Sonny Landreth: Grant Street

Slide-guitar god Sonny Landreth is one of those rare artists whose instrumental fingerprint can't be easily washed from a listener's memory.

Yet few outside the music world have had a Landreth-inspired epiphany. He's revered in music circles as "probably one of the most advanced" musicians on the planet by Eric Clapton, and has earned standing as the melodious yin to nasally voiced roots rocker John Hiatt's yang as a member of Hiatt's backing band, the Goners.

Landreth's tactician-like prowess is highlighted on Grant Street, his first live album. His unparalleled ability to play slide and picked licks simultaneously shows itself throughout the record. Landreth is hardly a one-trick pony, but also a master storyteller ("Congo Square") and a downtrodden blues singer ("Broken Hearted Road").

If only Grant Street came with a side of crawfish and a 26 oz. Hurricane, it would easily rival taking in the real thing. Even without those perks, it's a close substitute and a great introduction to the criminally unknown slide-guitar guru.

Grade: AB

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on Feb. 3 2005.