Review by Bill Whiting
Photos by Scott Preston
Southern slide guitar legend Sonny Landreth came to Cincinnati, Ohio’s 20th Century Theater on June 14, and put on devastating clinic of blues and boogie workouts that shook the house for an hour and a half. Touring behind the Landfall records disc, Elemental Journey, Landreth powered into “Wonderide” off of the vibrant new release. Takes on “Z Rider” and “Stepson” had the dancers on the floor twirling in ecstacy. “Cherry Ball” turned out to be one of the highlights of the performance, and Landreth pushed the limits of his band on the shredding masterpiece, “Milky Way.” Landreth’s shining star always seems to grace Cincinnati’s summer stages, whether as a solo act, or with the latest stop from Jimmy Buffett as a part of the Coral Reefer Band. Landreth’s strong singing style compliments his playing perfectly, as evidenced on the haunting Hurricane Katrina blues composition entitled, “Blue Tarp.” Elemental’s searing slide forays proved to be the concert’s best moments, and “Brave New Girl” won over the boisterous audience inside the 20th Century. Taking the early summer evening one step further, Landreth chose to end his set with two molten hot and ripping classics, “USS Zydecoldsmobile” and “Bayou Teche.” It seemed to be a magical way to close a razor sharp, musically challenging class in rhythm and blues 101 from master professor Sonny Landreth.
Setlist: Z Rider, Stepson, Wonderide, Promised Land, Cherry Ball, Hell at Home, Forgotten Story, Milky Way, Blue Tarp, Brave New Girl, Uber, USS Zydecoldsmobile, Bayou Teche, Pedal