Guitar Shorty (born David Kearney) is an American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is well known for his explosive guitar style and wild stage antics. Billboard magazine said, “his galvanizing guitar work defines modern, top-of-the-line blues-rock. His vocals remain as forceful as ever. Righteous shuffles...blistering, sinuous guitar solos.” He began his professional career in the mid 50’s when he was a featured artist with the classic early Blue’s ensemble – The Walter Johnson Band. Shortly after, in 1956 he was made an official member of Ray Charles’ band where he performed with Ray Charles for a year. He left to record his own solo recordings and in 1957 released his first single "You Don't Treat Me Right", for the Cobra label under the direction of legendary blues man Willie Dixon.
At 19 he moved to California to play with Sam Cooke, touring with Cooke up and down the west coast and Canada until meeting a girl named Marcia who would become his wife. Marcia was the the half-sister of Jimi Hendrix. Jimi was so enthralled with Shorty’s playing, he went AWOL several times from his Army base to see him perform. Jimi Hendrix often referenced him as being one of his main influences, saying that Guitar Shorty was the first person he saw using a Wah-Wah pedal. Guitar Shorty let Hendrix borrow one of his Wah pedals until he could afford his own, and the resulting sound became world-famous as a part of Hendrix's groundbreaking signature guitar tone. Guitar Shorty recalls during an interview, "He told me the reason he started setting his guitar on fire was because he couldn’t do the back flips like I did.” Guitar Shorty continued performing live and recording throughout the 70’, 80’s, 90’s and up into present day. He tours and performs live up to 75% of the year and is still ‘on fire’! In January 2017 he became an official part of the D&A Guitar Gear artist roster.