Playing Those 15-Year Old Blues

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Playing the blues. Fifteen-year old guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan and his mentor the legendary Buddy Guy lay down the licks.

A boy picks up a guitar when he’s 3 years old. Twelve  years later, he’s onstage at Madison Square Garden.  Quinn Sullivan. now 15, playing the blues, hanging  with the likes of BB King, Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers, mentored by blues legend Buddy Guy, likened by the critics to Muddy Waters.  How did the blues find a home in a boy so young, who grew up in not in Mississippi,  and not in Chicago — but in a Massachusetts fishing town?  And if he’s just getting started, where’s he going to go? This hour, On Point:  Quinn Sullivan: Blues Man, at 15. And Buddy Guy, the teacher.
-- John Donvan


Quinn Sullivan, blues singer and guitarist. His new album is "Getting There." (@quinnsullivan1)

Buddy Guy, legendary blues guitarist and singer. Winner of six Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts and a Kennedy Center Honor. Member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (@therealbuddyguy)

Tom Hambridge, Grammy-Award-winning music producer, musician and songwriter. Producer and co-writer of Quinn Sullivan's "Getting There." (@tomhambridge)

From The Reading List

NPR Weekend Edition: Teacher And Prodigy Play The Blues — "Guitarist Quinn Sullivan has had a number of high profile gigs. He's played at the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden and Red Rocks and he's been a guest on the 'Tonight Show With Jay Leno,' 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.' Big deal - a lot of rockers can say that, right? Well, here is the kicker - Quinn Sullivan is 15 years old."

Rolling Stone: Quinn Sullivan, 14-Year-Old Blues Prodigy, Impresses the Masters — "Guy regularly gives young players a shot onstage during his shows, but this was different. 'I had to unplug his amplifier to make sure it was him,' Guy marvels now to Rolling Stone about that night. 'I'm like, "There's no way in the world you can play these notes. He was hitting Eric Clapton, he was hitting me, Stevie, Jimi Hendrix. I couldn't even play a radio when I was seven or eight years old! Players like him come along once in a lifetime. I said, 'I need to let the world know about you.''"

NBC Nightly News: Blues Legend Buddy Guy Helps Nurture Music's Next Generation -- "Buddy Guy and one young musician have forged a bond as sweet as a melody."

Listen To Quinn Sullivan's LIVE Tracks From The Hour At Our Blog


Watch A Six-Year-Old Quinn Sullivan On 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show"

This program aired on December 10, 2014.


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