Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sonny Landreth - From the Reach (Landfall, 2008)

Guitarist and singer Landreth still flies a little low on the radar, despite some high profile sideman gigs and well received solo albums. His profile might rise a bit more with this well done self produced album which mixes rock, pop and blues with equal facility. As a resident of southern Louisiana, it is understandable that he has some choice lyrics for the disaster and subsequent government bungling of Hurricane Katrina. "Blue Tarp Blues" is a thoughtful and urgent plea for those left behind in the wake of the storm. "Way Past Long" is another fine statement of guitar fueled angst, with well written anti-war lyrics and fine instrumental playing. It's not all doom and gloom, however - haunting blues like "Storm of Worry" are juxtaposed by up-tempo, upbeat cookers like "When I Still Had You" and "Let It Fly." Guitar aficionados will be beside themselves with the music here, but it is to Landreth's credit that he never allows his considerable prowess to subvert the songs which remain potent and powerful.

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