|Sonny Landreth - 'Elemental Journey' (Proper Records)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 04:00|
As interesting as opener 'Gaia Tribe' is one can't help but wonder if the guitar instrumental genre is forever destined to be classified as inspirational to guitar players and merely elevator music to everyone else.
Unusually perhaps for a guitarist but Sonny Landreth has some big name fellow guitarists sharing his spotlight. 'Gaia Tribe' features Joe Satriani and certainly has a Satriani-esque flavour to it but it's to Sonny's credit that it doesn't sound like a Satriani instrumental. And this is no doubt down to Sonny's equally distinctive style of slide playing which goes beyond conventions incorporating tricky chordal work into the slide technique. At times it sounds as if Sonny isn't even using a slide such is the speed of his attack. All that is evident is the slight legato leading up to each note.
Together with his harmonic and compositional sense this makes for some very unusual sounds. To some extent he shares some harmonic sensibilities with Steve Morse's solo work - country and bluegrass influences being prevalent. But each player's unique approach makes them very different players and makes for a different sounding album.
Midway through 'Elemental Journey' 'Passionola' has the unmistakable guitar tones of Eric Johnson all over it. Though this track also has a Satriani vibe to it through the sparse drumbeat and hypnotic main riff. The following track 'Letting Go' has a sadly missed early Vai quality to it - from the clean tone right down to the unearthly chords.
'Brave New Girl' whilst a pretty and dark tune somehow manages to fade into the background. The same goes for the rest of the album. On the one hand I feel sure that there's some upcoming sonic treat that I heard the first time around and on the other hand, such is the nature of this musical genre, that my mind wanders off and abruptly the album is over.
To pick up your copy of 'Elemental Journey' - CLICK HERE