SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 5, 2013

Quinn is “Getting There”

Teenager a blues star in making


  Quinn Sullivan


Ask Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy who embodies the future of blues guitar, and he will mention a 14-year-old boy from Massachusetts named Quinn Sullivan.

“Remember that name,” Guy said. “He sounds like Eric Clapton, B.B. King, me, Hendrix — everybody, man!”

Sullivan is touring to promote his recent album, Getting There, a set of blues, rock and Beatlesque pop songs sung in his sweet, guileless voice. (He is set to appear on July 26 at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater.)

Sullivan became known nationally when Ellen DeGeneres invited a 6-year-old Quinn to play on her talk show.                                                                                          His career didn’t take off, though, until 2009 — with Guy inviting him on him on tour after meeting him at a show.

Q: How did you get interested in the guitar?

A: My parents had a lot of music in the house, from the Allman Brothers to the Beatles, and all those old rock ’n’ roll bands playing on the stereo. I fell in love with that whole thing.

Q: When did you first hear the blues?

A: My dad had Eric Clapton’s first Crossroads Guitar Festival on DVD, the 2004 one. I saw Buddy Guy come out and do Sweet Home Chicago. It was something else, with his stage mannerisms, just his whole thing — something I had never seen in my life.

Q: When did you meet him?

A: I met him in 2007 at a little theater in my hometown

— New Bedford, Mass. — called the Zeiterion Theatre. My dad knew some people at the theater and got us backstage to see Buddy. I had a guitar with me, and I asked him to sign it. Then he said, “Can you play a few licks?” I played, and he said, “You be ready when I call you.” He’s been my mentor since then.


(What am I gonna do, I really like unique talent and am crazy about music.  Jan)

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