Sonny Landreth Grant Street

Rare is it that a live album makes a definitive career statement — until now. Fans of Sonny Landreth’s one-of-a-kind blues via bayou sound will thrill to the sheer power that lifts off this record. And when you realise that it’s the product of only three players — Landreth, bassist Dave Ranson and drummer Kenneth Blevins — it’s all the more jaw-dropping. Bursting out of the gates with the rollicking, crowd-pleasing "Native Stepson,” searing instrumental after searing instrumental illuminates Landreth’s distinctive style that approximates the work of three guitarists. Wielding material clearly honed into an art form, the band covers old songs and new but injects them with enough zeal to convince all ears that they’re hearing something for the first time. From the zydeco-pulsed "Gone Pecan” — which is an exercise in musical intensity — to the new instrumental "Port of Calling,” Landreth is a master at capturing the feel of his native Louisiana through an elaborate use of soulful textures, softly haunting vocals and merging of music indigenous to Landreth’s beloved Louisiana. Grant Street is a treasure trove of powerful demonstrations of this band’s unparalleled groove and the sky is the limit for this soft-spoken man, who continually sets and resets bold new standards for musical excellence. (Sugar Hill)