Album review: Sonny Landreth, Outward Bound (1992)


By Steve Newton

Sometimes when I hear a particularly snazzy slide guitar lick, I get a shiver up my spine, as if that cold piece of glass or metal stroking the strings were making a move up and down my own backbone. It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s definitely a feeling worth searching out.

Look no further than Outward Bound, the debut album by Louisiana slide master Sonny Landreth.

Landreth has been spicing up records by the likes of John Mayall, John Hiatt, and Clifton Chenier for many years, developing a small but devoted cult of fans who can now rejoice in an album that displays both his killer chops and fine singer/songwriter talents.

Produced by Landreth and long-time Webb Wilder associate R.S. Field, Outward Bound skilfully runs the gamut from Cajun-flavoured rockers to Chet Atkins-style instrumentals, from zydeco-tinged shuffles to raw Delta blues.

And believe me, it’s all good.

According to his record company bio, Landreth carries around a piece of slide guitar hero Duane Allman’s shirt for inspiration. From the totally winning sound of Outward Bound, it must be one magical piece of material.


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