Sound — 10
This is blues guitarist/singer Sonny Landreths 7th studio album. It is influenced, as most of his work, by Cajun and Zydeco. He recorded the Album with his band ("The Goners"), which consists of Dave Ranson on bass and Michael Burch on drums. They were supported by Steve Conn on keyboards, Sam Broussard on acousitc guitar and Tony Daigle and Brian Brignac on percussion. Sonny Landreth invited several special guests: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffet, Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, Eric Johnson, Dr. John and Nadirah Shakoor. Songs: 01.Blue Tarp Blues (Mark Knopfler): the intro sounds really amazing, unfortunately I have no idea how Landreth gets that sound. If you have ever heard Mark Knopfler play guitar, you immediately hear when he starts playing, and he's doing very well. Unfortunately he only sings backing vocals here. Landreths fantastic slide guitar playing is very dominant, but he leaves enough space to Knopfler. This is one of the best songs on the album. 02.When I still had you (Eric Clapton): this a song which really is Clapton style rock music, still much blues influence, but more a soft bluesrock song. Again the same thing like in "Blue Tarp Blues", the guest sings only Backing vocals, but in this case you immediately can hear him. Good guitar solos by both guitarists. 03.Way Past Long (Robben Ford): relaxed song, with clear Cajun influence. Ford plays some nice guitar here, Landreth too, but nothing special yet. Ford sings backing vocals and the second verse. 04.The Milky Way Home (Eric Johnson): For all guitar players this is the first highlight of the album, a instrumental interplay between Landreth and Johnson. Can't say much about it, except maybe it is a "Spiritual Orgasm" 05.Storm of Worry (Eric Clapton): Next Highlight is this "angry" Blues. Fantastic guitar Interplay: Landreth plays the first part of a lick with slide and Clapton adds the end. 06.Howlin' Moon (Dr. John/Jimmy Buffet): this is the strangest song. Dr. John is playing good here, though I've heard him play better. His singing really fits the song very well, although he only sings backing vocals. Jimmy Buffet sings good backing too. 07.The Goin' on (Vince Gill): I'd describe this song simply as beautiful. There isn't anything real fantastic in it, but it is really good. If I'd have to choose a song to publish as a Single this would be the one. 08.Let it Fly (Nadirah Shakoor): good song, but compared to most songs on this album, it's one of the "bad" ones. 09.Blue Angel (Robben Ford/Vince Gill): this song got a great rythym and melodie, I always take the booklet and sing along with it. Gills Backing vocals and Fords guitar are nice but both did better before. 10.beresso: my personal favourite and probably one of the best songs Landreth as everw written and aswell one of the best rock/blues instrumental songs ever written. He plays with slide all the time, which normally limits your speed. Landreths unique playing technique makes him without a doubt the fastest slide guitarist ever. But this song is not only fast, it got a real great melodie too, and if you imagine that there are only playing "The Goners" without any other musicians, you really have to agree, that these guys are good. 11.Universe (Vince Gill): the perfect finish for the album, especially after "beresso", because it starts with the final note of it. This is a slow ballad, with the same rythym technique as in "Blue Tarp Blues". Sonny Landreth tried to write the songs with the a wanted special guest in his mind, which made every song fitting the artists. He also made this album a "Sonny Landreth" album and no "... and Friends" Album.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics vary from political topics like "Blue Tarp Blues", to plain love songs like "When I still had you", and even philosophical ideas like "Universe". His music supports his lyrics all the time. "Blue Tarp Blues" critizises the governments reaction during "Katrina". "When I still had you" is about a meeting between lovers after several years. In "Way past long" Landreth say, that if something bad happens you have to live on, or something like that (I'm not sure here). "Storm of Worry" is exactly the same topic as "Blue Tarp Blues". "Howlin' Moon" is about the wild nature of humans. "The Goin' on" is about experiences you make, and that even if you make errors, you at least learn from them. "Let it Gly" tells you, that if bad things happened to you you shouldn't let them "slow you down". "Blue Angel": I have no idea what it is about. "Universe" is about a guy who can't sleep because he thinks about the Universe, but finally can sleep by counting sheep. This are my personal interpretaions of what the songs are about, you can agree or disagree. Sonny Landreths singing skills are not bad, they're even quite good, but compared to most of his guests he is a very weak singer.
Overall Impression — 10
I don't know any album or artist who compares to Sonny Landreth especially because of his unique slide guitar technique. The best songs on the albuma are without a doubt "Blue Tarp Blues", "The Milky Way Home", "Storm of Worry" and "beresso". I Love the great guitar playing especially of Landreh on every song and his unique sound, but this album should have been way longer than only 45 minutes. If it was stolen I would definately buy it again.