Sonny Landreth – The King of Slydeco
While Sonny Landreth is first and foremost a blues guitarist. Living in Louisiana creates for him a powerful attraction to Zydeco music that has never releases him from its grip. Eric Clapton calls him one of the most advanced guitarists in the world. With a comment like that, people take notice. Growing up, Landreth often visits New Orleans where he soaked up the sounds of jazz & rhythm & blues.
In his early days, the two biggest influences on Landreth were, of course, the blues, but also the country music guitar playing of Chet Atkins. If you’ve ever listened to Chet, you know he has an incredible knack for finger-style guitar picking. Which seems to simultaneously create melody, rhythm, and bass lines. Landreth found a landmark way of merging Atkins’ vibrant finger-style technique with traditional blues guitar. As a result, Landreth has an incredibly distinctive style of play that incorporates both the use of a slide AND fretting at the same time. It’s rather remarkable and a true pleasure to not only listen to but also watch.
Sonny’s Musical Career
Sonny Landreth’s musical career really took off when he became a member of Clifton Chenier’s band the Red-Hot Louisiana Band. Landreth calls this the height of his career, but he’s also played in the bands of such luminaries as John Hiatt and John Mayall. He also spent significant time working as a sideman for island rocker Jimmy Buffet. But he also has a rich body of solo material that will inspire you. So, if you like your blues roasted with a little bit of Cajun seasoning, the Slydeco of Sonny Landreth is the right tasty treat for you.
Capturing Sonny Landreth’s live performance at the 15th annual Santa Cruz Blues Festival is Jerome Brunet. Taken on May 26, 2007.
Keeping the Blues Alive
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Photo Credits: Jérôme Brunet Photography