“I don’t know if I remember the very first album I bought, but I remember some of the early ones. And some singles, too.
I remember when I moved from Mississippi to Louisiana, and I was going to my first Mardi Gras. Talk about culture shock. So I’m walking through downtown Lafayette, and I hear this song on the jukebox inside a club. I sneak in – nobody cares because it’s Mardi Gras – and it’s ‘Unchain My Heart’ by Ray Charles. I had listened to music and loved music for years before that, but I had to have that song. I had to go buy that. That song just hit me, and I had to have it. I had to own it. I couldn’t wait around until the next time I heard it on the radio.
And I can remember the twist phase, too, and I bought a couple of twist albums long before I even had a guitar or anything. Fast forward to many, many years later, and I was in the studio working on this tune, ‘Woke Up This Morning,’ a B.B. King song. But I didn’t know all of the words. So I called up this friend of mine, and I got all of the verses from him. Then later that day, I’m digging through my closet, and I come across this album, ‘Twist with B.B. King.’ And what’s the lead track? ‘Woke Up This Morning.’ That song had always resonated with me, but, of course, I had totally forgotten about it consciously.
Songs have a way of planting a seed, and you carry them with you, and hopefully you turn it into something that’s your own. I think that’s the nature of creativity.”
Louisiana guitar hero Sonny Landreth – who Eric Clapton has called “the most under-estimated musician on the planet and also probably one of the most advanced” – leads his band into Club Helsinki in Hudson at 8pm on Friday. Tix are $25.