17-Year-Old Quinn Sullivan Premieres New Song, "Midnight Highway"

(Image credit: Chuck Lanza)

Seventeen-year-old guitar phenom Quinn Sullivan will release his third album, Midnight Highway, via Provogue/Mascot Label Group January 27.

Today we present the album's guitar-heavy title track, which represents the world's second taste of the new album. You can hear it below.

"'Midnight Highway' is a song that takes you on a journey from start to finish," Sullivan says. "The song was written and produced by the great Tom Hambridge, and the idea of the song fits perfectly into what my life is like at the moment.

"I immediately fell in love with the song because I related to the message that it sends out, which is the fact that no matter what, you have to keep moving and growing on whatever path you choose to take.”

Midnight Highway is a serious milestone in Quinn's extraordinary journey, which began with him jamming with the Toe Jam Puppet Band at age 3, appearing on Ellen when he was 6 and being taken under Buddy Guy's wing at age 8. Since then, he's shared the stage with Guy, Eric Clapton, Los Lobos, the Roots, Derek Trucks/Susan Tedeschi and Joe Bonamassa. He even opened for B.B. King, who invited him to play his treasured guitar, "Lucille."

"I wanted to see how far we could get musically on Midnight Highway," Sullivan adds. "I had a lot more creative input on this one and was more active in writing, so it's something of a mixture.

"I didn't want to completely break away from the blues. That'll always be my home ground. But I wanted to stretch out. Mastering the vocals was important, too, and was the result of a lot of playing and touring—and studying with a vocal coach. I'll admit I hit an awkward stage with my voice when it was changing a few years ago, but I like the way things have worked out so far."

Sullivan had a hand in writing three of the album's stand-out tracks, "Eyes for You," "Lifting Off" and "Going." He also tackles the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on the new album.

"We really tried to make it sound like it was off the White Album, so we researched everything about the track, where the mic placement should be, how to get the organ to sound like the original," says producer/drummer Tom Hambridge. "Quinn is such a huge Beatles fan so, of course, he really loved the process."

Midnight Highway will be released January 27 in the U.S. and March 24 everywhere else. You can preorder it here and watch the official album trailer—which features Buddy Guy—below (bottom video).

For more about Sullivan, head here.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.