Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway
Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway, with this his third studio album at seventeen. How? Quinn has been a musical professional since he was first heard jamming at the age of three with Toe Jam Puppet Band. By the time he was six he appeared on Ellen, two years later saw him taken under the wing of Buddy Guy, whose protégé he remains to this day. Teenager Quin has shared the stage with a phalanx of music icons including Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and when opening for BB King he was invited to play King’s treasured Lucille. That is a snapshot as Quinn steps out and begins to play in the adult world he needs to deliver albums that are more than about his age, or who he has played with. He will be judged on the songs, vocals, guitar playing and production everyone expects a high standard being good is not enough. The album produced by Tom Hambridge who also drums who has added a sublime group of session men surrounded by musicians with a wealth of experience and knowledge as bass duties are delivered by Michael Rhodes or Tom MacDonald, guitarist Rob McNelly and adding in the interest on the keys is Reese Wynans.
No one can do everything, too many people try to be a songwriter and performer when they do not have the skills. Quinn has stepped back with three numbers co-written including Eyes For You, an acoustic folk-infused highlight showing this is a musician who understands the value of textural change within a collection of songs recorded in the studio. This folky vibe is revisited later on Going, they work so well as the dichotomy between the maturity of his electric guitar playing and the light youthful pop characteristics of the vocals. As the voice matures then you will hear the real voice of Quinn Sullivan. Hints of what could be coming are heard on Rocks a bonus track, with an edgier, deeper refrain this a Quinn that is a little bit dirtier. As he travels the blues highway he will slip and out of that will come the mature artist that this album hints at. Quinn Sullivan has talent, Quinn is a man on the precipice of greatness and one to watch develop. He needs to find his own sound and play with his guts, not with one eye on ‘will this be a crossover number with mass appeal’.
Opening the album with Something For Me, the opening bars are expansive, distorted tribal and inviting. His vocals are fuzzy but clarion clear as he pulls every syllable out of the lyrics. This makes for an interesting tweak of the blues genre that is forever expanding and reinventing itself. All lovers of blues will know this is a highway that has Something For Me. On this, his first album under Mascot Label, home of Joe Bonamassa has thirteen tracks including the bonus numbers. Yes, the tone of the album is youthful, and times pop orientated as on Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming. Then you have glimmers of where the young man is heading towards the place where genres meet down at the Crossroads of the Highway where blues is fused with so many musical opportunities.
Midnight Highway gives an insight into a talent that is burgeoning will it fulfil its youthful promise time will tell. Quinn’s musical Highway is going to be I am sure long, deep and an interesting ride to share. In ten years’ time there will be another young guitar slinger being compared to the now matured Quinn Sullivan.
SEVENdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Something For Me
- Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming
- Midnight Highway
- Crazy Into You
- Eyes For You
- Lifting Off
- She Gets Me
- Rocks (Bonus Track)
- Graveyard Stone (Bonus Track)
- Big Sky (Bonus Track)
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- Buffalo Nickel