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Young Guns & Legendary Kings

By Wendy Lemlin

(SAN DIEGO, CA) – Among all the great musical performances every year at Gator By the Bay, some of our most favorite have involved mashups of individual musicians playing a set together, often based on a particular theme. This year, one of the most anticipated of these is called “Young Guns’ Tribute to the Three Kings” and it will feature three of the San Diego area’s hottest young blues guitar prodigies — Anthony Cullins, Benji Davis, and Chase Walker — playing the songs of B.B. King, Freddie King, and Albert King. This is going to be a HOT one, ladies and gentlemen!

Seventeen-year-old Anthony Cullins, aka “The Fallbrook Kid,” got his first guitar when he was three years old, and began taking lessons when he was nine. He took first place at the Dallas International Guitar Show’s “Young Guns” showcase in 2018, was selected as “Best Youth Original” at the 2016 Temecula Valley Music Awards, and the accolades just keep coming. This month he was accepted to the Berklee College of Music. “I am really looking forward to playing the Three Kings Tribute at Gator by The Bay 2019,” Anthony enthuses. “Over the years I have played a few times individually with both Benji and Chase, and it’s always a blast sharing the stage with them. I’m looking forward to paying tribute to some of my heroes alongside these two great players!”

Benji Davis, aka “Hitman,” picked up his first guitar when he was eight and has been playing the blues ever since. Now, at 15, Benji has grown a stellar reputation as a dynamic shredder — so much so that he represented San Diego in the Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January of this year. “I am deeply honored to pay tribute in even a small way to the music of the ‘Three Kings’ — music that has certainly changed the Blues genre as we know it,” Benji says.  “Last summer I went on a road trip with my Dad to Mississippi and the Delta and had an opportunity to visit, and pay tribute to all three, Albert, B.B. and Freddie. It is a privilege to play with Chase and Anthony; I’ve played with Anthony several times over the past few years — we played at Gator together for the first time three years ago — and I’ve seen Chase live but have never played with him, so I’m really looking forward to that, as well.”

At 20 years old, dynamo blues guitarist Chase Walker has been amassing accolades and awards since he began performing at 11 years old. He appeared on NBC’s The Voice, and has been written about in multiple music publications. Chase was featured in American Blues Scene Magazine as a “Top 10 Artist under 18 You Need to Know” and named a “2016 Top 5 Artists to Know” by Blues Rock Review. In 2018, he was included in “Blues Rock Review The Future of Blues Rock – 10 Acts To Watch Under 30”, and placed second in the Lee Ritenour World Wide Six Strings Theory Guitar Contest. “Gator is one of my all-time favorite festivals to play so I’m super excited!” he emphasizes. “There’s no doubt that Albert, Freddie, and B.B. had massive impacts on the Blues, as well as on subsequent music which has taken inspiration from these Blues masters. Playing their music alongside other great musicians such as Anthony Cullins and Benji Davis will make for one hell of a time!”

Be sure to catch this unprecedented showcase of the future of the Blues honoring the legends of the past, and see how the Blues lives on, carrying the message through the generations.

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