Magazine article Guitar Player

Guitar Jake: Bantamweight Blues Ali

Magazine article Guitar Player

Guitar Jake: Bantamweight Blues Ali

Article excerpt

He moves like a bantamweight blues Ali, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. He's held his own at Antone's, blasting toe-to-toe with Albert King, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Albert Collins. He's appeared on Texas Connection with Gatemouth Brown, backed blues pianist Grey Ghost on vinyl, and fronted a festival in the Netherlands. He's just finished an album's worth of sizzling shuffles and sweaty blues, and he's 13 years old. He's Guitar Jake.

With native sons like Jake Andrews, the Lone Star's Austin seems destined to continue its reputation for producing blues sharpshooters. For Jake, though, it's even closer to home: It's all in the family. "I was five when I started playing," he says. "My dad helped me because he used to be the lead guitar player in a band called Mother Earth. They played with everybody--Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead. At first my dad showed me old '50s stuff, like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, and then blues stuff later. It's really cool having a dad who knows the business."

Jake was a third-grader when he had his first onstage encounter with a blues giant. "That was the first time I played at Antone's," he recalls. "I was eight years old, and we went down to hear Albert King. He asked me if I played guitar, and I said yeah. So he asked me to come onstage with him, and I got my guitar and played a couple of songs. It was great. Pretty much every time Buddy Guy comes to Antone's, I go down and talk to him and play with him. He just tells me to keep it up. I played with Albert Collins a lot there too, and I really liked him. I also played with Katie Webster, Otis Rush, and James Cotton. The other night B.B. King played in town, but it was a school night, and my mom wouldn't let me go. I was real mad, because I could probably have at least met him. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.