Guitarist Toby Lee may be only 10 years old but his passion for playing guitar and his love of the blues is not merely a kid's passing fancy. Lee's performance videos have enchanted and amazed millions and made fans of everyone who has heard him play-- including Joe Bonamassa. Over the next few months, Toby is offering Epiphone fans an inside look at his approach as well as some helpful tips on how to make the most of an Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Joe Bonamassa Les Paul Standard Outfit in Pelham Blue. Epiphone.com spoke to the young phenom from his home in Priors Marston, Warwickshire, England.
How are you enjoying the Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Les Paul?
It's very nice and it looks great. It sounds really good just like a Les Paul should. It's a really cool guitar. If it's good enough for Joe then it's good enough for me.
Is a Les Paul your favorite instrument for playing the blues?
Yes it is because it is the iconic blues guitar. I used it on my B.B. King jam which has been seen by over 6 million people!
I imagine you play your Les Paul every day. How do you like to practice? Do you play along to records?
I don't really call it practice because I play all the time, even in the car on the way to school! I just jam along to records or backing tracks.
You're a big fan of Joe Bonamassa. Who are some of the other guitarists you like?
Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy, Freddie King, Walter Trout and Mick Box from Uriah Heep (my friend).
How would you say B.B. King's style is different from Joe Bonamassa?
B.B. King is more mellow and calmer than Joe. Joe is more technical and faster in my view.
Does anyone else in your family play an instrument?
Dad plays drums and mum plays violin and piano. My uncle Nigel is a great blues guitarist and I have played a few gigs with him.
What other Les Paul players have you been listening to for inspiration?
Les Paul himself! Gary Moore, Jimmy Page, Slash, and Angus Young.
Do you have any interest in classical or jazz
I like all styles of music and enjoy playing my Epiphone acoustic. I still have loads to learn!
Is there a guitarist whose style you find especially challenging?
Mark Knopfler. I can play "Sultans of Swing" but it was hard to learn! Joe plays very fast and I struggle to keep up on the scales!
What guitarist working today would you most like to perform with?
Mr. Joe Bonamassa, Angus Young, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Ronnie Wood, Slash!
It's almost a new year--what plans do you have for 2016? Do you see yourself forming a group? (If you haven't already!)
Keep jamming - keep learning. Maybe some things will come my way. I'd like to play on a big stage and to get some coaching from a well-known rock star. I do play in bands at my School of Rock but the others are normally a lot older than me!