Sonny Landreth about his collaboration with Mark Knopfler

Sonny Landreth about his collaboration with Mark Knopfler

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Sonny Landreth about his collaboration with Mark Knopfler

For those who didn’t know who is Sonny Landreth, he is American blues musician from the southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player.

Landreth is known as “The King of Slydeco” and plays with a strong zydeco influence. Eric Clapton has said that Landreth is one of the most advanced guitarists in the world and one of the most under-appreciated.

Sonny has developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments by fretting behind the slide while he plays. 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.

Through the years he has recorded more than 15 solo studio albums. In 2005 Sonny has got the award from Americana Music Association for Instrumentalist of the Year 2005, and in 2016 he has got the award Instrumentalist – Guitar category at Blues Music Award.

Otherwise, Landreth had many collaborations on his albums with: Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Marti Jones, Zachary Richard, John Hiatt, Eric Johnson and many others musicians.

In 1996 when Mark Knopfler recorded his live concert ‘A Night in London’ – Sonny was his guest. On the set list were songs from Knopfler’s first solo album Golden Heart where Sonny and Mark played together in “Cannibals” song.

12 years after that concert in London with Knopfler, Sonny released his eleventh studio album ‘From the Reach’. That album features appearances by Jimmy Buffet, Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, Eric Johnson, Dr. John, Mark Knopfler and Nadirah Shakoor.

The album was No.1 on Billboard’s Blues Album Chart. Mark Knopfler plays on the opening track – Blue Trap Blues.

Mark and Sonny are amazing musicians and guitarist, and at the same time they are good friends. They met many years ago, back in 1992 when Sonny released his album, Mark Knopfler wanted to be on some of the gigs that Sonny has at the time, so after one gig in Nashville they met and they talked about the music and other things.

“He’s a dear friend. I was a huge fan of his music. After my set, he came backstage. He’s telling me he’s going to be coming to Nashville and he wanted me to play on some of his tracks, and I said ‘Absolutely’. That was his first solo album after Dire Straits – Golden Heart. I went to Nashville and he came down here to South Louisiana at my friend’s studio, Dockside Studio, incredible place, and he fell in love with that. So we’ve been friends ever since and stay in touch”, said Sonny.

“He’s the ultimate singer-songwriter and guitarist. He just does it all. I always admired how he produced those albums, even with Dire Straits and how there was that focus of the voice and then the call and response, and his guitar was the other voice, which comes very much from a blues tradition. I love that. Anyway, we’ve done a bunch of projects together”, finished Sonny.

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