There is very little artifice to Sonny Landreth. Offstage, he's quiet, modest, and real. He's like that onstage too, but what matters to music fans is that he's also one of the superior guitar players of his time. These facts help explain why "Grant Street," the live album he recorded over two nights last April at his hometown club in Lafayette, La., is so successful and enjoyable, even if it isn't remarkable in the extreme. Landreth's idea for the album was to be honest about it, just to lay out what people hear when they come out for a night of his lightning Louisiana blues, without much post-production fixing-up. Apart from a couple new intros and a little bit of pacing, that's what Landreth, backed by longtime running mates David Ranson on bass and Kenneth Blevins on drums, delivers. The album is a mixture of Sonny standards, including "U.S.S. Zydecoldsmobile" and his shimmering slide signature, "Congo Square," and three new tunes. The most notable of these is "Port of Calling," a complicated, hypnotic weave that takes its place alongside "Native Stepson" and "Z. Rider" among Landreth's monumental instrumentals.
LANDRETH'S LIVE ALBUM IS LIKE BEING THERE