Joey Landreth gets Rock Royalty’s seal of approval

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According to Joey Landreth, as I inquired if he was on a personal relationship with Bryan Adams, he responded: “no, not all… he actually reached out to me on Instagram and said ‘Hey, I like your stuff’, and obviously I was pretty floored”

Landreth is based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a funky blues style singer and incredible guitar talent. Joey is also known for his work in The Bros. Landreth with his brother Dave. 

TBL had early success and made quite a name for themselves earning many awards including a JUNO for their 2015 debut album re-release of Let It Lie. Not only has Rolling Stone magazine praised the boys, but after catching their set, the legendary Bonnie Raitt is quoted as saying “I haven’t liked a band as much as The Bros. Landreth in a long time. To hear this kind of funky, southern style rock played with such originality and soul will knock you out.”

Back to Joey’s solo career; when I did my research I really liked what I heard on his most recent album Hindsight; a couple of tracks that stood out were Cryin’ and Still Driving. Great melodies and songwriting on the whole album… BUT… my very first Google search on Joey lead me to the song below and I was sold right away. This tune, Two Trains, was originally recorded by Little Feat and Joey puts his own spin on it but doesn’t take away from the classic. I did not realize he was such a good singer as well. I even asked him which Baptist Church he sang at; to which he just laughed.

Now that you have listened to this rising star, let’s get to know him a little bit better. His guitar style is quite complex as he utilizes natural vibrato, fingerpicking, slide guitar, and some high end bending.

“Among my guitar influences growing up, I would have to say Stevie Ray Vaughan was my first guitar hero and influence; although I don’t think I have managed to keep much of his sound in my playing… his playing is on a different level for sure.

In terms of slide players, Bonnie Raitt and Ry Cooder were big influences and helped develop my style, and then I got into what is called Sacred Steel playing which is a kind of a gospel tradition-oriented towards vocal phrasing and you can hear it in the likes of Derek Trucks, he’s great. A friend of mine one day said, well if you like Derek, check out Aubrey Gents. I think he is based out of Florida. I could be wrong, but he’s really good, and of course, from that era, Chuck Campbell is another one.

Here in Winnipeg, there is a really great guitar player around my Dad’s age named Brent Parkin, and although he wasn’t a major influence, he did direct my curiosity to things like….how does he do this or do that? I mean there are just too many to mention.

Guitar and singing are the staples of Joey’s musical talents and he said he has been singing since he was a young kid. His first instrument to learn of a hardware nature was actually the piano.

“I took piano lessons until I was about 8, my parents had separated when I was about 5, and so one day my Dad said, hey do you want to take guitar lessons with me? ..kind of a way to squeeze in an extra day (laughter), and I did that with him and fell in love with the guitar right away. I do regret giving up on piano though.”

Watching him play, you will notice that Joey enjoys playing with his knob a lot 🤣…..but seriously…. his hands are always moving between the time he is picking or fingerpicking his strings to either the volume or tone/treble knobs and even the machine heads. I asked him if it was a matter of keeping beat or if he was actually adjusting that much and that fine.

Yeah, I am constantly tweaking the controls. I mean I am also a total gear nut. I have a massive door size pedalboard, I think people underestimate the power of your volume and tone controls and how a subtle tweak can change the way the guitar responds, and it’s not always audible either. But it is something you can feel as to how the guitar responds to the amplifier. I am also constantly adjusting the tuning of the guitar as I play pretty heavily and I can very easily knock the strings out of tune.

In respect to planning a Canadian tour once C19 has dissolved, “Oh yes, absolutely, we’re chomping at the bit to get back on the road. I have my solo project and also with TBL with my older brother Dave, we are currently writing for a new record, so yes we are going to tour as soon as we can.”

I had to ask Joey if people often mistake him for Eric the Red or other famous Nordic Vikings.

(laughter) “yes, I did get that a lot, and also the guy from Sons of Anarchy. I recently shaved my beard though, so obviously I don’t get those references anymore.”

Ernest Skinner

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