When we are met with the abject Blues failures of fail-safe luminaries like Eric Clapton and Cyndi Lauper — getting a fresh breath of the Blues with 16-year-old Andy Poxon — is just the tonic we need to keep on skiffling.
Unfortunately, the first thing you notice about Andy is that frightful red Afro — you know he’s combing out that way on purpose for shock value and to help you remember him — we’ll hold thumbs that as Andy matures he’ll realize he can rely on the authenticity of his fingers and not on the gimmickry of his hair to wend his way in The Blues.
Once you get past the hair and into the music, Andy Poxon shines.
He wrote 13 songs for his debut album — Red Roots — and you can buy it right now on iTunes for $10.00USD.
Andy composed the songs when he was 15 and in high school. He’s a triple threat. He writes. He sings. He plays a mean Blues guitar.
Favorites songs on the album include “Quitters Never Lose” and “I Need My Girl” and “Is There Anything I can Do.” The guitar playing on those three cuts is especially warm and conjunctive.
Here’s my iTunes Ping stream to prove that I actually bought Andy’s album and to show you that “Red Roots” now has a permanent home in my Blues Playlist folder.
I like Andy Poxon a lot and I sure hope he releases lots of new Blues albums — including classic Blues covers with his magnetic spin on them — so I can continue to learn from him just how to play and sing and compose music that make a difference and never a mediocrity.
I hope he does well for himself and gets past the hair! 🙂
I agree, Gordon! Andy has tons of talent and loads of promise. The hair seems to be his Trademark. I think having it that out of control hurts more than it helps, though.
Thank you very much for the great review of my music. I’m sorry that you dislike my hair, but I assure you it is completely natural and I don’t do anything to it. It’s been like this since I was born and I suppose it will be until it turns gray or falls out. It’s not a gimmick, it’s just the way it is. Believe me, I know what I look like with short hair, and it isn’t fun to look at. Anyway, it’s not rock’n roll if I start listening to my parents and cut my hair.
It is a delight and a pleasure to meet you, my friend. We are big fans. We’re on the bus. We’re going wherever you decide to take us, so be gentle — but always daring and interesting. SMILE!
I don’t dislike your hair — I can see it is natural — but it does seem to overwhelm your public persona in a bad way. Perhaps you want that right now to get any attention you can, but tempting that identity as a branding is not a way you want to go because it too closely ties to you “Bozo the Clown” jokes that you could easily avoid if you just tamed your mane by cutting your hair.
I mean it just hair, right? You can’t change your eye color or skin color or height — but the hair can be controlled just a bit better — and I suppose I am making my own point because you came here to thank us for the review — and to defend your hair! So instead of getting deeper into your music, we’re stuck in the follicles trying to see our way forward.
So, let’s drop the hair. We won’t ever discuss it again — unless you bring it up or continue to rub our faces in it. SMILE! Let’s go deeper into your music and your enormous talent.
Who are your Blues influences?
What kind of Blues rig do you have?
Do you plan to stay in school, or will you honor your talent and go full time on the road?
Is your future with the current iteration of the Andy Poxon Band — or will you one day need to have more people closer to your age who are free go on the road and tour with you full time?
Three cheers for Andy! We need more young musicians like him to come forward and keep the blues alive for the rest of us.
Right-O, Anne! The Blues is a living history that needs live bodies and minds and fingers to propagate from generation to generation.
Well, as far as influences go… I listen to a lot of stuff. If we’re just talking about blues, then I would say 50’s BB King, 60’s Buddy Guy, 60’s and 70’s Otis Rush, 50’s Johnny Guitar Watson, any Magic Sam, early Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, Mike Bloomfield on the Live Adventures album, Freddie King, and Guitar Slim. Some of the more contemporary blues people I like are Sean Costello, Nick Curran, Junior Watson, Matt Stubbs (guitarist for Charlie Musselwhite), and I used to like Joe Bonamassa, before he took a nose dive off of any listenable musical path. But I’m still holding out hope for him. And I agree with your review of BCC’s album 100%.
I know there are a lot of big name blues players that maybe have influenced me indirectly, but the I listed are the guys I listen to. I’ve never really gotten into any slide players or any British guys like Clapton or Gallagher. I know of them and heard some of their stuff, but it doesn’t speak to me and have the same feeling and emotion that the guys I listen to have. But that’s just my opinion, and I know a lot of people that would yell at me for saying that.
Same thing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and blues players from the 80’s and 90’s. I have one SRV album, but it’s a greatest hits thing, and I know that it’s great and everything and he is a great guitar player, but it has never spoken to me the way other music has.
But beyond the blues I listen to as much as possible. I collect records and listen to anything from the 40s and 50s. I like big band, jazz, swing, rockabilly, REAL country, rock’n roll, R&B/jump blues like Wynonie Harris and Louis Jordan, and pretty much anything else made back then. Music was so much better then, it was real.
What I play through is constantly changing. Right now I mostly play through my brown 1963 vibroverb reissue from the early 90’s. I mostly play a guitar built by a guy in Maryland named Bob Shade called a Hallmark guitar (www.hallmarkguitars.com) It is great. All of his guitars are remakes of Mosrites so I guess I look like I should be in the Ventures or something, but it sounds pretty cool.
The perfect guitar tone to me is Sean Costello’s. It is perfectly clear and you can hear every note, but it is not too bright that it is piercing and it is still very powerful and in your face.
I’m a senior this year in high school because I’m graduating a year early, and I’ll probably go to Berklee. I’m also considering North Texas because they have a good jazz program. I’d love to keep gigging and go on the road doing blues and hopefully I’ll be able to after Berklee. I don’t know how to book a tour and I don’t have an agent or manager or label. I’d love to tour but I really don’t know how to get started. Me and the drummer of my band do all the booking for our shows around our area in MD/DC.
Right now I’m happy with the guys in my band. They’re great players, we all get along and they’re open to whatever I want to do. I’m sure I won’t be with them forever, but I think we play and work well together.
Thanks for all the fantastic detail, Andy!
I appreciate knowing your influences. Sean Costello was a big talent. His early death is still numbing. It’s fascinating the the mainstream “Bluesmen” don’t really speak to you as an artist. I wonder why?
I love those Hallmark guitars! How did you find that brand and settle to use it? What is your favorite model? The price and workmanship look outstanding for the value.
Would you be a degree student at Berklee or would you treat it more as a conservatory diploma experience? UNT looks interesting. Do you think you would emotionally fit better in Boston or Denton?
I’m glad your current band suits you. That’s good. No drama. Just focus on playing.
Keep up updated and in your loops so we can follow you and celebrate you!