Chicago-based blues-rock guitarist Keith Scott keeps busy playing for fans on the road, so busy he hasn’t performed in Juneau since 2017, but he’s anything but “blue” to be back in town.
“That place is awesome, the Alaskan is amazing. It’s got a history and vibe for sure, man,” Scott said. “It feels like people are really coming out for music in Juneau, it’s great. It seems like a lot of interesting people have moved there. Great restaurants, great food, great people, it’s got a great vibe going, without a doubt.”
Though Scott normally plays his trusty Stratocaster or Gibson SG with his backing band, his current tour features him playing an acoustic solo set, but he plans to be sitting in with Andy Koch & The Badd Dog Blues Society throughout the Saturday night set.
“Me and Andy go way back, we played together in Seattle a lot when I was going out there, so we became really good friends,” Scott said. “He’s been coming to Alaska forever, so I was always bugging him, ‘Hey, how can I get to Alaska?’ So, I think he was the one that turned me on to the Alaskan Hotel and then it’s taken me five years to get back now.”
Originally from White Plains, New York, Scott has been perfecting the art of the blues ever since he first discovered Muddy Waters and his parents bought him his first guitar at the age of 14. Over the years, Scott has toured all around the world for the last 30 plus years playing music alongside blues notables such as Johnny Littlejohn, B.B. Odom, Eddie Taylor and Little Milton.
“That’s why I moved to Chicago back in the day, just to meet those people and be around them. It was definitely the epicenter for music there for a while,” Scott said. “Meeting Buddy Guy at the Checkerboard in the early ‘80s was probably one of the greatest things ever for me. And then the first or second night I was ever in Chicago I sat in with the Junior Wells Band and that was a pretty good experience, too. I also had Albert Collins come to one of my gigs and sat in the front row, which was pretty intimidating; he’s one of my favorites.”
Scott has also released eight albums of his own, the most recent being “World Blues Society” released in 2021, and he’s just recently wrapped up recording on a brand new album, which is set to come out in September.
“It’s gonna be kind of a really cool project; I brought in a piano player, something totally different,” Scott said. “It’s like the first post-pandemic kind of creative thing I’ve done, so I’m excited about it. I went back to this great studio in Chicago called Gravity that I used to go to, kind of like a home reunion, it was cool. I’m really happy with it; in my mind I’ve already put it out and I’m moving on to the next one.”
You might say recording songs and moving on has been the secret to Scott’s success for over 30 years now, with no end yet in sight. His tour schedule is currently booked solid throughout the U.S. and Canada into 2023 and much like the opening track to his “World Blues Society” album, playing the blues is what keeps him traveling “Down That Road.”
“It’s funny, I meet people and sometimes they’ll say, ‘Oh, I just retired from my job, I’m so glad, 35 years, I’m finally outta there and I’m thinking, ‘Boy, I’m just getting going,” Scott said.
Know & Go
What: Keith Scott Blues
When (and where): 11 p.m. Friday ( Alaskan Hotel and Bar, 167 S. Franklin St.) and 1 p.m. Saturday (Alaskan Hotel and Bar) 7 p.m. (Crystal Saloon, 218 Front St.)