Sonny Landreth

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Sonny Landreth
Background information
Born (1951-02-01) February 1, 1951 (age 71)
Canton, Mississippi, U.S.
GenresBlues, country blues, zydeco
Years active1973–present
LabelsProvogue Records

Clide Vernon "Sonny" Landreth (born February 1, 1951)[1] 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.[2][3] He lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.


Landreth is known as "the King of Slydeco" and plays with a strong zydeco influence.[2] Guitarist Eric Clapton has said that Landreth is one of the most advanced guitarists in the world and one of the most under-appreciated.[2]

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.[4][5][6] 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.[6]

Landreth jams with Jerry Douglas at MerleFest.

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.[citation needed]

Bands and associated acts[edit]

Landreth first played in Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band, as the only white member of the band.[6] In 1981, he released his first record, Blues Attack, which also featured C.J. Chenier on saxophone and Mel Melton on harmonica.[7] In 1982, Landreth and Melton formed the band Bayou Rhythm, and eventually added C.J. Chenier to the lineup. The band recorded Way Down in Louisiana in 1985 [8] Landreth also frequently played in John Hiatt's band, and with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.[6]

Other artists[edit]

Vince Gill stated that "Tell Me Lover" was based in part on Landreth's song, "Congo Square".[9]

In 1998, Landreth was involved in the multi-artist project "Begegnungen (Encounters)" mounted by Germany's Rock-Superstar Peter Maffay. They performed together on 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'.

Landreth has recorded with Jimmy Buffett, and accompanied him on his 2006, 2007, and 2010 summer tours.[citation needed]

Landreth took the main stage at MerleFest in 2011.[citation needed]

Landreth appeared on HBO's Treme, Season 3, Episode 8[10]

Landreth performed at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2019.[11]

In 2014, Landreth was a guest performer on Eli Cook's album, Primitive Son.[12]



Landreth has released at least the following albums:

  • Blues Attack (1981; re-released 1996)[2][5]
  • Way Down in Louisiana (1985; re-released 1993)[2][5]
  • Outward Bound (1992)[5]
  • South of I-10 (1995)[2][5]
  • Crazy Cajun Recordings (1999) - source material from 1973 and 1977[5]
  • Prodigal Son: The Collection (2000) - source material from 1973 and 1977[5]
  • Levee Town (2000; re-released 2009 with five bonus tracks)[5]
  • The Road We're On (2003), charted No. 1 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.[13]
  • Grant Street (2005) - live recording, charted No. 2 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.[13]
  • Sonny Landreth - Live At Jazz Fest 2007 (2007) - live recording
  • From the Reach (2008), charted No. 1 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.[13]
  • Voices of Americana (2009)
  • Leeve Town (Expanded Addition) (2009)
  • Elemental Journey (2012), charted No. 4 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart.[13]
  • Sunrise (2012)
  • Bound by the Blues (2015)
  • Recorded Live In Lafayette (2017)
  • Blacktop Run (2020)

Guest appearances[edit]

with John Hiatt:

with Eric Johnson:

with others:

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ CD booklet "Down in Louisiana"
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tom Aswell (2010). Louisiana Rocks!: The True Genesis of Rock and Roll. Pelican Publishing. pp. 227–28.
  3. ^ Mark Dziuba (1997). Cutting Edge -- Blues Guitar: Find Out What's Happening Out on the Edge..., Book & CD. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 20.
  4. ^ Dick Weissman; Richard Carlin; Craig Morrison (2005). Blues. Infobase Publishing. p. 111.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Vladimir Bogdanov; Chris Woodstra; Stephen Thomas Erlewine, eds. (2003). All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues. Hal Leonard Corp. pp. 325–26.
  6. ^ a b c d 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.
  7. ^ "Sonny Landreth-Blues Attack". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  8. ^ "Sonny Landreth and Bayou Rhythm". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  9. ^ "Vince Gill looks to please everyone". Times-Union (Warsaw, IN). June 13, 1996. p. 4C.
  10. ^ "MusicHBO: Treme: S 3 Ep 29: Don't You Leave Me Here: Music". HBO. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  11. ^ Hal Horowitz (November 15, 2013). "Various Artists: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013". American Songwriter. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "Primitive Son - Eli Cook | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  13. ^ a b c d "Sonny Landreth Chart History: Blues Albums". Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  14. ^ "Layla Zoe". September 14, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  15. ^ "Recipient Archive: Awards". Americana Music Association. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  16. ^ "2016 Blues Music Awards Winner List". Archived from the original on 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2016-05-23.

External links[edit]

Preceded by AMA Instrumentalist of the Year
Succeeded by