Clyde Vernon Landreth
Alias Sonny Landreth
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 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's 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 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 on the Clifton Chenier band, Red Hot Louisiana Band, as the only white member of the band. After Chenier's death, Landreth played on John Hiatt's band and with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.
Vince Gill stated that Tell Me Lover was based in part on Landreth's song Congo Square.
Landreth has recorded with Jimmy Buffett, and accompanied him on his 2006, 2007, and 2010 summer tours.
Landreth took the main stage at MerleFest in 2011.
Landreth performed at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013.
Landreth has released at least eleven albums:
- Blues Attack (1981; re-released 1996)
- Way Down in Louisiana (1986; 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.
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:
- Slow Turning (1988)
- The Tiki Bar is Open (2001)
- Beneath This Gruff Exterior (2003)
with Eric Johnson:
- On Eric's Up Close album (2010) track "Your Book"
- "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
- Americana Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year: 2005
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Tom Aswell (2010). Louisiana Rocks!: The True Genesis of Rock and Roll, p. 227-28, Pelican Publishing.
- Mark Dziuba (1997). Cutting Edge -- Blues Guitar: Find Out What's Happening Out on the Edge..., Book & CD, Alfred Music Publishing.
- Dick Weissman; Richard Carlin & Craig Morrison (2005). Blues, Infobase Publishing.
- 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 (2003) Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, & Stephen Thomas Erlewine All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues, p. 325-26, Hal Leonard Corp..
- 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 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, p. 151, Da Capo Press.
- Vince Gill looks to please everyone, June 13, 1996, p. 4C.
- Hal Horowitz (November 15, 2013). Various Artists: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013. American Songwriter. Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
- 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Sonny Landreth Chart History: Blues Albums. Billboard.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
- Recipient Archive: Awards. Americana Music Association. Retrieved on 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