Acoustic Sounds

Sonny Landreth

Outward Bound



Label: Zoo / Classic Records

Produced By: R.S. Field and Sonny Landreth

Engineered By: Tom Harding

Mastered By: Bernie Grundman

Lacquers Cut By: Bernie Grundman

By: Michael Fremer

September 24th, 2022



Originally Seen In:


Classic Records Unearths Sonny Landreth's 'Outward Bound' From the Digital Glaze

From the archives: when it comes to communicating the intent of music, records have it all over CDs

(This review originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)

What a shock to the audiophile system: an all-analog reissue of a CD-only release. When I first reviewed this engaging set back in 1992 I remarked that it sounded like a good recording was buried under the digital glaze, but who could be sure? Did I ever expect to see it issued on AAA vinyl? No. But here it is, courtesy of Classic Records.

Sonny Landreth is a killer slide guitarist, electric guitarist, dobro player—you name it—a sterling sideman who decided to step out front and with this set proved he could handle the spotlight. While his solo career hasn’t exactly gone into orbit, this high energy record sure does.

The easiest way to describe this set is: Fleetwood Mac meets Little Feat, meets the Louisiana swamp. That cheats both Fleetwood and Landreth, but it’s a neat shortcut to what you’ll find. If Landreth just played guitar, that would be enough, but he sings pretty good too, in a somewhat thin but supple voice.

The tunes are driving Cajun-style rock and some pure blues, all jet propelled by Landreth’s virtuosic playing and some great rhythm support from Kenneth Blevins on drums and David Ranson on bass. This is an album of superb contrasts: Landreth’s ballad “Planet Cannonball” about brotherhood is a heartfelt beauty. Popping up next is the rollicking “Common Law Love” with John Hiatt on backing vocals. There are many fine moments on this set, all set off by Landreth’s towering playing.

The LP just wipes the CD off the map with outstanding instrumental delineation, punchy bass and superb rendering of harmonic overtones, plus finally everything is placed cleanly in a spatial context. The glazed sounding CD lays there; the LP jumps. If you know this CD and you have a turntable, you need to have this. It will reaffirm what you already know, when it comes to communicating the intent of music, records have it all over CDs. A worthwhile vinyl issue. Check it out.

Music Specifications

Catalog No: 72445-11032-1


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: Analog Master Tape

Presentation: Single LP