Q&A with California-based Anthony Cullins, a young musical prodigy whose guitar playing ability is years beyond his age

"I miss the improvisation aspect in some of today's music, and the fact that back then all the musicians had to be together to record a track. I hope that a lot of the traditional aspects come back in style. I fear that musicians in the future won't pay as much attention to the history of their instrument or just music in general such as the blues."

Anthony Cullins:

The Fallbrook Kid Plays The Blues

Anthony Cullins aka "The Fallbrook Kid," a young musical prodigy whose guitar playing ability is years beyond his age. Anthony's musical influences include R&B, funk, soul, rock, jazz, and blues prominently displayed in his eclectic improvisational style he calls "psychedelic soul music", ranging from Eddie Hazel and Jeff Beck to George Benson and Eric Johnson with dozens of influences in between. Anthony turned 21 years of age and is currently working on two studio albums, a live record, and beginning to hit the road! He's had the opportunity to share the stage and jam with a wide array of notable musicians including Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Greg Douglass (Steve Miller Band); blues harmonica great, James Harman; guitarist Laura Chavez; former Ike Turner bassist, Kevin Cooper; and first call session guitarists, Gino Matteo and Stevie Salas to name a few.

(Anthony Cullins aka "The Fallbrook Kid" / Photo by Mike Reardon)

California-based Anthony Cullins, says: "I play a lot of original music that draws from R&B and soul music. I listen to everything from country, jazz, funk, rock, blues, etc. I believe in making good music, and no matter the genre you can't deny a good song."

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues music influenced your views of the world? Why is it important to we preserve and spread the blues?

The blues has a way of allowing you to understand that we are all just people. Blues music helps brings people together and the community is a supportive one.

How do you describe your sound and songbook? What characterize your music philosophy?

I play a lot of original music that draws from R&B and soul music. I listen to everything from country, jazz, funk, rock, blues, etc. I believe in making good music, and no matter the genre you can't deny a good song.

Why do you think that the California Blues Scene continues to generate such a devoted following?

I think the California blues scene continues to devote a following because so many of the artists in that blues world just so happen to live in California or artists make it a regular stop when touring. There are also a lot of up and coming blues musicians which is why I also believe there is a strong sense of support in the California blues scene.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss the improvisation aspect in some of today's music, and the fact that back then all the musicians had to be together to record a track. I hope that a lot of the traditional aspects come back in style. I fear that musicians in the future won't pay as much attention to the history of their instrument or just music in general such as the blues.

"There is a fan base for blues, even though it is more towards the blues/rock scene, but that is a great gateway for people to discover Robert Johnson, Son House, and all the other greats. A lot of young guitar players are attracted to blues music without even realizing it, so I think there is potential for young people to dive into the blues." (Anthony Cullins aka "The Fallbrook Kid" / Photo by Nadja Boyd)

What moment changed your music life the most? What´s been the highlights in your life and career so far?

A few years ago, I won first place in the "10 Under 20" contest at the "Dallas International Guitar Festival" and through that I made some great connections. This past November I had an opportunity to perform at "Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club" which is so legendary! I've been honored to have won 2023 San Diego Music Awards "Best Blues Artist" category and perform my original song "Whirlwind" at the awards ceremony.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

It is very important to pay attention and listen, and if you can hear yourself a lot then you're too loud. I've learned it's significant to listen to what others have to bring to the table and to always play your best whether it's a room of five people or five thousand people.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

I would probably like to go see some old jam sessions of Charlie Christan and/or Charlie Parker. However, it would be also rad to be in the swinging 60s for a day.

Do you think there is an audience for blues music in its current state? or at least a potential for young people to become future audiences and fans?

There is a fan base for blues, even though it is more towards the blues/rock scene, but that is a great gateway for people to discover Robert Johnson, Son House, and all the other greats. A lot of young guitar players are attracted to blues music without even realizing it, so I think there is potential for young people to dive into the blues.

Anthony Cullins - Home

(Photo: Anthony Cullins aka "The Fallbrook Kid")

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