Sonny Landreth

June 22, 2006

“Even though the Jimi Hendrix Experience gig I saw in Baton Rouge as a teenager was riddled with technical problems and hecklers, Jimi was amazing. And it completely blew my mind to hear such an immense sound coming from just three players. I experimented with every other configuration over the years, but what really set me on my path was becoming dedicated to the trio format—which I officially debuted at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1995. In order to cover more ground, I reverted to playing more of the fingerstyle approach I had developed early on by figuring out Chet Atkins tunes such as ‘Windy and Warm,’ where the guitar plays melody, rhythm, and bass lines simultaneously. I combined that technique with the open-tuned slide approach I honed on tour with John Hiatt to cover the parts Ry Cooder played on Hiatt’s Bring the Family. I love the trio because it has an open sound that lets you hear all of the guitar’s colors, nuances, tones, and techniques, and it gives you the room to improvise more freely. The trio also leaves you highly exposed to fall flat on your face, but taking that chance is definitely worth the ride.”

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