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Feb. 1, 2023

Keeping the Blues Alive With 14-Year-Old Guitar Phenom - Danny Guitarwood

Keeping the Blues Alive With 14-Year-Old Guitar Phenom - Danny Guitarwood

It's been said that great Blues musicians are born that way and some of the mere mortals who wish to be great may never achieve greatness. 14-year-old Danny Guitarwood appears to be just that a great Blues guitarist that is showing incredible guitar chops at his early age. The Trout visited with Danny about his love of the Blues, his favorite Blues musicians and how he wants to keep the Blues alive. Although he's a teenager, Danny shows the prowess of players twice his age. He's set himself on his journey to keeping the Blues alive for another generation of music lovers. I'm hoping and wishing the Danny fulfills his dreams and goals of playing the Blues for the remainder of his life.

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Today's podcast is supported by David Smith of Edward Jones. Are you happy with your financial strategy or maybe like to see what other opportunities are out there? Or give David a call at 46937 215 87. That's 46937 215 87. David is only concerned about one person, that's you and your financial health. So check him out. David Smith, Edward Jones, 46937 215 87. Hey, everybody, it's the trout. Hope you're having a great day. I've interviewed dozens of musicians across the globe and there's one single thread that goes through all of them. And it is they all started at a very early age in their musical journey. Some of them as early as four years old. I personally started at twelve when I picked up my first guitar. But then they spent years trying to develop their craft until it got better and better. But there's always an exception to that rule. There's always that one person that says, I come out slinging my guitar, ready to rock and play the blues. And that is our guest today, 14 year old blues player Danny Guitarwood. What a phenomenal player he is. At 14, he's already set the stage for his career amongst his peers of other great blues guitars. Listen to this. That happened to be off his new EP that Danny just released called looking out my window. So you're probably asking, how does a 14 year old get discovered? Well, you go to the Dallas Guitar Show last year and another great guitarist and singer, Ally Venerable, ask you to come up to play on stage. And that five minutes gave him the opportunity to show his craft. And that has been viewed on Instagram. That video has been viewed on Instagram over 5 million times. And that's how I discovered Danny. But what's great about Danny is he's keeping the blues alive. At 14. He's already decided that's his career path, and I applaud him for it. I was privileged to sit down with Danny and he talks about his style, how he started playing and his favorite artist and all the people that impress him and how he wants to continue to play the blues. So that's up next, Danny Guitar wood and his story about keeping the blues alive. So coming up next, a 14 yearold that's keeping the blues alive for generations to come. Danny Guitarwood. That's next on the Trout show. When did you decide that you wanted to play guitar? I was eight or nine years old, and my dad, he had this little travel guitar. I was like, oh, cool. I was really into, like, rock music at the time, like, oh cool, I'll try this out. And I kind of, you know, sparked an interest. He's like, do you want to start taking lessons? I was like, yeah, it sucked at first. I didn't have fun with it. And then once I kind of got the hang of it, I'm like, this is awesome. So I want to make a career out of it. Now, do you remember the first song you heard? That was a blue song. You went, Holy crap, what is that? What was the performer? John Lee Hooker. Wow. Do you remember the tune? Do you remember the tune? Boom boom. I watched the Blues Brothers. I'm like, oh, this is cool. That one scene. Yeah. Unfortunately, John left us a few years ago. He was what we call he was a classic blues guitar play. He didn't do a lot, but he just had that blues thing going on. And his music had a lot of space in it. Do you know what that means? How so? If you listen to his music, let's say Boom Boom, or he did a song with Bonnie Ray, there's not a lot of things going on. There's just basic stuff. And the space means there's nothing going on, music going on. But he could pull it off because he was such a great performer and he didn't have to have a lot of rhythm, guitars, all that stuff. He was just a fantastic musician. And he was from the old time blues guys that we don't have anymore. There's basically buddy guy. He's about the last one left of that age group. Then Buddy, he's 83 or something like that. So you said to yourself, I want to start playing blues. What was the first guitar that you got that you could actually play the guitar and play it in your amp. You probably can't see it, but it's right there on the wall. It's a black and white Squire mini Stratcaster. Okay. So it's a Strat light guitar. It's a squire. Okay. And what little amp did you have? Amps did you play? Yeah, I had, like, a Fender practice amp. It was so small. And then right here, it's actually right here. It had this little Marshall as well. Oh, yeah, I see. Little Marshall amps. But that's okay because then you can do all you want to put your headphones on and rip out and nobody hears it besides you, right? Yeah. So you started out at a young age. You're still young. When did you realize and I know this is going to be kind of hard for me, for you, maybe, to understand, but when did you realize that you have that ability that a lot of people don't have? I guess it was when I went to my first open jam. Okay. And I really kind of got to know what the blues was and how it's in soul, basically. And I learned a lot from open jams. I learned basically pentatonic scales and solos and stuff and how to play with other people. I don't know. I was really fought, and I'm still doing it now. And I just love the blues. You know, it's funny because, Danny, you have already hit an era that some people just dream of getting to play with certain people. I made some notes about you because I went back and looked at them. I saw you were just playing with Marty Schwartz. Oh, yeah. That was crazy. It was awesome. I'm sure you've watched his channel and probably said, I need to learn how to play something. Let Marty Lardy show you how to play. First thing that comes up is Marty Schwartz. Marty is one of those guys that everybody if you talk to people that start out when I was your age, we didn't have YouTube, we had books, and you mentioned it early. When you started learning how to play guitar, it wasn't much fun. It isn't fun at all. So I was told that your dad says to me, how did you find Danny? And I said, I'm always on the lookout. What I do, Danny, is I interview musicians all over the world. You may have looked at my channel already, and I just getting ready to go up tomorrow. You probably want to see it. Mr. Walter Trout. Do you know who Walter Trout is? I just interviewed him. Really? Yeah. That's so cool. He's a great performer, as you well know, and just an all around good guy. So when I saw you, the one thing that I know and it's hard for people at your age to recognize is the fact that you have what we call it. Do you know what it is? Like, the blues, you have the ability when you have it, and as you go through playing with friends and you see people play, you'll recognize it. That means you've been given a gift that not everybody gets. You play blues guitars like you're 40 years old. You do. You have a gift. But the thing that I showed your video to my wife and I said, you got to watch this kid. And I said, he's phenomenal. But the thing that makes you so great, Danny, is the fact that I said, watch him not even look at the guitar he's playing without even looking at the fretboard. That usually doesn't happen until you've played for a long time because you already kind of know where everything is. But the other part about you've got lucky. So you've been already kind of discovered and you've had an opportunity to play with some great players already, like Ali. And that's how your dad thought. I'd seen you or heard about you when you were at the Dallas. Because I live in Dallas. I live in the Dallas area. Yeah, you were playing you how to tell me about that because you came down to the guitar show, right. Okay. And that was last summer, right, when you came down? May 2022. Yeah, that's right. It's May. How did you convince Ally to let you play on stage? So it wasn't really technically, I would say convinced. So we met her there. I saw her play the set the night before, and I got to meet her. I was like, hey, I play guitar as well. I saw her open for a Kennywood Shepherd. I'm like you're phenomenal. She's like, thank you. So took pictures, and then the next day I saw her at the trade show with all the guitars and said, Hi. Gave her a business card. I love it. You already have business card. So cool. Yeah. And then later that day, we got a Facebook message from her dad, do you want to come up on stage and play? I was like, Holy crap. So middle of her said, she invites me up on stage and play. We did. Going down by Frank King. I saw that and it was it was awesome. And then later that gave me the opportunity to open for her as well in Houston. I was just laughing because you're already down this road so far that it's just funny to me because it's like, okay, you're already open for her, and it's just because you walk up to her and talk to her, and then the next thing you do is open. All right, you're opening for how big was the venue? How many people did you say were there? I really don't know. It was a decent venue, really good town. But it wasn't like two or 300 people, was it? I really don't remember. Okay. It had to be at least 100, maybe. Yeah. So how many songs was she allowed you to play to open up for? It was an hour set, I think, so had to be ten songs. And you brought your band with you from Nashville? No, it was actually people that live in the area. Okay. How did you find him? Through a guy named Johnny Bergen. You said, I need some backup guys to come in and play for me. Yeah. When you do a show like that, or when I notice that you're getting ready to go out and do some dates, what's your favorite song to start out with? Most of the time? To start the set? Yeah. Out of the box. You walk on stage the first time and you're ready to rock. It's always cross cut saw by Albert King is always the first song that I do. Okay, so all your songs in your set list, when you start going on these dates that you have coming up, are they all Blue songs or do you mix stuff up? There's some rock in there, little country, but I'm mainly blues, but I do mix it up just a little. And the performers that play with you, they're all friends of yours? Well, yeah, they live in different states. One's from Chicago, and then the bass player, he's from Ohio. Now, are they your age or older? So the bass player, he's twelve, and then the drummer is 18. I think what's cool about you is the fact that you've already discovered this is something you like. But you have another life to live. Right. You got to go to school, got to finish high school. What do your friends say to you? They know what your situation is? Not entirely. They know I play guitar. I played at some school events, so I don't fill them in that much or tell them where my next gig is going to be at because I don't know. Can they come? I know it's the one that you're playing is kind of has a youth jam after the fact. If it's local and if they're allowed if they're, like, allowed in the venue, I'll probably invite them. But I play a lot out of town, so I don't think they're going to drive 2 hours away to go see me play. If you could play with any blues player that's alive now, who would you want to play with? That's tough. But I have a person, his name you probably know. Kenny white shepard. I know Kenny. I don't know him personally. I know sure. Yeah. He's my favorite. So if he's standing there, how would you feel about that? He goes, hey, I'm Kenny White. It's got to be mind blowing for you when you walk up, because one day you will be playing with Kenny White. I just almost say that one day you'll be playing with people that good. And you'll go like, okay, I can't believe this. Here you are. You're going to school. How often do you practice? As much as I can after school, mess around on my acoustic a lot, whenever I'm able to. Do you play stuff that you think you'll be able to do the band or do you do stuff? Have you started writing songs yet? I have, actually. I have one original song. I've got an EP out, actually. I'm giving some away at the IVC. Okay. And what's the song called? What's? The top looking out my window. Oh, okay. I saw that. Is that your song? Yeah. Okay, because I saw an Instagram you were playing it, too, and I didn't know who was by. So have you spent much time you probably haven't had time to really go to the studio yet or haven't had really material yet. Is that something you want to do, originals? No. Do you want to go in the studio, write your own song and go into studio and perform? Yeah, I think it's something that will definitely help a lot instead of just doing covers forever. Yeah, I definitely think that it's a good idea, but people say that I'm ready to do it, and I just try my hardest. What's your ultimate guitar and amp? Set up and pedals. You would love to have, like, my dream set up. Absolutely. So if I called you up and said, tell me what you want, I'll get it for you, what would you want? There's the amp that I really love that I already have, but probably a Fender Strat old, probably. I don't know what year exactly. An old Strat offender Deluxe reverb from the course. Yeah, probably for my pedals. I'm not really a pedal guy. Like, I use them if I have if I could choose any man. That's kind of hard to choose a pedal. Well, there's thousands of them out there now. Yeah, there's so many of them, and everybody has their own and they all make their own and all that stuff. What strings do you like to use? What brings Arnie Ball? Ten gauge. Okay, you're down to your guitar and your amp, and now you got your strings. Now you're ready to go, right? Are you having fun? Oh, yeah, 100%. So all it matters because you got to have fun, because if you're not having fun playing, there's no using plan. Tell me what your ultimate goal is with your life. I ask you about your rig now. What do you want to do? What would you do? My whole journey is keep the blues alive. So that's what I want to do. Do you study about the blues and the history of the blues? Somewhat. I mean, not that much. I learned a little bit about it in Clarksdale. I watched a documentary about pintop Perkins and they called it the Side Men. It's, willie big Eyes Hubert summerlin and pintop. I think Hubert is still alive. I think he's friends with Eric Collapse. I think he's still alive, yeah, because Eric Hughesy has him play on some stuff every once in a while. I've seen him play. I'm sure your friends are not in the blues. Oh, no, none of them. So they're like, what's blues? Exactly. And then you start playing like, what are you playing that stuff for? Right. It gets into you, brother. Unfortunately, you got it now. You got the bug. You'll never get rid of the bug. I hope you don't. I mean, some people at your age start playing in and then they get older and they go, I'm not going to play anymore, because you go like, I'm going to get married and I have kids, I want to have a job, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. Or they just want to play jazz. Or they want to play jazz, which I don't understand jazz that much, but can you kind of see, even at your age that this is keeping the blues alive? But this is a journey that you can do for the rest of your life. Keep performing, get bigger and bigger, have bigger performances, hang out with Tiny Wayne, people like that. You've met some already, some famous players already. Tell me about your trip to Gibson. What was that like near Nashville? The Gibson garage? Yeah, tell me a lot. So I was excited, but I don't necessarily get nervous that much because I had fun with it. So people watching this don't know what it is, but tell everybody what the Gibson garage is. So the gifts and garage, think of it as the guitar center, but it's all Gibson and Epiphone and of course Kramer gives an alumnus Cramer and Episode as well. There's acoustics. There's a custom shop. They're all separated, but it's the coolest place. There's a little stage there. And sometimes Marty Schwartz like, I think twice a month he does it. He'll host a jam there and people in town can come out and play. It's only one song, but it was really cool. Yeah, who cares? It's one song. Yeah, you get this song. You know the worst part about this, Danny, is about ten years from now when you're famous and everybody knows who you are, this video will be shown and you'll go, oh God, look how young I was. I was just and then it won't matter because by that time you'll be signing autographs and taking pictures with people and girls want to hang out with you. And you're like, get away from me, I just want to play the blues. And then you get endorsement. So you're doing like three hour gigs, I noticed. Yeah, mostly longer, 2 hours. 3 hours. And how long is the set for you? 45 minutes or an hour? It depends. It transitions go ahead. Mostly an hour, I would say. But you do have a huge opportunity in front of you because I think you've already met some people and I think you're going to have a great road to be able because you keep playing like you do, brother, there are going to be people want to hear you. You're going to be on tour with people or something. It's a little hard now because you can't go on tour because it will be in the summer. You'll have to do a summer mature, right. And you have to finish school. I have to tell you that. You got to finish school. I'm sure parents are going to you're not jumping out of school until you get through, right. And then you'll just keep playing. And I just have to tell you, first of all, thanks for talking to me. I really appreciate it because I think I love to see new talent and you have a huge talent that you're just going to keep working at it and getting better and better. And the fact that you even said I play the pentatonic scale, I would guess most people at your age don't even know what a pentatonic scale is. Probably not. If I come to you and I say, let's jam, what key is your favorite key to jam in? That's tough. I love the key of D. There's something about it. Okay. I just feel that you're going to be don't disappoint me, but you're going to be a big star because I'll remind you, remember I told you you're going to be a big star. And then if I see you later and you go, I gave up guitar, I didn't want it. Don't you do that well. I just think you've got the gift already. And the fact that you love the blues, you could be the next age of people. Because when you start studying and Kenny Wayne is younger than me, but a lot of the players have moved on. I mean, if you start looking you mentioned them. When you mention the blues players that you know and like, they're all older or some of them are not with us anymore. Like you said, you start out with Albert King. Albert's gone, BB. King's gone. Freddie King's gone. All these people that you mentioned, Pinto's gone. So you could be the next generation of keeping the blues alive. I love it, brother. I think it's wonderful. I think it's just a wonderful thing you're doing. And I wish you all the luck in the world because I don't think you're going to need it. I bet you live and breathe music most of the time. Do you not think about hardly think about anything else besides music? He said it's funny because sometimes I'll be in class, I'll be like doing chord shapes and stuff with my fingers. Like I'm doing this. People will look at me and be like, what is wrong with you? Well, I'll do this. They're like this. They're like, what are you doing? They'll make fun of you. Because the other thing about it is they don't have the talent you do. You're on your way. I hope you enjoy the fame. Hope you enjoy the ride. Don't ever lose it. Okay? Nice talking to you. Take care of yourself, young man. Thank you. Become famous. See you. All right, see you. Bye. Well, that's it for this episode of The Truth Show. Thanks, Danny, for sitting in and talking to me. We really appreciate it. For more information about Danny, you can visit him at his Instagram site, instagramdannytarwood. That's Instagram.com. Dannyanderscore guitarwood for my nation. About the trout show. Visit us at the trout show. Remember, this episode is also available on YouTube and you can find all that on our website. So you know the story, people. Thanks for coming. And remember, it's only rock and roll, but I love it. See ya.