A seven-year-old guitarist who makes his stage debut alongside blues legend Albert King is a novelty, even after he has jammed with Buddy Guy, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and Albert Collins. But what happens when the kid grows up? He becomes a seasoned veteran—more of a contender than less experienced peers like Jonny Lang. That has been the evolution of nineteen-year-old Jake Andrews, the Austin native who stepped out of his heroes’ shadows in May with his debut CD, Time to Burn: Most of the songs are originals, and the title track can be heard on more than one hundred radio stations across the country. Since he was in elementary school, critics have labeled Andrews “the next Stevie Ray Vaughan,” but while he appreciates the comparisons, he is clearly charting his own course. “I’m doing my own thing,” he says, “and I don’t want to have to live up to somebody’s expectations of some Texas guitar player.” But if the critics are right, he won’t have to. As the late Albert Collins said, “Jake’s ahead of a lot of us grown-ups now, and by the time he can buy a drink, he may be ahead of us all.”
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