Local Wire

Guitar Shorty

Guitar Shorty is in his 70s, yet the bluesman can still rock a mean blues guitar better than most youngsters. Shorty has been in the music industry for five decades, breaking into the business as a fixture in Ray Charles' band after working as an auto mechanic. He's also worked with Little Richard, Sam Cook, and Big Joe Turner and has been credited with influencing Jimi Hendrix. He's not just a legacy act, either. Bare Knuckle, his latest disc, was released in March and hit number three on the Billboard Blues chart. It's also received some mainstream airplay nationwide. According to some critics, it's his most rockin' album to date. "Most people that I've talked to, so far, have told me this is the best one yet," Shorty (government name: David William Kearney) told an interviewer recently. "I know that I can't satisfy everybody, but I try." Shorty says that after all of these years in the music biz, he knows where he's coming from now more than ever as a musician. "Life is wonderful," he's said. "And if you turn it around, life is a bitch. With the dues you have to pay to stay on this planet, that's why I say it's a bitch. So you stay and fight. And enjoy some of the things you can enjoy." Amen to that.
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Kelly Wilson