A day to remember
Saturday, June 30th 2018
I got a phone call that morning from Sonny Landreth, who had just arrived to Finland to play at the Puistoblues Festival with John Hiatt & The Goners. The airline had lost their gear and Sonny asked if we could perhaps meet and if I could maybe lend him a guitar for the gig.
The ToneQuest connection
Ok… let’s rewind. First of all – yeah, I’m a fan of Sonny Landreth’s magical guitar playing and music – but I had absolutely no idea he knew anything about me! Sonny told me on the phone he had in fact been following my doings for a long time. He had read about my work in ToneQuest Report and Guitar Player magazines years ago – and the ToneQuest editor-in-chief (and our mutual friend) David Wilson had specifically recommended him to keep an eye out for me.
Very last minute…
Wow… Fantastic! It’s just that when I got that telephone call, I was in Spain with Emma. We were visiting our friends Fran and Rosa – so there was no way I could meet up with Sonny in Finland that same afternoon. So I started making some phone calls… Now, remember that the Puistoblues gig was happening that same afternoon, so this was all happening very last minute. And yet – a few phone calls later one of our guitars did found its way to Sonny’s hotel, and only a few hours later he played it on the Puistoblues main stage! Thank you Jaakko Kiikeri, Hannu Saha, Markus Nordenstreng, Niklas Aaltio, Erja Lyytinen, Sami Ruokangas, Pauli Kauppila and Anu Åberg for brainstorming and helping me out on such short notice..!
Walking the pilgrimage route
But that’s not the end of it – here comes the most surreal part of the story: When all this was happening in Finland, I was in fact walking with Emma, Fran and Rosa the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route leading to the Santiago de Compostela cathedral… A surreal collision of two worlds..!
I want to buy this guitar!
Well – maybe that wasn’t the most surreal part after all, now that I think of it… See, during the next couple of weeks after the Puistoblues concert Sonny and I were emailing back and forth and talking on the phone a number of times. Seemingly Sonny had been extremely impressed with the Mojo Grande he had played in Finland. So much so that he wanted to buy that specific guitar.
Fantastic! It’s just that the guitar wasn’t mine. It belonged to The Finnish Music Foundation ‘Soitinpankki‘ collection! But… Sonny wanted very much to have that guitar – so here I went again, and started calling around…
Let’s bend over backwards
Luckily the guitar owners (also fans of Sonny!) agreed with me that it would be very cool that this guitar would land in Sonny Landreth‘s hands. We came into an agreement that I’d go ahead and sell the guitar to Sonny and make the Foundation another one like it. Thank you guys for bending over backwards and for being so cooperative in this unusual situation.
Sometimes the stars just align the right way…
Landreth & Valvebucker
“I love the Valvebucker Mojo! This pickup/system is unique and doesn’t sound like anything else. If I had to sum it up with one word, it would be smooth as the Valvebucker is the smoothest sounding pickup I’ve ever experienced. It kind of reminds me of the difference between vintage Neve and SSL consoles of the day. I especially like it for dialing in a big, clean tone with the selector switch in the middle position for my solo songs. The range from top to bottom for moving parts of bass lines against chord melodies etc is balanced and nothing “pokes out” too much – much easier to let multiple parts speak. Also, I love how complex, distorted chords with open tunings for slide sound.” – Sonny Landreth