submitted by Holger Siebert, Germany
My name is Holger Siebert from Germany and first of all I am a great fan of Little Feat.
My very first Sonny Landreth CD was "South of I-10" after reading an enthusiastic report in a German music magazine. I was blown away and later I got a show through tape-trading from Little Feat with Sonny as the opener and sitting in with Little Feat. Paul Barrere and Sonny Landreth playing slide together blew me away! From that time on I dreamed of attending a similar show.
In 1999 I had the chance to make my dream come true, Little Feat was playing at Jazzfest in New Orleans. On April 29th I arrived at the fairgrounds right after Sonny opened on the main stage accompanied by (unknown to me) a guy on washboard. After Sonny's show I had the chance to talk to him backstage about his recent tour with German musician Peter Maffay. Sonny signed my "South of I-10" CD with a personal note. Right after Sonny followed Taj Mahal, Los Lobos and finally Little Feat. Sonny sat in with Little Feat and played his extraordinary slide guitar on two songs. Wow, I really couldn't believe it was true!
The second time I saw Sonny was with "John Hiatt and the Goners" at the "Prime Club" in Cologne, Germany, November 17, 2003. It was an AMAZING show in a tiny club with around 200 - 300 people; their one and only German gig that year.
The venue was a three hour trip from my hometown and my friend Volker and I entered the venue fifteen minutes before the show, there was nobody there that we knew.
Hiatt and his band were in top form and obviously impressed by the extraordinary atmosphere in this tiny venue. They played a two hour set including an acoustic solo version of "Down The Dusty Road". I stood directly in the front of Sonny and watched his fingers doing things with his guitar that I've never seen before. It was not your normal guitar playing, more of a living and loving of this instrument.
After the show we had no idea where to meet the band, it was raining and around midnight so we decided to drive back home.
On May 7, 2005 I had my 3rd chance to see Sonny with Dave Ranson and Kenneth Blevins at the Rhythm & Blues Night in Groningen, Netherlands. Sonny played a fantastic gig despite the bad sound at the beginning (Kenneth was very upset about this) and the restraints of a sixty minuet set which meant that "Congo Square" and nearly half of his songs had to be cut from the setlist. I met Rainer from Germany, a guitar player, who stood directly in front of the stage and discovered some secretes of Sonny's guitar playing style by watching his compressor.
After the show we had the chance to talk to Sonny about his style of playing, Sonny is a very nice guy to talk to. Rainer told me after reading articles in music magazines and talking with Sonny that he still keeps some secrets about his style of playing.
Set list from Groningen, 5/7/05
The last time I saw Sonny was the "Steelin' and Slidin' Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands on October 16, 2005. It was sort of a Steel & Slide big band. Sonny was part of the guitarists like Dan Tyack, Buddy Cage, Derek Trucks and his band. Great evening and great music with Sonny together with Derek onstage. The only Sonny song played was "Congo Square" instrumental. After the show I had the chance to talk a bit with Derek and Sonny, signing some CD's for me.
I am very happy to have had the chance to see Sonny at four quite different shows and got a great impression of his unique art of playing and living the instrument.