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on July 20, 2002
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 mind
When 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.
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on January 16, 2002
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.
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on June 23, 1998
With this release Sonny LANDRETH has reached his musical zenith. Listening to this cd, one can sense the geography, smells, and zest for life evident in our great southeast. The music stands on it's own merit and the lyrics flow like prose poems. For both the un-initiated or the long-time fan this cd offers either the joy of discovery or the warmth of a mature relationship. As an aside, Sonny is even more joyful in a live setting. I was fortunate to see Sonny open for the great Buddy Guy and when Sonny's too-short set was complete the packed house initially sat in awed silence, then burst into prolonged applause that even the most "toured" artist would have appreciated. So give South of I-10 a chance, give it a listen, and be prepared to have your musical life changed forever. Thanks for the space, DARRYL W. SIEGERS
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on December 3, 1998
This is perhaps one of my all time favorite spans the horizon from hard drivin', roll your window down and cruise tunes to bluesy, soulfull tapestries. This album is a must have for all guitar enthusiasts...Sonny is quite possibly a guitar legend in his own time.
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on September 22, 2014
I saw Sonny playing on a Crossroads 2013 show and you know Clapton only invites the best talent for his fund-raiser concerts. Sonny can play stuff that Jeff Beck would find difficult. He can slide and pick at the same time and it creates a sound that blows you away. As for his vocals, he reminds me of the old Yard birds lead singer, Rodger Gywn. so smooth!
You may noy like all the songs but it is worth the money!
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on September 17, 2003
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+++++++!!!!!
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on January 23, 1999
If you've been listening to rock music as long as I have, (over 35 years ) and you like great guitar, get this cd. Great songwriting, with a wonderful mix of the blues, rocknroll and the swamp. In my opinion, he and Ry Cooder are the best slide guitarists working.Sonny, if you're out there reading this, we're here looking for you, where are you, please phone home, please make a new recording!!!
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on January 19, 2016
Sonny Landerth is a not very well known guitarist, but he's played with some of the best. I've been listening to him for years, I think he's GREAT and so will you, if your into Southern kinda' stuff.
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on April 15, 1999
I've owned the CD since 1996. This CD never grows old. I still enjoy pulling it out and giving it listen. I think it captures the feel and diversity of Louisiana/New Orleans music. The CD always manages to make me feel good after a listen. What more can you say about a CD. I hope Sonny puts something new out soon.
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on February 2, 2004
I don't know why everyone (but me), is giving this album 5 stars. There's a lot of junk on the CD. Tracks 4,6,8,11 and the hidden track 12 have no energy and very little guitar.
Try The Road We're On instead.
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