Sonny Landreth about his collaborations with Knopfler, Clapton and Loggins

Sonny Landreth about his collaborations with Knopfler, Clapton and Loggins


Over the 40 years as his career started, Sonny Landreth had many experiences. He collaborated with many musicians including Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton. Sonny is American blues musician and guitar player.

His last solo album is ‘Recorded Live at Lafayette’ released this 30 June. He gave one interesting speech for one rock website, so we just want to share that with all our fans and readers.

Actually he talks about collaborations and studio sessions with variety of artists including Clapton, Knopfler, Little Feat, Kenny Loggins and Gov’t Mule. He said: “Everyone has their own sound, their own style…becomes really interesting how you know to navigate around each other and add something. People always think it’s a shootout, but it’s a conversation.”

His schedule for the tour for the rest of the year with ‘Recorded Live in Lafayette’ – is far from over. But he looked back at some of the artists that he played with, and what he learned from those collaborations.

About Eric Clapton – Sonny has interesting story and amazing words for him. Clapton opened a lot of doors for me – he said:

“Such a great guy and humble. He’s been through everything and he done it all. One of probably the guitar heroes for me. As a kid and teenager he was one of my main influences and I listened to him and all of their early work with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. As other kids he had a huge impact on me!”

“We had an interesting indirect connection…back at the time when i worked at Shelter Records at the time when his band was based out of Tusla. Some of his bands played on the tracks that I had written and worked on. Later, I made demo in my house on my cassette recorder. That was demo where I played on Resonator guitar and I made one more copy for my friend in Tusla, who was producer. He gave that copy to Eric…and I didn’t know about that. I was in shocking when he said “Eric still got that tape and he really love”.

“Through mutual friends my manager and his manager finally was together in Dallas and Eric came. We talked about everything, in one opportunity I asked him if he would be interested in playing on a track or two on a new album I was making and he said “Yes, yes of course I would love to…”, added Sonny.

Mark Knopfler is a dear friend. In 1992 I released album called ‘Outward Bound’, and right after it came out we were in London playing a venue they used to have called the Town and Country.”

“Mark had the album, and my manager was good friends with Mark’s publisher in Nashville and he’d sent him a copy. I didn’t even know that Mark is in touch and he wants to come at the gig. I said, “Wow, that’s incredible.” So, we did our show and after that, he came at the backstage and we met each other. I was a huge fan of his music.”

“We talking and he told me that he would 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. I went to Nashville and he came down to the South Louisiana at one studio of my friend – Dockside Studio. That was incredible place and he fell in love with that. He, his wife and his manager came down and then he worked on what would become my ‘South of I-10 album. So we’ve been friends ever since and stay in touch.”

“Mark call me at the phone from London and playing me incredible things on phone. He was always doing amazing things and he impressed me so much. He would call me up and tell me “You got to hear this 13-year old fiddler”, and this is way back before the mobile phone thing.”

“He is 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. In fact, with my band two summers ago, we did two shows with him. It was great. We have to hook up again”, added Sonny.

Kenny Loggins – The connection was my friend Steve Conn who played on accordion and keys. He played on all of our albums over the years and we gigged together and go way back. One of his good friends Steve George was the musical director for Kenny in the early 90s and he helped us to put together the live record I played on (1993 Outside: From the Redwoods).

Steve Conn and I took a plane from Colorado to L.A. We were at the studio just to said “Hey,” and Conn sit down at the piano, and started to playing. Kenny was with the other guys, but he went and sat down on the piano bench with Steve, and in next 45 minutes he communicated with Conn telling him what and how to play.

Kenny is one of the most consummate musicians I ever met. He is enormously talented and perfectionist. I’m nowhere near his league. He is so creative. It was a really memorable experience.

He was constantly changing the parts and he want to hear something different every time I played. His electric and accoustic guitar technique was just amazing.He knew what he wanted. So that got me thinking way back then — I’d been out of playing acoustic for so long. I should thank Kenny for that spark.


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