Ask Chicago guitar legend Buddy Guy about the future of the blues and he’ll give a depressing — but direct — answer.
“It’s scary,” Guy said during an interview upstairs at his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, in Chicago’s South Loop. “I’m still going to play my music because I love what I’m doing, but we need all the support we can to keep the blues alive.”
After five decades in the business, Guy is doing what he can to make sure the genre — and his late contemporaries like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Junior Wells — lives on. Earlier this year Guy wrote his autobiography, “When I Left Home,” and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member is mentoring Massachusetts eighth-grader and blues guitarist Quinn Sullivan.
If you ask Buddy Guy who embodies the future of blues guitar, he will point to a 14-year-old boy from Massachusetts named Quinn Sullivan. “Remember that name,” Mr. Guy said in a recent interview. “He sounds like Eric Clapton, B. B. King, me, Hendrix, everybody, man!”
Youthful Boston-area guitar sensation Quinn Sullivan was born in 1999 and took up guitar around the time most kids start pre-school. His precocious musical talent landed him an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at age six, and he attracted much attention shortly thereafter when blues veteran Buddy Guy invited him onstage to play during a 2007 performance in Massachusetts.
“Man, I called this kid out and I just couldn’t outrun him,” Guy later said. “I knew I had to make sure people know about him.”
>> Watch Quinn and Buddy on CBS (2 September 2013) <<
Sullivan has performed with Guy often since then, and by age 12 had racked up appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today and Jimmy Kimmel Live! and at the Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits music festivals. He has performed with B.B. King and has met guitar idols including Jeff Beck, Jonny Lang, Steve Miller, Jimmie Vaughan and Ronnie Wood.
Sullivan made a studio guest appearance on 2008 Buddy Guy album Skin Deep, and released his own single, “Summer of Love,” in 2009. Debut album Cyclone was released in 2011 and peaked at number seven on the Billboard blues chart. Sullivan continues to record, perform and tour extensively, with a very bright musical future before him.
Quinn Sullivan is just graduating from middle school, but at a time when most teenagers are getting ready for summer vacation, he’s getting ready to tour to promote his new album, “Getting There” (SuperStar Records), a set of blues, rock, rockabilly and Beatlesesque pop songs, sung in his sweet, guileless voice.
Visit http://quinnsullivanmusic.com/ for further information.