February 1, 1951 |
|Genres||Blues, country blues, zydeco|
|Associated acts||Jimmy Buffett, John Hiatt, The Goners, Mark Knopfler|
Clyde Vernon "Sonny" Landreth (born February 1, 1951) is an American blues musician from southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player. He was born in Canton, Mississippi, and settled in Lafayette, Louisiana. He lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
Landreth is known as "the King of Slydeco" and plays with a strong zydeco influence. Guitarist Eric Clapton has said that Landreth is one of the most advanced guitarists in the world and one of the most under-appreciated.
Landreth is best known for his slide guitar playing, having developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments by fretting behind the slide while he plays. Landreth plays with the slide on his little finger, so that his other fingers have more room to fret behind the slide. He is also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand. He wears a special thumb pick/flat pick hybrid on his thumb so that he can bear down on a pick while simultaneously using his finger-style technique for slide.
Sonny Landreth is known for his use of Fender Stratocaster guitars and Dumble Amplifiers. He is also known to use Demeter and Fender amplifiers on occasion. Landreth uses Jim Dunlop 215 heavy glass slides and Dunlop Herco flat thumb picks. His guitars are fitted with DiMarzio and Lindy Fralin pickups, a special Suhr back plate system, and D'Addario medium nickel wound strings gauges 0.13 - 0.56.
Bands and associated acts
Landreth first played in Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band, as the only white member of the band. After Chenier's death, Landreth played in John Hiatt's band, and with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.
In 1998 Landreth was involved in the multi-artist project "Begegnungen (Encounter)" mounted by Germany's Rock-Superstar Peter Maffay. They performed together a new version of Landreth's "C'est chaud" on the album and some more songs in the 30 concerts at the arena tour later the same year, documented on the live album "Begegnungen Live", released in early 1999. A further guest of Maffay at the Begegnungen album and tour was Keb' Mo' and many more artists from every continent.
Landreth took the main stage at MerleFest in 2011.
Landreth has released at least the following albums:
- Blues Attack (1981; re-released 1996)
- Down in Louisiana (1985; re-released 1993)
- Outward Bound (1992)
- South of I-10 (1995)
- Crazy Cajun Recordings (1999) - source material from 1973 and 1977
- Prodigal Son: The Collection (2000) - source material from 1973 and 1977
- Levee Town (2000; re-released 2009 with five bonus tracks)
- The Road We're On (2003), charted No. 1 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.
- Grant Street (2005) - live recording, charted No. 2 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.
- Sonny Landreth - Live At Jazz Fest 2007 (2007) - live recording
- From the Reach (2008), charted No. 1 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.
- Elemental Journey (2012), charted No. 4 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.
- Bound by the Blues (2015)
with Jimmy Buffett:
- "USS Zydecosmobile" and "Mademoiselle (Voulez-Vous Danser)" on Far Side of the World (2002)
- License to Chill (2004)
- Live at Fenway Park (2005)
- Jimmy Buffett's appearances on the Hoot movie soundtrack (2006)
- Take the Weather With You (2006)
with John Hiatt:
with Eric Johnson:
- On Eric's Up Close album (2010) track "Your Book"
- Marshall Crenshaw's "Good Evening" 
- "When The Levee Breaks" and "The Wrong Side" on Lay Your Burden Down by Buckwheat Zydeco
- "Then I'm Gonna Make Love To You" on Elliott Murphy's "Selling The Gold" 1995
- Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007
- Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010
- Mark Knopfler's Golden Heart (1996)
- Mark Knopfler's A Night In London (1996)
- Gov't Mule's 32/20 Blues
- Little Feat's Join The Band (2008)
- Alain Bashung's Osez Joséphine (1991)
- Alain Bashung's Chatterton (1994)
- "T-Bone Shuffle" on Roots by Johnny Winter (2011)
Honors and awards
- CD booklet "Down in Louisiana"
- Tom Aswell (2010). Louisiana Rocks!: The True Genesis of Rock and Roll. Pelican Publishing. pp. 227–28.
- Mark Dziuba (1997). Cutting Edge -- Blues Guitar: Find Out What's Happening Out on the Edge..., Book & CD. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 20.
- Dick Weissman; Richard Carlin; Craig Morrison (2005). Blues. Infobase Publishing. p. 111.
- Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, & Stephen Thomas Erlewine, ed. (2003). All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues. Hal Leonard Corp. pp. 325–26.
- Rick Koster (2002). Louisiana Music: A Journey From R&b To Zydeco, Jazz To Country, Blues To Gospel, Cajun Music To Swamp Pop To Carnival. Da Capo Press. p. 151.
- "Vince Gill looks to please everyone". Times-Union (Warsaw, IN). June 13, 1996. p. 4C.
- Hal Horowitz (November 15, 2013). "Various Artists: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013". American Songwriter. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- "Sonny Landreth Chart History: Blues Albums". Billboard.com. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- "Recipient Archive: Awards". Americana Music Association. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- Official website
- Sonny Landreth Interview with Jarrod Dicker (2009)
- "The Road He's On", interview with Sonny Landreth
- PREVIEW: Sonny Landreth
- Sonny Landreth: The USS Zydecoldsmobile
- Sonny Landreth's Ghost Notes
|AMA Instrumentalist of the Year