A young man who was once known for his appearances alongside Buddy Guy and Ellen DeGeneres, 17-year-old Quinn Sullivan is looking to showcase his own sound with the release of his newest album, Midnight Highway.
The New Bedford High School senior stepped into the spotlight quickly following an onstage performance with blues legend Buddy Guy at the Zeiterion Theater at the age of eight. Soon after, millions saw him perform on Ellen. Ever since, Quinn has become known as a blues prodigy under the guide of his mentor, Guy.
“What I’ve gotten to learn so much from Buddy that’s been so important has been what the road is like, what going on tour is like,” Quinn said during a special acoustic performance at The Nook in Fairhaven earlier this month. “He’s showed me the world and you can’t really ask for anything more.”
Quinn said while it’s important to maintain the relationships he’s built with other artists, it’s just as important to focus on separating himself from them with his own sound.
“I think the next step for me as an artist is to not really escape…but mature as an artist, grow and develop my own sound and what I think is my own thing,” he said.
Midnight Highway, dropping January 27th, is Quinn’s third full-length album. It was produced at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN by Tom Hambridge, who has also produced a number of Guy’s records and plays drums behind Quinn. Quinn would visit the studio in cycles for a few days at a time and record about four or five songs during each visit. Unlike previous albums, there are no guest artists on Midnight Highway.
Lots of musical influence went into the new record, from classics such as The Beatles and The Grateful Dead to contemporary artists like Bruno Mars and James Bay. Quinn said he listens to a wide variety of music and hopes to tie in even more life experiences into future records as he gets older.
For now, he’s still essentially a student by day and rock star by night. Though with constant performances and some lengthy period of travel, Quinn said it’s all about keeping a level head and enjoying the experience without letting any of it get to him.
“Whenever I’ve done something huge, something cool, and then a day later fly home and go back to school, I don’t think about it too much,” he said. “That’s really what I think is the secret to it.”
As Quinn gears up for his final stretch as a high school student, his eyes are focused on taking full advantage of what his music career has to offer before changing course.
“Right now, the way I’m going, I think college will always be there and I don’t know if this will always be there,” Quinn said. “I think the opportunities I have right now are pretty priceless and I think I have to take them when they come.”
“What I’ve gotten to learn so much from Buddy that’s been so important has been what the road is like, what going on tour is like.” “He’s showed me the world and you can’t really ask for anything more.”