Sonny Landreth, perhaps the best slide guitarist going (or at least neck-and-neck with Derek Trucks), also is one of the instrument's more elegant protagonists.
"Elemental Journey," his 11th album, also is his first all-instrumental release. While doing away with vocals might be a natural progression for Landreth (whose solos have always been melodic), it also ups the ante, as instrumental records are definitely a tougher sell.
Now an acknowledged member of the guitar elite, Landreth has again tapped notable six-stringers like Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson, steel drummer Robert Greenidge and string arranger Tony Daigle (from accordionist Steve Riley's band). The textured, often-lush treatments are reminiscent of the "No Speak" series of instrumental LPs put out by I.R.S Records in the '90s (the releases by Wishbone Ash, Pete Haycock and Steve Hunter are worth checking out) and can be as compelling as they are good for "background" while string interludes and steel drums serve to spice up the arrangements.
The only down side is the concept is that, without the human voice (oh ... and lyrics), the guitar lines -- as deft and good as they are -- tend to blend together.