heath-2017-2I live in Durham, North Carolina, and I play blues on a classical guitar.

I was inspired to take up guitar at age twelve, after hearing the recordings of Josh White, a South Carolina blues guitarist, and Carlos Montoya, a Spanish flamenco guitarist.  I had never heard anything like them before, and both were revelations.  I was also inspired by Ricky Nelson’s music, especially the playing of his lead guitarist, James Burton, a young, self-taught musician from Louisiana who later played for Elvis Presley.

At a certain point I realized that my early idols were all doing the same thing: transforming the guitar from a rhythm instrument to a singing instrument–the one that carries the melody. That’s what I love.

In the 80s I took classical lessons from Frank Stallings.  But I continued to gravitate toward blues. I have also added into my playing the rhythms of boogie-woogie, in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis.

At the encouragement of family and friends I began seeking venues in the Triangle-area of North Carolina to play. My first engagement was at Broad Street Cafe, in Durham, in 2008. Since then I’ve played at many other venues in the area.

I want to keep pushing the limits of what I can do on the guitar to produce unique music with timeless melodies.

Heath Tuttle