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Shannon Curfman

Young Guitarist Proves She Can Rock
by Andy Argyrakis

Shannon Curfman isn’t your typical 14-year-old.  She’s not ready to go back to school this fall and her summer vacation does not have even one moment of rest in its itinerary.  But then again, when you’re a singer and guitar player who has a CD out on Arista Records and you’ve shared the stage with everyone from John Mellencamp to the Indigo Girls to Buddy Guy, life can’t be so bad after all.

This young artist recently released her full-length project “Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions” and gets home schooled to supplement her education in between life on the road in support of that disc.   “I never was into school and I always had such a passion for music that it was not the right step for me to take,” Curfman says calling in from home during a brief touring break.  “I always got frustrated with the whole school setting.  There are some students who are really smart and get their work done quicker and others that are slower and take a longer time.  Yet I would get done with my work very fast and I would always think of how I could be practicing guitar rather than just sitting there.”

Curfman has practiced guitar for as long as she can remember and has been performing in public since she was seven years old.  Her style is in the tradition of other young guitarists like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Johnny Lang.  She admits they have been an influence on her and they have paved the way for her as a newcomer to the scene.  She’s met both of them and they’ve given her advice about some of the challenges she will face along the way.

“They’ve taught me that I sort of have to just prove myself and let people see my talents over my age,” she says.  “I don’t think musicians should be judged on age, race, or where they came from.  I’m also appealing to an older crowd-people that are much older than me.  My peer group is not really into a classic rock styled sound.” Having such a hectic schedule has caused her to sacrifice a lot of time with people her age, but she doesn’t seem to mind.  “My friends all have the CD and have posters up, but it’s not a big deal to them,” she says.  “When I’m on the road all the time, it is sort of hard to stay in touch, but when I am back home we all have a great time and get to hang out.  We do the same things that people our age do, from going to McDonald’s to watching movies.”

Just don’t ask Curfman if she’s going to join her friends in school or go onto college with them.  “I’d rather be on tour with Buddy Guy,” she laughs. 

Interesting Trivia "Playing With Fire" was written by Shannon Curfman, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Tommy Sims, and Gordon Kennedy


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