Disc tip: "Black Top Run," Sonny Landreth

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Disc tip

Black Top Run

Sonny Landreth

If Sonny Landreth gets tired of hearing "game-changer," "innovative genius," "best slide player in the world" and so on, he's only himself to blame. He IS all those things. The problem is, his overall musicality and humanity  — vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, all-around nice guy and musical ambassador — are often overlooked in what we called the "Slide Hype." Intentionally or otherwise, "Blacktop Run" should go a long way in broadening his reputation. Yes, my God, the slide playing is surreally good. But the songs are concise hook-fests, taking his beloved blues and Southern Louisiana roots styles in amalgamated and cleverly twisted new directions. As always, his band — bassist David Ranson, drummer Brian Brignac and keyboardist/songwriter Steve Conn — are invested and innovative collaborators, and the production skills of RS Field provides sparkle and energy to a great batch of tunes. Ballads, shuffles, running-of-the-bulls instrumentals ... "Black Top Run" is one of the best Landreth albums ever. And that's insanely good.

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