"Sullivan's six-track debut EP is an electric blues-based rocker that hits the mark with its deep lyrics and searing guitar work.
Sullivan is gifted, as a lyricist and guitarist. I have since seen him live, and he has great stage presence to boot."
Review by Karen Nugent, President, Boston Blues Society 7/2011 (see Press for full review)
"The genre and sound of Redwood is impossible to describe with a single word or phrase, best surmised as an expression of Sullivan’s mélange of alternative rock with a hint of blues and a dash of indie flair. Sullivan coerces the listener into a head bobbing, toe tapping, feel-it-in-your-soul rhythm with each of his songs on Redwood that is very difficult to resist."
Review by Alec Cunningham, Review You
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) (see Press for full review)
"Max Sullivan is a young man with the skills of a seasoned veteran. He has good presence and can play incredibly."-Tanya Kays, Booker for Guitar Con (Guitar Conventions) 4/2011
"New Hampshire native Max Sullivan opened the competition with his blues-based indie/rock sound that pushed the boundaries of a solo acoustic blues act. “I Would Have Never Gone” was the song that really caught my ear and you could hear the Stones/Hooker/Wolf/ Waters influences in his music, with a touch of Jack White thrown in."
-A.J. Wachtel, Review of Boston Blues Challenge Finals on Oct 17 2010
"Max has 'it', a talent, a gift"
"Seeing people like Max means this music will be played for a long, long time."
-Parker Wheeler, 20 year host of the Sunday Blues Party at the Grog, Newburyport MA 8/2010
Max Sullivan is “an amazing guitar player with an incredible feel. I’ve seen a lot of guitarists and I’m pretty sure he’s a prodigy." Pam Ward, Program Director, International House of Blues Foundation
A charismatic performer and guitarist, Max Sullivan is getting noticed. But while he has a natural gift for the blues he's as influenced by the Pixies as John Lee Hooker. His original songs are guitar driven, blues infused rockers that call to mind classic bands like the Rolling Stones and Cream, as well as modern ones like the White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age. Backed by his band, Max is an onslaught of energy, but he's just as great a performer with an acoustic guitar. The fact that at 22 years old, he is already gigging weekly around MA, NH, and NY, speaks to his versatility and appeal. In addition to performing solo and with his band, Max is also the guitarist for the International House of Blues Foundation band, which performs at the Boston House of Blues. He was a finalist in the 2010 Boston Blues Challenge.
Max was selected to perform at the 2011 Montauk Music Festival, Make Music Harvard Square 2011, the 2011 and 2012 Keene Music Festival, and the Renaissance Hotels RLife Live Concert Series. His first EP, Redwood, was released in March 2011. He is currently writing material for his first full length cd.
Max Sullivan - Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals
Redwood (EP) released 3/5/11
Julia (single)-released 11/2010
"Redwood" featured on WHEB 100.3 Local Licks
In My Hands featured on BreakThru Radio - Boston Scene Show 1/24/11; Midnight Special Blues Radio; WMWM 91.7 Traxx of the Town show
Broke featured on WMWM 91.7 Traxx of the Town show; WUML 99.5
Julia and "I Would've Never Gone" played on 102.7 KSSI in CA and WMUL 91.5 in MA.
"Julia", "I Would've Never Gone", and "Girl From Moldova" can also be heard on Midnight Special Blues Radio
Junior's Cave Music Interview with Max Sullivan Fall (August/September 2011) Edition Music Now Spotlight
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Junior’s Cave Golden Isles Online Magazine presents Indie Singer/Songwriter Max Sullivan. The talent...Junior’s Cave Golden Isles Online Magazine presents Indie Singer/Songwriter Max Sullivan. The talented musician explores with this publication his love for music. If someone wants real and honest music from the heart, then Max Sullivan is the perfect choice. Here is the entire interview with Max Sullivan for your reading enjoyment.
Isaac: It’s an amazing time to be a DIY artist/performer/band/musician. What do you feel you contribute musically to the Indie Music Culture?
Max: I feel that my interest in originality and ingenuity gives my music a certain worth. I think I write songs that people would want to hear. The least of all, I think people would want to come to my show. I love to put on a good show. It's what I enjoy the most about music.
Isaac: If you had an opportunity to sign with a major label, would you sign now knowing you may have to give up some of what you have built up over the years about you in the process?
Max: If I knew that I could gain a bigger audience this way, I would. If I knew it would only put me in debt and get me nowhere, I would not, but I don't see anything wrong with "playing the game" to get an audience. A lot of bands do that. There isn't anything wrong with putting in a little work so that someone will listen to you.
Once you have the audience to play for, then you can unleash your "Kid A" or whatever masterwork you have prepared, but if you haven't even gotten an audience then it almost doesn't matter how new and brilliant your music is. I don't know... that's a lot of garbage I just pulled from my head, but I think it seems reasonable.
Isaac: I remembered Simon Cowell from American Idol talking about the “it” Factor that makes a musician/band stand out. What do you think is your “it” factor that makes you stand out from others in the music business?
Max: I think it is my originality and that I have a total package. I can't sing like Stevie Wonder and I can’t play guitar like Steve Vai, and I'm not Bob Dylan, but I can create music that I think is really worth hearing and put on a good show at the same time.
Isaac: One of the one important elements that will make you stand out from the rest of the musicians/artist in the music industry?
Max: Like I said, my originality. Also, I would say my interest in not stagnating within modern music or playing "safe" music. I'd rather write a song that doesn't sound like anything than put out something predictable. But then everyone likes something different so some will like me and some won't.
Isaac: Do you feel you have given it your best when pursuing your musical dreams so far? Why or why not?
Max: Yes, I think so. I gig regularly, and am sending out my music to all different places. I'm only 20. I still have a lot of ground to cover!
Isaac: Who do you look up to for your own influences and why?
Max: I was recently reading Neil Young's biography, and when he was in Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Still's songs were considered to be technically strong while Neil Young, who was less of a singer and technical guitarist, produced different and new sounds. He was considered an oddity, and this was combined with his obvious depth as a songwriter.
I think in this way, as well as his attitude that he was going to do whatever he wanted, whether it was a folk album or grungy rock, he is who I relate to the most. I also feel the same way about Jimmy Page. He loved blues but also explored other areas, and everything he wrote was fantastic. I know a lot of bands "branch out" as they say, but it often sounds forced or phony.
I would like to play all types of music, but would never attempt anything I felt would be forced. But if I could, or if I am able to, I would explore music a lot like Jimmy Page did. That is one thing I really respect about the musicians who can pull that off.
Isaac: Do you feel that Indie music gets the respect it deserves? Why or why not?
Max: Yes. I think it's even "cool" to say you like local music, and among those people who think this way, indie musicians have some advantage. However, at the end of the day, I would guess even the indie musicians themselves would go home and put on the Rolling Stones or Nirvana. I mean, isn't that what we all want to be? I think the struggle is to prove to others that we are the indie artists that matter.
At the same time, I think that a lot of music today is over processed on the radio, and that leaves a lot of music lovers wanting more original music. They go searching for indie music, even if many who look get bored and walk away. I think that a heavy portion of listeners get their music by word of mouth nowadays. It’s a just not black and white. But yes, I do think indie music gets the respect it deserves. It is just figuring out which indie artists really matter.
Isaac: If you could change one thing about the music business?
Max: Make it easier!!! That everyone could make millions writing songs in their basement. Hmmmm... Now there's a thought... Maybe I'll be the next YouTube sensation!
Isaac: What has been one of your biggest setbacks and how did you overcome it? What lesson did you learn about yourself?
Max: I've been fortunate, in that I have a lot of support and I have been getting paid to perform since I was 18. I think the only set back is the expense of recording my EP. It took a long time because I used a studio. I think in the music business there are constant small setbacks, like cancelled gigs, or unforeseen expenses. Connections that you think will lead to a break that doesn’t pan out. But then something amazing happens and you take a few steps forward again.
Isaac: What type of feedback have you been receiving about your music from fans and music critics?
Max: Some really great stuff. One review site wrote that my song, "I Would've Never Gone", resembled Dylan in his prime. WHOA. Save that letter, huh? But I think people really like my material. I played a gig at Spike Hill in Brooklyn last month, and they really liked me there. It was a great first experience in a place where they say it’s the toughest. I was expecting a dead room with one guy in the corner yawning, cricket noises between songs, etc. Instead, it was a blast.
Isaac: If you knew that you would never gain fame and fortune with what you are doing now, would you continue to make music? Explain.
Max: Yes. I love music. I don't see why I would stop. It is too much fun.
Isaac: How do you handle negative feedback or negative energy about your music?
Max: Ignore it. If someone doesn't like your song, you just say "well, obviously they aren't my target audience, are they?"
Isaac: What role do your family and friends play in the equation of your pursuant of a music career?
Max: They are so supportive. My mother helps me get gigs! I've played in bands when I was much younger, and people in the groups would say "are you sure your mother is ok with you being out so late?" Most of the time she would be there watching me like a hawk. She expects me to become a rock star but we'll see how that plays out. She is hoping to have a small but comfortable house on a beach somewhere. So is my father. Oh, the pressure!
Isaac: What is the best site/s that you can be found on the Internet?
Max: I have a web site maxsullivan.com/ and a Sonicbids EPK at www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=255201 which is pretty great. A lot of people say it’s a rip off but I've had really good response and got a lot of gigs. I just discovered Jango, so I'm on that now too.
Isaac: The floor is yours; final words & wisdom of thoughts...
Max: I hear tell that we musicians need to "never stop seeking our dreams" and "just keep at it." So I guess that's what I'll do. I admit, if I go nowhere by fifty, I may stop trying. But I have plenty of time till then.
Now will you all buy my cd please and click like on my Facebook page? Much appreciated!
Max means what he sings: Brentwood rocker aims for uniqueness
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By Angel Roy Max Sullivan wants to be a rock star and, when the time is right, to change rock mu...By Angel Roy
Max Sullivan wants to be a rock star and,
when the time is right, to change rock music
as we know it.
“When you put out music it must technically
be really good and have character
demonstrated for it to be worth listening to;
when I get my audience I can worry about
blowing people away,” Sullivan said.
“I just want to be unique,” he said. “Ultimately
I will be happy if anybody listens to
Sullivan’s mother introduced him to the
music of Stevie Ray Vaughn, his father to
the hits of Jimi Hendrix, and Sullivan started
plucking the blues on his acoustic guitar in his
early teen years.
“I got good pretty quick,” he said. Sullivan’s
mother continued to foster her son’s
talent by bringing him to local blues jams and
soon realized he needed a voice to add to his
music. She encouraged him to spend time on
“I was terrified of that … it turned out to be
a good thing,” Sullivan said.
“Hey, Hey, My, My” by Neil Young was
the first song Sullivan lent his voice to at a
blues jam; it was a moment that sparked in
him a love of performing and, eventually,
for songwriting. Young joins The Clash,
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin,
The Rolling Stones, The Pixies and Pink
Floyd on Sullivan’s list of musical influences.
“Anything I listen to is because it’s original,
rather than cool sounding,” Sullivan said.
While writing songs, Sullivan, of Brentwood,
said he thinks about the times in his
21 years when he has found himself the most
emotional. He also writes about the experiences
of his friends and family and about God.
“I write about stuff that means something,”
Sullivan said. And like many men his age,
Sullivan writes about girls. “Julia,” a song
he wrote for a female high school classmate,
remains one of Sullivan’s most popular tunes
and for a while was the only original he would
include in his set of covers. He also penned
a song about a girl from Russia he attended
community college with.
“When I’m writing I try to find the happy
medium of really sophisticated rock music
that means something and trying not to be
pretentious,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan’s mother continued to push him
to focus on his music career, giving him the
nudge to get into the Indiefair Productions
recording studio in Londonderry. Sullivan
said he often became too lazy to finish his
songs in time for his recording sessions and
soon realized he would need to put the work
in to get the results he desired. “I Would Have
Never Gone,” a song about leaving, was the
next track that would leap off Sullivan’s page
and join “Julia” and “The Girl From Moldova”
on his six-song EP Redwood.
“It would take me months to write those
songs because I was not confident and would
change the guitar pieces around,” Sullivan
said. “Now I can write a song in five minutes.”
Sullivan described the songs on Redwood
as a good representation of the music he likes
and the music he wants to create.
For his next album, Sullivan would like to
record a 10-song live acoustic show.
“I don’t want people to think I’m just a guy
with an acoustic guitar that thinks he is Bob
Dylan,” he said. “I want to work hard to try
to write songs and work on my songs to make
them really interesting.”
Sullivan noted one of his musical goals as
to write songs that are “not boring.”
“That is the biggest insult to any artist,” he
Sullivan was tapped to perform at the Montauk
Music Festival in New York, the Keene
Music Festival in Keene and Make Music
Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. He has
performed twice with the International House
of Blues Foundation Band, a group that performs
shows about the history of blues and its
impact on modern music and the civil rights
movement, at the House of Blues in Boston.
“It was really cool to play on that stage,”
Sullivan said. “Although my original music is
rock/alternative … I am fortunate to be part of
the local blues community.”
Listen to Max Sullivan on iTunes, CD
Baby, Rhapsody and Napster.
Max Sullivan - Redwood by Karent Nugent July 2011
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One of the biggest mistakes I've ever made was not sponsoring Max Sullivan as the Boston Blues Socie...One of the biggest mistakes I've ever made was not sponsoring Max Sullivan as the Boston Blues Society's Youth Showcase act in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge this year.
No excuse - I just forgot.
And now, turning 21 this month, he's too old.
I won't forget him in the future. Others won't either.
Sullivan's six-track debut EP is an electric blues-based rocker that hits the mark with its deep lyrics (all penned by Max) and searing guitar work.
The title track is a brooding song with some Hendrix-esque solos. According to Sullivan, a New Hampshire native, it's about his faith in God. I thought it was about a lost love. He acknowledged that he does not like his lyrics to be easily understood. OK, but these lyrics are pretty heavy, and introspective, for someone so young. I suspected that he is also a writer, and he said dabbles in short stories as well.
Either way, he is talented.
“Where were you when you were born?” is a line from the second track, “Broke” which reminds me of early punk rockers. Some of his guitar-driven material sounds a bit like Johnny Rotten with PTL. He listed Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and the Stones as influences.
Sullivan's style is hard to describe at times. He calls it “organic and natural in the rock realm.” His chords, although used by other rockers and bluesmen, come off sounding dissonant.
“Julia” was Sullivan's first song, written in high school. (“Her hair is looking excellent today.”)
I was intrigued by the title of “Girl from Moldova” a punkish head bobber about, yes, “the girls from out-of-town.”
Sullivan is gifted, as a lyricist and guitarist. I have since seen him live, and he has great stage presence to boot.
He plays great classic blues, I've seen him do it, but this disc is not blues, although it has hints of John Lee Hooker. And maybe Jack White.
Nevertheless, the record is hard to resist.
Sullivan is getting noticed now -even if I messed up.
Max Sullivan "Redwood"
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Artist: Max Sullivan Album: Redwood Review by Alec Cunningham As a fresh, young face in the mus...Artist: Max Sullivan
Review by Alec Cunningham
As a fresh, young face in the music industry, seasoned blues listeners might be wary to give this boy a listen, but there is certainly no need to be cautious of Max Sullivan. The genre and sound of Redwood is impossible to describe with a single word or phrase, best surmised as an expression of Sullivan’s mélange of alternative rock with a hint of blues and a dash of indie flair. Sullivan coerces the listener into a head bobbing, toe tapping, feel-it-in-your-soul rhythm with each of his songs on Redwood that is very difficult to resist.
As the title track and album opener, “Redwood” supplies a great introduction. Sullivan contributes just enough electric guitar to create a soft sound similar to Kevin Shields meeting Ben Folds. His sound has only been moderately refined, but it is clear that he did not need ample polishing to create a good album. The song leaves the listener eager to hear just exactly what type of delicious sound might be in store for them on the next five songs of the EP.
Sullivan’s rough voice adds more of a rock aspect to “In My Hands.” In “Redwood,” “Broke,” and “In My Hands” especially, there are numerous times when Sullivan’s voice bears slight resemblance to Eddie Vedder. The rougher sound, however, is perfectly contrasted and complemented with every “oooh” of a backup vocalist during each chorus of the song. A more upbeat tune, “Julia” exemplifies Sullivan’s complete range of musical talent. A strong blues influence is used as the backbone, and Sullivan is able to constructively introduce pop characteristics without taking away from the bluesy tone. While “Girl From Moldova” clocks in at only two minutes and 43 seconds, the length surprisingly does not take away from the song’s value or intensity. The captivating melody makes the song seem quite a bit longer than it really is. Sullivan adds a hint of humor when he sings, “I don’t ever want to speak English again / I haven’t seen a dictionary since I don’t know when.”
Although each track on Redwood is very memorable, “I Would’ve Never Gone” is perhaps the most notable, and makes an impact as the most soulful offering of the whole bunch. The bluesy folk instrumentation, Sullivan’s delicate, yet raw vocals, and the story being told evoke Bob Dylan in his prime.
Max Sullivan has got a good thing going for him as his mature sound does well to veil the fact that he is only 20 years old. If he keeps going at this pace, he will make a large name for himself in no time. He not only has a gift for songwriting, but it is clear that he also has a natural gift for guitar playing. His ability to combine these two talents is what makes Redwood such a noteworthy album.
Review by Alec Cunningham
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Episode Six Max Sullivan
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Max Sullivan Hometown: Brentwood, NH Singing: Bring It On By: Led Zeppelin What do you consider...Max Sullivan
Hometown: Brentwood, NH
Singing: Bring It On By: Led Zeppelin
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
“Auditioning and being hired as a guitarist for the International House of Blues foundation band, and completing and releasing my first EP in March. Not only did I have to compete against experienced musicians but it’s amazing to be on the same stage that my favorite musicians play on. I joke that my finest accomplishment is that I use the same bathroom at the House of Blues as Jack White, John Paul Jones and Iggy Pop.”
What kind of music do you enjoy best? Any favorite performers or favorite songs?
“I really like all styles but because I started out as a guitar player, became really interested in blues. Now that I write songs I tend to listen to talented songwriters and try to learn from how they put together the ‘perfect song.’ I love the Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, The Clash, but also musicians like Neil Young. Pretty much anything that was groundbreaking for it’s time.”
What differentiates you from other musicians?
“My least favorite type of question! I have charisma and stage presence, and I am confident that I know how to write quality songs. I know that I have natural talents as a guitarist and performer. Since starting to sing, I am confident that my vocals have been getting better and better. I don’t try to be technically best at everything because that is not always the most exciting performer. But I am aware that for everyone who thinks that I’m amazing there will be someone who isn’t impressed, because music is so subjective.”
How would you describe your musical style?
Rock and blues, with an alternative spin.
What do you like best about your hometown?
“It’s safe, relaxing and the farmland- it still exists!-before they turn it into strip malls! And it’s close enough to Boston that I can work there and go see a lot of Bruins games.”
"Redwood out of Brentwood"
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Max Sullivan releases 'Redwood' Max Sullivan of Brentwood released his debut EP, titled "Redwood,...Max Sullivan releases 'Redwood'
Max Sullivan of Brentwood released his debut EP, titled "Redwood," on March 11. The EP consists of six original songs written by Sullivan and reveals his blues and modern rock influences.
The 20-year-old recorded the album at Indiefair Studios in Londonderry, and provided vocals, guitar, and bass guitar on all songs. Coulter Monsell, of Brentwood, and Jason Ryder, of Sandown, played drums on three songs each.
The release was celebrated at the Honey Pot Bar and Lounge in Seabrook, on Friday, March 11
Sullivan will be supporting the material on "Redwood" throughout 2011 at local shows as well as larger events like Guitar Con 2011 on April 17, and the Montauk Music Festival in Montauk, NY.
The EP was released electronically and is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Napster.
Sullivan performs solo acoustic and with his band around NH, Massachusetts, and New York. He is also a guitarist/vocalist with the International House of Blues Foundation band at the Boston House of Blues location. www.maxsullivan.com.
New Face of the Blues:Guitarist gives veteran hope for future of the genre
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NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA August 13, 2010 New face of the blues Guitarist gives veter...NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA
August 13, 2010
New face of the blues
Guitarist gives veteran hope for future of the genre
By David Lewis
When Parker Wheeler looks at Max Sullivan, he doesn't see a 20-year-old guitarist. He sees the future of the blues.
Wheeler, a respected, longtime veteran of the blues scene from Amesbury, says it's young artists like Sullivan who will carry the deep-rooted music of the blues well into the 21st century.
"Max has 'it', a talent, a gift," said the harmonica-playing Wheeler, who has become a mentor to Sullivan.
Wheeler, who has watched Sullivan grow as a musician and a performer in recent years, appreciates what he says is the guitarist's juvenile twist on the blues. As the host of the weekly Sunday night blues session Downstairs at The Grog in Newburyport, Wheeler is looking forward to welcoming Sullivan back to the Grog series this Sunday for his third appearance.
"People like him, and they dance to him," Wheeler said. "He's a work in progress, and where that goes is unlimited."
Sullivan first picked up a guitar when he was 13. Following the garage band-oriented trend popular in his middle school, he developed a love for music and worked on improving his guitar skills. He remembers playing an amateur rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" early on.
After two years of practice, his mother encouraged him to take the stage at the 111 Village Square restaurant in Hampstead, N.H., after she saw a flier promoting an open mike there while the two were out to lunch.
The 15-year-old from southern New Hampshire went with his go-to play list of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan covers for the evening.
A year later, with more parental encouragement, Sullivan introduced singing to his performances, experimenting first with "My, My, Hey, Hey" by Neil Young and "Crossroads" by Eric Clapton.
He's gone on to perform on the boardwalk at Hampton Beach and venues from Epping, N.H., to Somerville, with even a few appearances in New York and Chicago. Blackwells on Long Island in New York booked the young guitarist, but he said his enthusiastic performance overwhelmed the restaurant, and he has not been back since. The musician thinks that might be a good sign though.
"A year ago, I didn't move that much, but now I try to be as vocal and active as I can be," he said. "I try to stay technically proficient, while putting on a good show."
Sullivan, who pursues his music full time, said his parents have been very supportive of his musical journey. Their biggest contribution to his career: a 1977 Guild guitar that he received as a surprise graduation gift two years ago.
"It's gorgeous, and I play it at every gig," Sullivan said. "It's a beautiful instrument." The guitarist also has a Fender American Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster on backup, but says the Guild is his guitar of choice.
Primarily known for the blues, Sullivan said his upcoming album due out in September transcends the genre. He said the goal of the release is to fuse elements of blues with edgier influences from punk-rockers like The Ramones and The Pixies to create an individual and unique sound.
"I don't care what genre my music is as long as it's quality," he said.
But the way Wheeler sees it is Sullivan represents the new face of the blues.
"Seeing people like Max means this music will be played for a long, long time," he said.
While Sullivan didn't start out on the blues path, he plans to continue weaving it into his music while developing a sound all his own.
"I never thought blues would be such a big part of my life," Sullivan said. "I feel safe; I now have a mission
IF YOU GO
What: Parker Wheeler's Blues Party featuring Max Sullivan, as well as Lydia Warren and Amadee Castenell
When: Sunday, 7 to 11 p.m.
Where: Downstairs at The Grog, 13 Middle St., Newburyport
How: Admission $5. Call 978-465-8008 or visit www.thegrog.com.
They’re unique ... and he’s sure of it_by Jim Fennell, Staff Writer_6-6-10
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Joe McQuaid, publisher of this newspaper, is a stickler about word usage. He got me on the use of th...Joe McQuaid, publisher of this newspaper, is a stickler about word usage. He got me on the use of the word unique. Unique: existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics.
I forget what I was writing about, but I called it/her/him/ that “unique” when I should have used “unusual” or, perhaps,
“distinguished.” “Different” would have been perfectly suitable. “Unique,” however, was not. And, Mr. McQuaid, in his effectively subtle way, let me know that. But I think the boss will agree with me today: Theresa Novak Chabot and Max Sullivan are unique.
Chabot became the first woman from New Hampshire
to be ordained a priest by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests
during a ceremony last month. A few weeks later, she officiated her first Mass right here in Manchester. (Editor’s note: Theresa Novak Chabot should not be confused with Theresa
Chabot of Manchester, the subject of a 2006 Sunday News profile, who has been called “a prayer warrior” for her involvement in Catholic causes.)
Sullivan became the first musician from New Hampshire to be selected to play in the International House of Blues Foundation’s Blues SchoolHouse Band at the House of Blues in Boston. And he’s only 19.
I would say both are unique.
They called Max Sullivan “Baby Boy” during his performances
with the House of Blues’ SchoolHouse Band because he was the baby of the group. In a band made up of veteran musicians, the teenager from Brentwood was the
youngest. He beat out far more established guitar players to
get the gig with the Boston concert venue.
The SchoolHouse Band played and performed a history of the blues for school children throughout the city during seven shows that just wrapped up. Max sang lead on two songs: John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change,”and Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.”
Pam Ward, who ran the program and put the band together,
calls Max “an amazing guitar player with an incredible
feel. “I’ve seen a lot of guitarists and I’m pretty sure he’s a
prodigy,” Ward said.
Max says he had to learn how to play the guitar on his
own when he was 13 because his mom said he never practiced
the clarinet when he was younger, so she wasn’t going to
pay for guitar lessons. But his mom did give him
a Stevie Ray Vaughan CD to listen to, and that’s how he
Max isn’t quite sure how to describe his music, saying it’s
influenced by everyone from Stevie Ray and Jimi Hendrix
to the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to the Pixies and the
White Stripes. He’s been playing shows for more than two years and is trying to line up at least a couple of gigs a week this
summer. He competed in a blues competition two nights
ago at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry.
Max, who just finished his sophomore year at the
University of New Hampshire,hopes to release his fi rst EP in
July, a seven-song collection he still hasn’t titled. He said it
should be available on iTunes, in local music stores and on his
own site, myspace.com/maxsullivan. In the meantime, he and
his band, the Max Sullivan Group, are scheduled to play
around the region, including appearances at La Bec Rogue
in Hampton Beach. Some gigs will be solos, others with the
Ultimately, Max would like to move down the boardwalk
from La Bec Rogue and open for a big-time act at the Casino
Ballroom and, maybe, someday, get back to the House of
Blues with his own band. Pam Ward is not betting
“If these things are based on
talent, as it should be,” Ward said, “then he should be here
on a regular basis.”
Now, that, I think, would be unique. Or, at least, unusual.
E-mail staff writer Jim Fennell at
Musician Max Sullivan at David's
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Musician Max Sullivan at David's The Lookout by Katie Lovett Local musician Max Sullivan will ...Musician Max Sullivan at David's
The Lookout by Katie Lovett
Local musician Max Sullivan will play at David's Tavern on Saturday at 8 p.m. — just weeks after he released his debut album.
Sullivan, 20, a Newburyport native, recorded "Redwood," an extended play with six original songs in March. The songs were written by Sullivan and reflect his blues and modern-rock influences. He also provided the guitar and bass guitar accompaniment for all the songs.
A party in Seabrook celebrating the release was attended by Parker Wheeler, who is Sullivan's mentor and host of the Sunday Blues Party at The Grog.
"Redwood" is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Napster. For more information, visit www.maxsullivan.com.
For an original set, Max usually plays for 30-60 minutes. Originals make up the bulk of the set with a few select covers.
If you are interested in booking Max for a cover gig, he rotates over 100 cover songs ranging from Bob Dylan to Weezer, and covers genres from folk to punk, and 1960's to current. Max can perform for up to four 45 minute sets and is consistently praised for the diversity of his set lists. Venues catering to varied clientele, from college age to baby boomers, consistently rebook him.