San Diego guitarist Anthony Cullins, known as "the kid from Fallbrook," is all grown up
It's been almost a decade since people started calling Anthony Cullins "that kid from Fallbrook," after seeing the 12-year-old guitarist tear up weekly jams at the House of Blues downtown.
Driving the news: Now, he's a 22-year-old recording artist just home from playing the world-famous Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. He's adding a growing catalog of original material to the guitar chops that have won him routine comparisons to Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix and just about every other 1970s-era guitar god.
Zoom in: Cullins has two local gigs in the next two weeks.
- Thursday at Winstons Beach Club in OB. 9pm. $10.
- Wednesday, Dec. 6 at Moonshine Beach in PB. 10pm. $15-20.
Zoom out: "I didn't give myself that nickname — but I'd meet people and they'd say, 'Oh you're that kid from Fallbrook,' or if I didn't go to a jam they'd say, 'Where's that kid from Fallbrook,'" Cullins told Axios. "So when I first made business cards, I realized no one knew my name, so I put it on there."
- From there, Cullins won guitar contests and collected press clippings where he was frequently called a prodigy and compared to the greats.
- Earlier this month, Cullins backed Earl Thomas in London, and he's working on nailing down shows in Norway, France and the U.K. again next summer.
- "Touring, that's where it's all going for me," he said. "I love getting out and playing with other people, and learning what they do..."
Cullins stood out among a crowd of talented musicians at Belly Up last Sunday night, playing the Clapton role in Chest Fever's annual tribute to The Band's final concert.
Yes, but: His latest studio material highlights a musician who is more than just stellar musicianship, adding Stevie Wonder's soul to his prominent blues rock influences.
- "Whirlwind," "Smoke & Mirrors" and "Ain't What Like It Used to Be" are all tracks he released last year.
- Cullins said that's the sound listeners can expect from the album he's working on now, which could be released as early as February.
What to watch: Cullins loves San Diego's music scene, but said it's time for venues to start paying musicians better.
- "Established venues need to stop hiring not-so-good bands, because that hurts their reputation, which hurts everyone trying to do this for a living," he said. "And yeah, there should be more cash flow."
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