Way down in Louisiana, it’s customary to offer a little something extra to friends old and new. “It’s just a little lagniappe,” folks say. It’s a gift or something special just cuz’. It’s pronounced “lan’yap” but it may be easier, although not nearly as authentic to the occasion, to say “bonus” instead.
In that spirit, this second half of Sonny’s inteview has all sorts of good things, bonus thoughts and a little more of the the slide guitar genius of Sonny Landreth.
Slide to Sonny’s Website Here
Clyde Vernon “Sonny” Landreth (born February 1, 1951) is an American blues musician from southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player. He was born in Canton, Mississippi, and settled in Lafayette, Louisiana. He lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
Landreth is known as “the King of Slydeco” and plays with a strong zydeco influence. Guitarist Eric Clapton has said that Landreth is one of the most advanced guitarists in the world and one of the most under-appreciated.
Landreth is best known for his slide guitar playing, having developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments by fretting 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 is 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 that he can bear down on a pick while simultaneously using his finger-style technique for slide.
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
In this part 2 of 3 interviews with Mark Farner, he talks about the writing of two of Grand Funk Railroad’s biggest hits, I’m Your Captain and Footstompin’ Music. He talks about the inspiration behind both, one from a a prayer and one from being stoked about his new organ, a Hammond B3 that is.
I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home, one of the band’s signature hits, got extensive radio play even though it was 10 minutes long. Some stations played the 5 minute edited version, eliminating most of the orchestral fade out section.
Drummer Don Brewer is quoted as saying: “At the time, rock bands had experimented with orchestras, and we said, ‘Let’s put an orchestra on this thing, we’ll just play endlessly, and we’ll get Tommy Baker, our friend down in Cleveland, to write the score for it, and we’ll put an orchestra on it. It was a new thing for us, kind of new for the day – there hadn’t been too many bands using orchestras. When we recorded the song in Cleveland, we didn’t have the orchestra there, we didn’t know what the final outcome was going to be, we hadn’t even recorded the string arrangements, we just recorded the end of the song on and on and on over and over, knowing they were going to come in and put an orchestra on it later. When we finally heard the song about two weeks later, it just blew us all away. It was a religious experience.”
Farner’s depiction of a Viet Nam War veteran event relates a touching story and gives insight as to what a proud American, a caring person with a cause, he is. He leaves the meaning of the song up to you, the listener.
And as for Footstompin’ Music? That songs speaks for itself.
Madelyn Victoria’s debut single release, He Only Loves Me on the Dance Floor reached #1 on the national country AM/FM chart, New Music Weekly, making it one of the biggest debut singles of 2016. The self-penned song won an Akademia Award for Best Country Song in April 2016, earning her numerous other award nominations and a spot on the CMT.com Top 50 Most Popular Artists chart. The video for “He Only Loves Me” reached the Yallwire.com Top 5 Most Watched Videos chart, while her youtube cover of George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning” received over 100,000 views in just 2 days, after being featured on Country Rebel’s website. Her cover of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues matched that number, after being featured on the same site. But, for the young Texas native, nothing can compare to walking in the footsteps of her legendary idols. Her latest video release, the original I Can Be Your Senorita has already received over 10,000 views.
“I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it ’til my fingers bled
Was the summer of sixty-nine
Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit, Jody got married
I should’ve known we’d never get far”…Summer of 69
What Bryan Adams wrote of, the memory of a “let’s start a group!” 1969 garage band, is a tale that rocks on to this day. For those that have been involved with a band start up, or shared in any dream with your friends before life had other ideas, know that it’s something special that you just never forget. And, know that resistance isn’t always a show stopper.
Liv Taylor, Matt Taylor and Mike Spano are lead vocalist/guitarist, drummer and lead guitarist respectively. They are all 19 years old, have day gigs and share in the courage to create something beyond the norm, perform it and make it better each day. The “lather, rinse, repeat” formula responsible for the success of the light bulb, the Beatles and preventing stinky dogs applies here. (And, never before have those elements been used in one sentence.)
Hats off to Liv, Matt and Mike for their first interview. Best wishes to their latest song Things I Wish You Said. Cheers to the first 6 months of Indifferent Matters, and to their future. If you don’t take a chance, you won’t have one.