Sonny Landreth is a mind-boggling guitar player. While steeped in the blues — he attacks a resonator guitar with punishing speed — the 57-year-old also knows how to make the metal box moan and quiver with a Louisiana native's instinct for drawl and funky glide and slide. The last thing he needs is lessons from Eric Clapton or Eric Johnson — but on this year's From the Reach, Landreth sits down with those masters (and Mark Knopfler and Robben Ford to boot). This dueling, down-home schooling is remarkably expressive, and keeps the focus on original songs, many of which capture the rage and pain of the post-Katrina landscape. Guitar gods are all about ego, but Landreth channels his cocksure skills through the soul of songs like a Zen master with an amp that goes to eleven.
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