Sonny Landreth is a southwest Louisiana-based songwriter and singer who plays the slide guitar. As a performer, Landreth has brought together blues, jazz, Cajun, zydeco and rock music to create a style that appeals to a wide audience.
“Doing different music makes it more creative for me,” Landreth said. “My music is really all over the place: Cajun, zydeco, blues, jazz, classical influences. Being eclectic keeps it interesting. Especially with the slide guitar. You can do different styles. But the blues are at the heart of it all. That has always been a big part of what I was about.”
Sonny Landreth will perform as part of Frampton’s Guitar Circus on Aug. 16 at the RiverEdge Park in Aurora.
“I was raised in southwest Louisiana,” said the 62-year-old Landreth, “so I learned different styles. I played trumpet in school, so there is even some classical training in my background.”
Probably best known for his unusual and stylistic slide guitar playing, Landreth simultaneously plays the slide and makes fingering movements on the guitar’s fretboard.
“There was no foresight to it,” he said of his unorthodox guitar style. “I did not map it out. It was what I was feeling and how I responded to the music. The music has to move you first, then you can give back to the audience.”
Landreth has recorded 11 albums and has played with a diversity of artists including Eric Clapton, John Hiatt, Jimmy Buffett and Mark Knopfler.
The RiverEdge Park appearance of Frampton’s Guitar Circus features Peter Frampton, blues legend B.B. King, Landreth and probably a special guest.
“I will open the show with my band and we will play for about a half hour,” Landreth said. “Then B.B. King does a set. Then Peter does his set and he usually has one or two guest performers. Then we will probably all play together.”
Peter Frampton remains one of the most celebrated guitarists in rock history. At 18 years of age he co-founded one of the first super rock groups, Humble Pie. Frampton turned the world upside down in 1976 with the “Frampton Comes Alive!” album, which produced such hits as “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Do You Feel Like We Do.” “Frampton Comes Alive!” remains one of the top-selling live records of all time.
Blues guitarist B.B. King has been performing for more than half a century. King has won 15 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
For Landreth, performing is a give and take situation with himself and the audience.
“If I’m feeling it and we’re into the song, there’s nothing like it,” said Landreth about performing in front of a live audience. “What raises it to another level is the energy from the audience. That makes it special.”