Inventive duo 7Horse, singer-songwriter Maia Sharp and guitar great Sonny Landreth celebrate music-making on newly-available discs.
By Robert Kinsler
Title: Let the 7Horse Run (Los Gatos Records)
You might be interested in this if you like: Dada, Radiohead, The Doors, The Beatles’ “White Album”
Tell me more: Although “Let the 7Horse Run” is the Los Angeles-based duo’s official debut, the members of 7Horse are no strangers to crafting cutting edge rock. Singer-drummer Phil Leavitt and singer-guitarist-bassist Joie Calio are both long-time members of Dada, the groundbreaking trio that has been thrilling music fans since the 1990s. “Let the 7Horse Run” finds Leavitt and Calio exploring psychedelic blues (“The Next Freedom,” “Low Fuel Drug Run”), experimental acoustic folk (“Blackjack Moon,” “Mind of My Own”), and beautiful unadorned song craft (“Step Outside,” “Goodnight Sweet Dream”). A strong and cohesive collection of 10 original songs, the aptly-titled “Let the 7Horse Run” provides a wild and rewarding ride. Would somebody please book these guys at Coachella in 2013?
Title: Change the Ending (Blix Street/Crooked Crown Records)
You might be interested in this if you like: Vonda Shepard, Paula Cole, Lisa Loeb
Tell me more: A gifted singer and songwriter, Maia Sharp chronicles love and relationships with the kind of honesty and authenticity that thrills with a single listen. There are plenty of wonderful arrangements and shining melodies across Sharp’s new album “Change the Ending.”
From the jazzy “I See Cecelia” to the more directly emotionally-wrenching folk rock-styled “Me After You” and “The Middle,” there are tinges of pop, folk, jazz and rock all in the service of her material. For those who have heard Sharp’s songs recorded by the celebrated likes of Bonnie Raitt, the Dixie Chicks, Terri Clark, Keb’ Mo’ and Lisa Loeb, “Change the Ending” is the perfect way to experience Sharp’s special bond with her own songs.
Title: Elemental Journey (Landfall)
You might be interested in this if you like: Eric Johnson, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Satriani
Tell me more: Few guitarists can make their guitar sing like Sonny Landreth. On his first-ever all-instrumental album, “Elemental Journey,” the virtuoso slide player from Louisiana delivers a mix of melodic arrangements, breathtaking fret work and a winning team-minded approach to working with other greats in the service of the music. Among the guests that join him are fellow guitar legends Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani, as well as members of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. “Heavy Heart” is a dark and emotive piece, while “Wonderide” races along in a bright mood, incorporating baroque and classical elements in a delightful hodgepodge. “For You and Forever” is simply amazing, with the artist bringing the sounds of the Delta region he calls home.
As for his high-profile collaborations, “Passionola” finds Landreth’s slide work and the distinctive finger style approach of Johnson joined in an awe-inspiring union that thankfully never overshadows the composition. “Gala Tribe” features Satriani and Landreth rocking in tandem, as well as trading licks in their respective styles in a splendid cacophony of sound.