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Levee Town (Expanded Edition)

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Album Review

This is slide guitar wizard Sonny Landreth's most ambitious work, and true to form it comes with no glossy fanfare (even the packaging is sepia tinted), just straight-ahead, well-crafted songs played with his usual intelligent, heartfelt playing. Like the photos that are easily passed over due to the quiet subtly of the sepia tones, the intricacy of his guitar work can easily be overshadowed by the flash that is inherent in the slide guitar. He takes the time here to do a number of acoustic songs and shows that there is more to him than a loud flash. Give a listen to "Love and Glory," in which he is helped out by Jennifer Warnes and Herb Pedersen doing background vocals, Errol Verret on accordion, and some stunning fiddle work by Michael Doucet. He wrote all the songs except "Angeline," which he co-wrote with Will Jennings, and his sophistication as a storyteller is becoming more fully developed. This is a disc that shows his true maturity as a songwriter. He has a tight band working with him, and he employs his friends, who help him out to his best advantage. There is plenty of straight-ahead high voltage Zydeco here, and there is also the quieter more introspective song. A well realized and balanced piece of work that truly reflects Landreth's Zydeco/Louisiana roots. [Landfall issued a bonus track-laden, two-CD edition in 2009.]

Customer Reviews

Well, DUHHH! GREAT Stuff!

Oh, my...just buy it. Deeper, more heartfelt, and even more soulful than Sonny Landreth's previous stuff. This man is a walking, breathing treasure, and his signature sound and fantastic playing are worth your ears and your money ten times over. Power, soul, fluidity, and fun - what the heck more do you need? Okay, so buy this one, buy Jeff Beck's "Live at Ronnie Scott's", buy Walter Trout's "The Outsider", and then buy every Allan Holdsworth release you can find. You're all set.


Terrific! I love artists that push genre boundaries and this album fuses rock, blues and even zydeco with a wonderful roots sound (If you rip it from a physical CD Gracenote thinks it is "country" for some reason.) "Blues" isn't necessarily depressing and almost all these songs are very toe tapping. Also an amazing list of guest artists here! Landreth himself deserves to be better known (although if he were, I probably wouldn't have gotten to see him live, for free, in a local park !) See this band live if you do get a chance; the vibe is wonderful and folks get up and dance.


Born: February 1, 1951 in Canton, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Southwest Louisiana-based guitarist, songwriter, and singer Sonny Landreth is a musician's musician. The blues slide guitar playing found on his two Zoo Entertainment releases, Outward Bound (1992) and South of I-10 (1995) is distinctive and unlike anything else you've ever heard. His unorthodox guitar style comes from the manner in which he simultaneously plays slide and makes fingering movements on the fretboard. Landreth, who has an easygoing personality, can play it all, like any good session...
Full Bio