Sonny Landreth

Mississippi Blues

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The 2010 issue of Mississippi Blues by Sonny Landreth on the Fuel 2000 imprint is not a new album, nor is it a representative compilation of his oeuvre. In fact, the set is a complete repackage of the album entitled The Crazy Cajun Recordings originally issued on CD by Great Britain’s Edsel in 1999. The material dates from 1973 and 1977, recorded with the famed Huey P. Meaux (aka the Crazy Cajun) when he wasn’t touring with Clifton Chenier as part of his Red Hot Louisiana Band. These 20 tracks range from Landreth’s Lafayette, LA-styled take on the acoustic Delta blues solo and with a band that included a mandolin player, an electric bassist, and a drummer to his early electric experiments playing a meld of Cajun-flavored soul, rock, and R&B. The electric slide guitar fury evidenced on his own records from the 1980s onward is all but absent here, but the acoustic slide work is particularly plentiful -- check his reading of “I Know You Rider,” “Lazy Boy,” and the stomping “Prodigal Son.” Other styles of rural acoustic blues are represented by the Piedmont-styled “Don’t Cry for Me” and “Lookin’ for a Good Time” (the latter played with a backing band). There’s some roadhouse boogie here as well in “Baby Ain’t That Love” and “The Only One.” In other words, there isn’t anything about this collection that can’t be recommended. Quite the opposite. It’s simply a consumer warning that the sticker on the outside of the package -- which says “The Best of the Best” -- is somewhat misleading. If you don't already have this stuff, snap it up.

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