Sonny Landreth’s smokin’ slide heats up the Yale in Vancouver



A sell-out crowd of slide-guitar freaks converged on the Yale Hotel last night (February 19) to take in one of the world’s most amazing bottleneck players. Louisiana’s Sonny Landreth kept the audience entranced with a set that focused on material from his star-studded new CD From the Reach—which boasts guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Vince Gill, Dr. John, and Jimmy Buffett—but he also offered samples of the Cajun and zydeco stylings of older tunes like “Back to Bayou Teche”, a rollicking number from 1991’s Outward Bound album.

With the primo rhythm-section of longtime drummer Michael Burch and bassist David Ranson along for the ride, Landreth used his ever-present glass slide and some boggling right-hand fingerpicking action to deliver his rootsy sound of the South. At one point the resident of Lafayette, Louisiana thanked any Vancouverites who may have helped out his hurricane-stricken neighbours in New Orleans; the new song “Blue Tarp Blues” pays tribute to those dealing with the after-effects of Katrina.

After the show, the unassuming 58-year-old hung out near the Yale’s entranceway and signed autographs for a long line of fans that stretched past the pool tables and all the way to the bar. Bolstered by three pints of Pale Ale, I asked the godlike picker if I might have the honour of taking home the slide he’d used that night, but he didn’t have it on him, so the sassy request was denied. Looks like the dangerous neck of that busted Corona bottle’s gonna have to do.

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