Quinn Sullivan : Wide Awake Review
Quinn Sullivan is a twenty-two-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist releasing his album WIDE AWAKE via Mascot Label Group. Sullivan has been touring the world since he was 11-years-old, playing storied venues such as Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl, RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., and India’s Mahindra Blues Festival, Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, and three Montreux Jazz Festivals. Sullivan has shared the stage with his hero and mentors Buddy Guy and Carlos Santana on several occasions. Sullivan’s performance experience includes appearances on national television programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, to name a few. Wide Awake brings a new step for the ambitious musician to showcase the kind of forward motion that separates the artists from the mere players.
“All Around The World” begins the album with a big sound of driving guitar, drums, female backing vocals, and Sullivan’s charming vocal sounds. Though grounded in the blues, the music has elements of rock, pop and soul, giving the song a universal appeal. Sullivan’s guitar playing is tasteful, and his fills and solo resound with maturity; his band provides a great setting and vivid support for his insights. Sullivan’s singing and playing are mirroring both past and present.
“Strawberry Rain” is a melody that channels the guitarist/vocalist’s more aggressive side and highlights the set for me. A direction Sullivan would benefit from exploring more. His affected wah-wah guitar speaks between the verses and chorus with style and feeling. His vocal inflection is more vivid in this setting and flows organically. Sullivan demonstrates that he possesses superior abilities on the guitar, with a terrific sound, technique, and stylings.
Wide Awake is Sullivan letting his many talents blossom and steer him into new directions of artistry and creativity as he explores a variety of feels and styles. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with producer/collaborator Oliver Leiber, which keeps Sullivan’s guitar playing front and center, still allowing for creative exploration. In the end, that innovative spirit resonates throughout the album. Great find here!
June 4, 2021