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Music/Blues

Sonny Landreth Slid Into Town Playing Virtuoso Guitar

Sonny Landreth Playing in Sacramento 3-31-16
Sonny Landreth at Harlow’s in Sacramento, CA on March 31, 2016
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Performing to a sellout crowd, Sonny Landreth put on a spectacular show filled with his amazing slide guitar work. From the opening number to his powerful encore, Landreth did one thing consistently — he played every song with heartfelt gusto and virtuoso skill. Landreth clearly enjoying himself as he played. His singing was also a treat. The crowd appreciated what they saw and heard, as they provided plenty of loud applause throughout the program.

Midway through the evening, Landreth played a song he dedicated to Johnny Winter who passed away in 2014. Landreth mentioned he toured with Johnny Winter in Japan and played on Winter’s last couple albums.

At the end of the concert, Landreth thanked everyone and said several times, “Let’s do this again!”

Sonny Landreth

Landreth, who is from Louisiana, brings the guitar to life. He constantly, and effortlessly, moves both hands up and down the neck of the guitar as he plays. He 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.

Best known for his slide guitar playing, Landreth developed a technique where he frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments by fretting behind the slide while he plays. He 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 a combination of unique tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand. Landreth 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.

All of Landreth’s albums are worth checking out. His most recent, which came out in 2015, is called Bound by the Blues. It’s a superb collection of blues songs with vocals. In 2012, he made an all instrumental gem, called Elemental Journey.

See also Sonny Landreth’s website.


Fireball Blues — Dedicated to Johnny Winter — Sonny Landreth Playing Live at the City Winery, New York City, June 14, 2015


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Walkin’ Blues — Sonny Landreth from the album Bound by the Blues


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Heavy Heart Rising — Sonny Landreth from the album Elemental Journey

About Gary Reiner

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