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Sonny Landreth - Levee Town (2 CD Expanded Edition) [2009]

Posted By: drucen
Sonny Landreth -  Levee Town (2 CD Expanded Edition) [2009]

Sonny Landreth - Levee Town (2 CD Expanded Edition) [2009]
EAC Rip | FLAC (tracks, log, cue), 499.43 Mb | Artwork, 110.16 Mb
Proper Records PRPCD048 | Contemporary Blues, Modern Electric Blues

LEVEE TOWN was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.

This is slide guitar wizard Sonny Landreth's most ambitious work, and true to form it comes with no glossy fanfare (even the packaging is sepia tinted), just straight-ahead, well-crafted songs played with his usual intelligent, heartfelt playing. Like the photos that are easily passed over due to the quiet subtly of the sepia tones, the intricacy of his guitar work can easily be overshadowed by the flash that is inherent in the slide guitar. He takes the time here to do a number of acoustic songs and shows that there is more to him than a loud flash. Give a listen to "Love and Glory," in which he is helped out by Jennifer Warnes and Herb Pedersen doing background vocals, Errol Verret on accordion, and some stunning fiddle work by Michael Doucet. He wrote all the songs except "Angeline," which he co-wrote with Will Jennings, and his sophistication as a storyteller is becoming more fully developed. This is a disc that shows his true maturity as a songwriter. He has a tight band working with him, and he employs his friends, who help him out to his best advantage. There is plenty of straight-ahead high voltage Zydeco here, and there is also the quieter more introspective song. A well realized and balanced piece of work that truly reflects Landreth's Zydeco/Louisiana roots. ~ Bob Gottlieb

Originally released in 2000 by the bluegrass-oriented Sugar Hill Records label, Sonny Landreth's Levee Town was a milestone in the artist's career. Landreth's six-string skills had never been in question, and his slide-guitar work is especially distinctive, complex, and electrifying.

With Levee Town, however, Landreth really hit his stride as a songwriter and storyteller. Ostensibly a song-cycle about life in the Deep South (specifically his native Louisiana), Landreth's poetic imagery captures the visual aspects of the area with a precise eye while his musical backdrop perfectly paints the sounds of southwest Louisiana.
Sonny Landreth's Levee Town

Levee Town opens with the title track, a spry tale of life in the wake of the flood, Landreth's slinky slide-guitar snaking through the story like a hungry copperhead while the song's characters choose the joy of life over the potential despair of disaster. The brilliant, introspective "This River" is a bit more philosophical, Landreth reflecting over the power and majesty of the Mississippi River while his guitar rings loud like a morning thunderstorm.

Landreth's thinly-veiled treatise on romance, "Love & Glory," is gussied up with some fancy language and two-dollar words, but the song's true spirit comes through nonetheless. Spider-Gris and Evangeline are two priceless characters, their conversation scored by Landreth's filigree guitarplay, the bittersweet fiddle of BeauSoliel's Michael Doucet, and warm backing vocals from Jennifer Warnes and Herb Pedersen.

Blues-rock guitarist Sonny Landreth
Photo by Sandro, courtesy Landfall Records
Turning With The Century

The bluesy "Broken Hearted Road" opens with some Delta-dirty acoustic guitar before sliding into a greasy New Orleans-flavored country-blues stomp, Landreth's Son House-inspired fretwork accompanied by a simple walking rhythm. About half-way through, Landreth just cuts loose with a dynamic, fuzztone-rattling electric solo that denies any who would question the guitarist's blues roots and mastery of the form.

The thoughtful "Turning With The Century" is a fine example of Landreth's songwriting chops. With imaginative lyrics, he tells of time catching up with the languid nature of the South, the passing of the years slowing having an impact, Landreth's flamethrower guitar riffs driving the message home. The album-closing "Deep South" is an epic six-minute jam with an inspired vocal performance, hearty percussion work, judicious use of horns, descriptive lyrics and, of course, Landreth's razor-sharp guitarwork cutting like a barbed-wire garrote.
More Tracks From Levee Town

The expanded edition of Levee Town comes with a bonus disc that includes five tracks recorded during the original sessions for the album, but which didn't quite make the cut. Truthfully, all five are good enough to have expanded the original Levee Town into a two-disc set to begin with. "Pedal To Metal" is an energetic boogie-rock instrumental with plenty of New Orleans flavor sprinkled in. Landreth's duet with Warnes on "For Who We Are (The Night Bird Sings)" is simply stunning, the contrast between their two voices paralleled by a gorgeous guitar tone.

"Old Flame" is another stellar instrumental that displays the full range of Landreth's talents, his raging tone complimented by Steve Conn's keyboard fills, while "Road A Plenty" is a houserockin' juke-joint stomp with a hypnotic guitar performance that will jump right from the grooves and grab you by the ears. Also an instrumental, "Fare You Well" offers a textured, multi-faceted performance that shifts tempos and sounds and provides an odd, calming effect. I would have liked to have seen these five "bonus tracks" incorporated with the original album, the instrumentals intertwining with the vocal songs to create a sort of interlude between stories.
The Reverend's Bottom Line

Make no mistake about it; Sonny Landreth is a phenomenal guitarist who adds life to anything he puts his strings down on. But he is also an accomplished, if too often unheralded, songwriter with a good eye and ear and the ability to weave words into an engaging story.

Spiced up with his typical musical mix of roots-rock, blues, and Zydeco, and with more clever fretwork than you'll get out of just about any so-called "guitar hero" these days, Levee Town is a perfect documentation of Sonny Landreth's multitude of skills. Reissued by his own Landfall Records label, and with the additional bonus tracks, ol' Sonny done went and made a great album even better. If you haven't heard it, get it, and if you haven't heard of Landreth, well…shame on you!

Recorded at Westwind Studios and Mike Post Productions, Burbank, California; Dockside Studio, Maurice, Louisiana.

Engineers: Cary Butler, Tony Daigle, Paul Wight.

Personnel includes: Sonny Landreth (vocals, guitar); Steve Conn (keyboards); David Ranson (bass); Michael Organ (drums); Bonnie Raitt, John Hiatt, Stephen Brown, Michael Doucet, Steve Howard, Danny Kimball, Marce Lacouture, Joe Mouton.

Producers: Mike Post, R.S. Field, Sonny Landreth.

Entertainment Weekly (10/27/00, p.121) - "…A bona fide guitar hero, he's an incresingly good songwriter…" - Rating: B+
CMJ (10/30/00, p.21) - "…His strongest, most ambitious and cohesive work yet…"
Down Beat (3/01, p.73) - 3 out of 5 - "…His blistering slide guitar performance is consistently magnificent…"
Dirty Linen (p.47) - "LEVEE TOWN not only spotlights the masterful slide-guitar playing of Mississippi-born and Lafayette, Louisiana-raised Sonny Landreth, but provides a showcase for his storytelling ability in songwriting."

Tracklist CD1:

01. Levee Town
02. This River
03. The U.S.S. Zydecoldsmobile
04. Love and Glory
05. Broken Hearted Road
06. Spider-Gris
07. Godchild
08. Turning With The Century
09. Z. Rider
10. Soul Salvation
11. Angeline
12. Deep South

Total time: 00:56:11

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 2 from 29. April 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 1. August 2011, 20:45

Sonny Landreth / Levee Town

Used drive : TSSTcorpDVD-ROM SH-D162C Adapter: 0 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 6
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000
Gap handling : Appended to previous track

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 768 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\FLAC\FLAC.EXE
Additional command line options : -8 -V -T "ARTIST=%artist%" -T "TITLE=%title%" -T "ALBUM=%albumtitle%" -T "DATE=%year%" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%" -T "TOTALTRACKS=%numtracks%" -T "GENRE=%genre%" -T "ALBUMARTIST=%albumartist%" -T "ALBUM ARTIST=%albumartist%


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Track 1

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Track 7

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Track 8

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Track 11

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All tracks accurately ripped

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==== Log checksum 0044195A94922C0B22EB1F772671ED9F0854383ACE3586B7B0880A2C4AB113C1 ====

Tracklist CD 2:

01. Pedal To The Metal
02. For Who We Are (The Night Bird Sings) (Featuring Jennifer Warnes)
03. Old Flame
04. Road A Plenty
05. Fare You Well

Total time: 00:17:47

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 2 from 29. April 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 1. August 2011, 18:56

Sonny Landreth / Levee Town (Bonus Disc)

Used drive : TSSTcorpDVD-ROM SH-D162C Adapter: 0 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 6
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000
Gap handling : Appended to previous track

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 768 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\FLAC\FLAC.EXE
Additional command line options : -8 -V -T "ARTIST=%artist%" -T "TITLE=%title%" -T "ALBUM=%albumtitle%" -T "DATE=%year%" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%" -T "TOTALTRACKS=%numtracks%" -T "GENRE=%genre%" -T "ALBUMARTIST=%albumartist%" -T "ALBUM ARTIST=%albumartist%


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3 | 7:32.00 | 4:04.43 | 33900 | 52242
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Track 5

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All tracks accurately ripped

No errors occurred

End of status report

==== Log checksum D15521D530496A6335BEF9CB61C553570FF84CA33BC66665FD1DE685AA7A8391 ====

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