Some of Guitar Shorty's licks will sound awfully familiar. The axeman, blues-shouter, and stage-performer supreme exerted a heavy influence on his young, impressionable brother-in-law: some kid named Hendrix. Young Jimi even claimed he added guitar pyrotechnics to his act because he couldn't match Shorty's onstage backflips and somersaults.
Born David Kearney, Shorty kicked it with a long list of blues greats on the chitlin circuit in the '50s and '60s. Since the blues boom of the early '90s, he's been recording and touring with regularity. His most recent disc is last year's praise-lavished We The People.
Now in his 70s, those flips may be behind him, but Shorty still embodies the best of two generations. On par with any post-Stevie Ray guitarist in terms of energy and attitude, Shorty also rates as a world-class, old-school blues personality. Scorching licks are complemented by his ear for tunes with hooks, and lyrics packed with irony, humor, and audacious double entendres.