Sonny Landreth : Elemental Journey

Known for his innovative approach to slide playing and his journeyman work for artists including Jimmy Buffet and John Hiatt, Sonny Landreth has a reputation as a top-shelf stringman with an ear for sonic perfection.

On his all-instrumental release Elemental Journey, Landreth is joined by  guitarist Joe Satriani on the roiling opening track, “Gaia Tribe,” and six-string ace Eric Johnson, on the sizzling cut “Passionola.” In addition to these well-acclaimed ringers, he also enlists the help of arranger Sam Broussard and the classical strings of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra to layer the fusion-tinged sound with even more pleasing textures.

The guitar-driven explorations on Journey are abstract and thought-provoking, creating intriguing sonic palettes that take the musicians and listeners to unpredictable places while staying tonally rooted in rock, blues and jazz guitar. Trinidadian steel drum master Robert Greenidge makes a welcome contribution on the track “Forgotten Story,” while Landreth’s regular drummers – Mike Burch, Brian Brignac and Doug Belote – also contribute to the beautifully crafted disc.

Some of the compositions here were influenced by events including Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and Sonny’s day-to-day life in Louisiana. It’s music that transports, questions and breathes.

Elemental Journey is out now on Landfall Records.