This weekend was the fourth time that Sonny Landreth played at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival. His name can get lost amid the megastars that Clapton brings out. But it is no wonder that he gets invited.
Wikipedia gets uncharacteristically technical in its entry on Landreth:
Landreth is best known for his slide playing, having developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments behind the slide while he plays. Landreth plays with the slide on his little finger, so that his other fingers have more room to fret behind the slide. He’s also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand. He wears a special thumb pick/ flat pick hybrid on his thumb so he can bear down on a pick while simultaneously using his finger style technique for slide.
Sonny Landreth is known for his use of Fender Stratocaster guitars and Dumble Amplifiers. He is also known to use Demeter and Fender amplifiers on occasion. Landreth uses Jim Dunlop 215 heavy glass slides and Dunlop Herco flat thumb picks. His guitars are fitted with DiMarzio and Lindy Fralin pickups, a special Suhr back plate system, and D’Addario medium nickel wound strings gauges 0.13 – 0.56. (Continue Reading…)
About.com leads with the Clapton connection:
No less an authority than the legendary Eric Clapton has called slide guitarist Sonny Landreth “the most underestimated musician on the planet and also probably one of the most advanced.” During a career that has spanned four decades, Landreth has earned a well-deserved reputation as a gifted slide guitarist, whose unique playing style mixes traditional slide with the unconventional technique of fretting the strings behind the slide. Throw in Landreth’s songwriting skills, and you have an exciting and original artist whose work plumbs the depth of roots-rock and swamp-blues. (Continue Reading…)
Above is Zydeco Shuffle and below is Z Rider.by
I didn’t see the whole thing, but I felt that one of one of the best musical moments last night was Eric Clapton’s acoustic version of Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out. It also was a bit ironic, since so many were coming to the region’s aid.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Bill Joel’s set. Above is his rewritten version of Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway).
By the way, it’s not to late to give.by
Luther Allison was a tremendous blues guitarist who passed away in 1997. While he didn’t get the publicity of some of his contemporaries, he appeared with — and clearly was respected by — the likes of B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Above is Livin’ in the House of the Blues and below is Soul Fixin’ Man. This is the start of the bio at Luther Allison’s site:
Born in Widener, Arkansas in 1939, Luther Allison (the 14th of 15 musically gifted children) first connected to the blues at age ten, when he began playing the diddley bow (a wire attached by nails to a wall with rocks for bridges and a bottle to fret the wire). His family migrated to Chicago in 1951, and Luther began soaking in the sounds of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Robert Nighthawk. He was classmates with Muddy Waters’ son and occasionally stopped in the Waters’ house to watch the master rehearse. It wasn’t until he was 18 already in Chicago for seven years that Luther began playing blues on a real guitar and jamming with his brother Ollie’s band. Continue Reading…
Dire Straits was one of the super bands of the 1980s and 1990s.
Lead guitarist Mark Knopfler now is well into a successful solo career that includes composing and recording film scores. His most notable were Local Hero in 1983 and The Princess Bride four years later.
Lots of Dire Straits music is less catchy than Skateaway, Money for Nothing (here with Eric Clapton) and Sultans of Swing. The latter two are the band’s two biggest hits. Good information about Knopfler and Dire Straits is available in the usual places: Wikipedia and AllMusic.
It’s ironic that Knopfler toured with Bob Dylan last year — here’s a review — since they sort of sound the same, which really isn’t a compliment to either. Luckily for them, both have noteworthy other talents.
Here are Going Home (the Theme from Local Hero), Walk of Life and Sailing to Philadelphia. Of special note is Poor Boy Blues, which Knopfler and Chet Atkins perform in a nice video. The pedal steel player apparently is Paul Franklin. Here Atkins and Knopfler play I’ll See You in My Dreams and Imagine.by
The above, which features Mick Taylor, was recorded at John Mayall’s 70th birthday concert in 2003. It’s not the Roy Orbison song.
Mayall is a unique and vital figure in the history of rock-and-roll. He worked with and influenced many of the great guitarists, including Eric Clapton and Taylor, who preceded Ronnie Wood in the Rolling Stones. Indeed, Mayall’s bio reads like a history of rock guitar. As usual, allmusic provides an insightful and thorough overview.
There is a lot of good video available for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Here are Hideaway (featuring Clapton at the birthday concert), Walking on Sunset, a nice tune without a title and Room to Move, which is Mayall’s best known song (“hit” would be pushing it). The current band — which is not called the Bluesbreakers — essentially is on an endless tour, which is amazing considering that Mayall is 78 years old.by
John Hiatt’s work has been covered by many artists, including Jewel, Buddy Guy and Roseanne Cash. Riding with the King was the cover tune of an album by Eric Clapton and B.B. King that went double platinum. Here are Drive South, Perfectly Good Guitar and Have a Little Faith. Something Wild vaguely reminds me of Johnny Rivers’ Secret Agent.
Here is a page at Hiatt’s site that links to others on which he is featured.by
The above clip perhaps is a bit more Clapton than Dr. John, but it’s great.
Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr. — Dr. John — seems like he’s been around forever. Actually, he was born in 1940. He is a great piano player and showman and an all-around interesting “care-actor,” as he pronounces it.
Here is the teaser for his latest offering, which The New York Times described at the end of March. His pure piano playing brilliance is on display in Swanee River Boogie. Two of his big hits are Right Place, Wrong Time and Such a Night.by