonny Landreth and I think it may be his best yet! Opening with Delta blues track, Walking Blues, Landreth maintains a sense of the original but with just the right amount electric slide and drums to make it sound fresh. Very nice! Title track, Bound By The Blues, has a more modern sound but it's basic bones are very primitive. I like his mixture of acoustic and electric instruments and the driving beat which gives it it's certain footing. The High Side has a cool funk but set over a mostly acoustic sound. A unique track for these reasons alone but coupled with Landreth's skillful slide work and a catchy melody, it's really nice! Tampa Red track, It Hurts Me Too, again done stripped down with only basic backing to Landreth's vocals and slide this track is a screamer. It is great to see Landreth laying down on the blues straight up and he's doing it here. Excellent! Latin jazz influence on Where They Will has an entirely different flavor and I really like the smooth slide work on this track for a lot of reasons. Very cool! Skip James' Cherry Ball Blues has a total rework, but maintaining it's primitive grittiness. Fat slide runs and a solid blues base makes this one of the killer tracks on the release. Firebird Blues is done in memory of the great Johnny Winter. Winter, who dominated the blues rock scene for more than 40 years was a figure to be reckoned with,with lightning fast riffs, outrageous slide work and voracious energy. This is a nice 12 bar number with just basic cardboard box drum by Brian Brignac and ukulele bass backing by David Ranson. Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom is done shuffle style with a real nice drum lope. Instead of Elmore James style slide riffs which anyone else would have done, Landreth steps back and rips melodic slide lines of his own, giving in only on the track close with these sliding landmarks. Very nice! Big Bill Broonzy's Key To The Highway, played by just about everyone and especially popular by Derek & the Dominos with Clapton and Duane Allman, is up next. Landreth seems content to keep it simple as a basic blues track for a chorus or so but them opens the can and lets out the dogs. Fat slide tones and nicely thought through guitar runs, leading to a full blown slidathon makes this one of the releases strongest outings. Wrapping the release is cool instrumental boogie, Simcoe Street, with a great walking bass line by Ranson. Landreth takes a remarkable slide journey with tight backing by Brignac and Ranson capping a spuer outing by Landreth.

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