Levee Town

Sonny Landreth

Sugar Hill Records, 2000


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Sonny Landreth is probably one of the best guitarists you've never heard of. Born in Canton, Mississippi, within hailing distance of the Mississippi bayous, Landreth has become both one of the most sought after session guitarists of the last twenty years and a unique solo voice. His past work includes work with artists as widely varying as Clifton Chenier and John Hiatt, and his unique style of fingering gives his playing a feel all its own.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Unfortunately, Landreth's unique. So that means in this cookie cutter era, he's bounced around record labels, gone five or more years between albums, and generally been overlooked. (I admit to only having heard one of his songs before, a great rocker called "Congo Square" on one of the few local stations worth listening to, WTTS out of Bloomington.)

Which means, first off we issue serious kudos to traditional music label Sugar Hill Records for putting out Levee Town. (I'm growing to appreciate Sugar Hill. Between Nickel Creek and Sonny Landreth, it's been a good year.) Then we realize Levee Town is a damn tasty CD.

Why, you ask, oh faithful "Daily Vault" readers? Because it rocks , that's why. Songs like "Levee Town", "Broken Hearted Road", "Turning With The Century", and "The U.S.S. Zydecoldsmobile" (great title, that). The brass on "Angeline" is as bright and forward as a topless girl on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, and instrumentals like "Spider-Gris" and "Z. Rider" showcase Landreth's monster guitar playing.

This CD is a perfect harmony of blues, Cajun, zydeco, and rock, striking a subtle balance between the musical forms. (Sorry for the "Iron Chef" moment there; I taped the entire 24 hour marathon yesterday.) In short, get this CD. Now. Sonny Landreth is one of the more underappreciated artists out there, and in a world of "rock stars" who are commercial creations or talentless punks, he's the real thing.

Rating: A

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© 2001 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sugar Hill Records, and is used for informational purposes only.