Louisiana slide wizard Sonny Landreth’s next album, the all-instrumental Elemental Journey, will be released May 22 on Landreth's own Landfall label. It is Landreth’s first instrumental album.
Elemental Journey features guest appearances by guitarists Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson and steel drum master Robert Greenidge.
“From day one on the guitar, many genres of music have had an impact on me” Landreth says. “For these recordings, I drew from some of those influences that I hadn’t gone to on previous albums with my vocals. Trading off the lyrics this time, I focused solely on the instrumental side and all this music poured out. Then I asked some extraordinary musicians to help me layer the tracks in hopes of inspiring a lot of imagery for the listeners.
“One of the things I’ve always loved about a good instrumental song is that it can be more impressionistic and abstract,” Landreth continues. “Though melody is always important, it’s even more significant with an instrumental. So what I wanted to achieve was something more thematic with lots of melodies and with a chordal chemistry that was harmonically rich.
"That’s when I got the idea to treat the arrangements with more layering and to have the melodies interweave like conversations. I also wanted it to be more diverse, to not adhere to any categories. I wanted to leave it wide open to possibility.”