Bartees Strange: “I saw a Black guitar player making contemporary music I could relate to. After that, the gates were just open”

Bartees Strange
(Image credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Governors Ball)

He may not have the Eye of Agamotto, but Bartees Strange – the stage moniker of Washington, D.C.-based musician Bartees Leon Cox Jr. – creates his own kind of sorcery on guitar. 

Strange – who’s inspired by a wide spectrum of musical styles, including rock, blues, country, funk, hip-hop, rap, punk and hardcore – wanders freely between musical worlds and genres. His genre-bending talents are on full display on his latest album, Farm to Table.

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Joshua M. Miller

Josh is a freelance journalist who has spent the past dozen or so years interviewing musicians for a variety of publications, including Guitar World,, SPIN, Chicago Sun-Times, MTV News, Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. He credits his father for getting him into music. He's been interested in discovering new bands ever since his father gave him a list of artists to look into. A favorite story his father told him is when he skipped a high school track meet to see Jimi Hendrix in concert. For his part, seeing one of his favorite guitarists – Mike Campbell – feet away from him during a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert is a special moment he’ll always cherish.