Review: Drew Landry Band - BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine

Drew Landry's "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is a Cajun-influenced Americana masterwork that vividly illustrates the unadulterated passion of an authentic Southwest Louisiana country boy and storyteller who won't let rough times or hardships (like Hurricane Katrina) get in the way of his music. It's a good thing, because Drew Landry's "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is a personal and sometimes heart-wrenching mix of interesting, original tracks about politics, hard life choices and tough economic times.

The favorite memory of Drew Landry's musical career is when he played the Angola Prison Rodeo with the prison band. After the performance, Landry promised his new friends that he would get them out of jail someday. To the surprise of the prisoners in the band, Drew Landry made good on the promise, and the Angola warden allowed the band to play with Landry at a fundraiser held in his hometown of Scott, Louisiana.

"BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is Drew Landry's third studio album. This project also serves as the soundtrack for a documentary film about Landry's life titled "Last Man Standin: The Drew Landry Story" from filmmaker Josh Hyde. Landry's song "Last Man Standin" on the album is a deeply personal, autobiographical cut that fuses Landry's Cajun heritage with certain elements that are reminiscent of both Tracy Chapman's hit single "Fast Car" and tracks from Chris Knight's album, "The Trailer Tapes."

Drew Landry is at his best with sparse instrumental backing combined with his brilliantly authentic voice and razor sharp lyrics. The track "Strength Of A Song" is one of the finest songs on the album and offers a compelling message about the power of music. Also, more upbeat songs, like the track "Sharecropper's Wine" and "Gone Home," are amazing examples of his musical artistry that blend elements of Texas country with his Louisiana heritage.

However, the best song on the album is "Juvenile Delinquent," an almost Dylanesque performance with stripped down instrumentation and an earnest vocal by Landry. The elements of "Juvenile Delinquent" all work together to create an Americana work of art. This cut is a carefully paced story that builds into a crescendo. Indeed, "Juvenile Delinquent" features Landry in top form and vividly illustrates why any music lover needs to know about Drew Landry.

The album "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is a landmark Cajun-inspired recording with gritty vocals, accomplished guitar work and subtle, but piercing, lyrics. But the power of this album is largely derived from Drew Landry's obvious purity of heart and eager intensity which permeates every note. No, Drew Landry's "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is not a good album. It's great.