TEN QUESTIONS WITH SCOTT MCKEON
In an era where “Pop” music is too-often defined by the histrionic warbling of game show contestants, young British blues guitarist Scott McKeon’s new album “Trouble” features him playing electric guitar with a funky-soul feeling. Is he in the vanguard for the next Blues revival, ala Stevie Ray Vaughan? Guitar.com asked him about that and more:
Who are your biggest influences and why?
Derek Trucks - I think he's an unbelievable guitar player, who transcends his instrument. His playing is so vocal and free that it becomes more that just technical wizardry. I had the pleasure of playing with him a few times, and he's one of the most humble, soulful musicians I have ever witnessed.
Stevie Ray Vaughan - He was the first guitarist I really got into, there's not enough words I can use to describe Stevie's impact. He has to be the most influential guitarist since Jimi Hendrix.
Doyle Bramhall ii - Doyle's totally unique as a player. There's a reason why people like Clapton, Roger Water's, Erykah Badu, Sheryl Crow, Me'shell N'degeocello want him to play on their records... He can really play the blues thing but I feel he does something different with it, he can take it all the way back.
Robbie McIntosh - Robbie is one of the greatest guitar players out there. He's from my neck of the woods here in the UK and I feel very fortunate to be able to call him a friend. There's not a thing Robbie can't do on the guitar and he makes it look so easy too. Every time I see him play, I pick up something I didn't know was possible.
What made you want to play guitar as opposed to drums or keyboards?
I just feel in love with guitar, I play a bit of drums and a few other instruments but guitar is just what felt right to me.
What can be done in the Blues field that is new? What outside influences are you bringing to it?
I like trying to get as many different influences in there as possible - right now I'm working on bringing some funk elements in the blues. I like the idea of Stevie Wonder and Son House coming together to do something. In my head that's a good mix!
In the ‘60’s, the British guitar players (Clapton, Beck, Page, etc) kept the Blues influence alive in popular music. Later, Americans Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and John Mayer did the same. Do you see yourself in the same kind of position?
I really don't see myself in that position just now, I think there's a lot of work to be done, before I reach that kind of status. People like Clapton and Stevie did so much to keep the blues alive in popular music, I could only dream of some of the things they achieved.
What are your main stage and/or studio guitars?
My main guitars right now are an old 62 Strat, a Gibson Melody Maker and an old Tele.
Favorite amps and pedals?
I have an old 64 Vibroverb that sounds so warm. I'm really into that right now. Pedal wise I love a pedal made in England by Roger Mayer called the Octavia. It plays the high octave of the note and you can get a real synthy sound from it. You can make it sound a bit like clavinet or a keyboard. I also use my fuzz pedal I built for a lot of stuff. That's basically a fuzz face with Germanium transistors.
Advice to young musicians starting out in 2010?
Practice and don't give up! It's really hard trying to make a career in music. Just go back and listen to the musicians that people like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton looked up to. I think the deeper you go, the more you discover.
Do you have a recording rig at home? What’s in it?
I have a small setup using Logic on a Mac, a Motu 828 soundcard and a couple of mics.
What modern players do you listen to?
Right now I'm really into Derek Trucks and John Scofield. Also, David Ryan Harris.
If you could record with any singer in history, who would it be?
It'd be pretty neat to be able to record with Michael Jackson - I think he Blues'd it up from time to time.
You can visit with Scott at - Scott McKeon.com