Louisiana Hayride: Sonny Landreth Unleashes a Category 5 Guitar Storm with Guests Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, and Mark Knopfler on from the Reach

Guitar Player, October 2008 | Go to article overview

Louisiana Hayride: Sonny Landreth Unleashes a Category 5 Guitar Storm with Guests Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, and Mark Knopfler on from the Reach


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"IT'S SO GREAT TO HEAR A HIGH-ENERGY PLAYER DOING SOMETHING unique and refreshing, and I think that more than anyone, Sonny is doing that right now." Those are the words of Eric Johnson reflecting on Louisiana slide king Sonny Landreth, who has just released his most ambitious album to date, From the Reach. Johnson lent his stellar playing to the project, as did Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, Dr, John, Jimmy Buffet, and Arrested Development's Nadirah Shakoor. Driven by Landreth's otherworldly bottleneck playing, the new album nails all points oil the coolness curve with its inspired songwriting, lyrical depth, and abundance of great guitar from this all-star cast. It's no secret that Landreth has elevated the state of rock guitar via his amazing slide technique, which involves fingering notes and generating harmonics on the "left side of the glass." The opening of the fretboard's north slope to slide exploration began when Landreth debuted his unique approach back in 1972, on an album produced by the infamous music entrepreneur Huey Meaux. "That was the first time I took the technique and recorded it officially for an album, though none of it got released until many years later under the title Prodigal Son," says Landreth. "The next albums I did it on were Blues Attack and Down in Louisiana, which were for Jay Miller--the same guy who recorded Lightnin' Slim and Slim Harpo---for what became the Excello label."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Landreth's notoriety increased dramatically when he toured with John Hiatt in 1987 for the Bring the Family album. He wowed Hiatt's audiences with a slide sound that was rife with ringing harmonics, crying ghost notes, and shimmering vibrato effects--all of which emanated from a combination of sly fingering behind the slide and a right-hand approach based on Chet Atkins' fingerstyle technique. Landreth officially set out on his own in 1992 with his solo release Outward Bound, and since that time GP has been documenting his style of playing in numerous features and lessons. Landreth's appearance on this month's cover is a long-due testament to the immense impact that he has had on the guitar scene, and the Master Class that accompanies this story (see page 106), further explores the inner workings of a sound and a style that still remain unique to Sonny L. This interview was conducted while Landreth, his longtime bassist David Ranson, and drummer Michael Butch were in the midst of a hectic summer tour in support of From the Reach.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

How did you go about writing songs that would accommodate the very distinct styles of Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, and Mark Knopfler?

It was a real adventure for me because I'd never done anything like that before. I'm familiar with their work so I could think, "The groove on this song would fit Vince Gill, or these chord changes would be cool for Robben Ford or Eric Johnson." But it was a leap of faith to start writing songs before I even had confirmation from those guys. I didn't want this to be another cliched duets album, and I think the idea to write each song with the guest player in mind made it easier for them to relate to the songs and step into their spots. The songs still had to be deeply personal in terms of what I relate to and want to express, but I knew I had to come up with something that was worth these guys' time. You are putting yourself on the line in a way, because people might think you just wanted them to play on your record to help you out. But it was way more of a musical connection for me in how these players influenced the writing process. I may have done these songs anyway, but there's no way they would have come out the way they did without their involvement. There are a couple of songs I already had before this project started. One was "The Goin' On," which I co-wrote with Wendy Waldman back in 1998. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Louisiana Hayride: Sonny Landreth Unleashes a Category 5 Guitar Storm with Guests Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, and Mark Knopfler on from the Reach
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.