The origin story is almost too good to be true. A teenaged Quinn DeVeaux, raised on a healthy diet of his mom’s 80s R&B favorites and dad’s classic rock leanings, left his hometown of Gary, Indiana, and was driving across the country when he really heard Muddy Waters for the first time. He recalls, “I couldn't believe it. Didn't seem real - that bone-raw emotion.” Quinn was no stranger to the important legacy of American roots music; it was entwined with his family’s heritage. His jazz singer grandmother mentored him on church songs and harmonies and nudged him into piano lessons. His uncle booked shows in northern Indiana, coaxing the likes of Chicago-based blues giant Howlin’ Wolf 30 miles south to Gary. By the time Quinn started digging into Chess Records artists like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, he was accepting a call to action.
And like any good legend, DeVeaux left home for the wider world: first to Kansas, then to Olympia, Washington, to attend Evergreen State College, and a brief stint in Los Angeles (immortalized in his 2013 ebullient kiss-off “Left This Town”), before finding a spiritual home in San Francisco. By the time he began sharpening his performance and songwriting chops through Bay-area cover bands, Quinn had been baptized by Ray Charles, Al Green, and, most profoundly, the working man storyteller Bill Withers. After playing in a number of configurations that explored all corners of his musical passion, Quinn DeVeaux assembled his Blue Beat Review, which merged his diverse tastes into a rollicking itinerant house party, demolishing venues and releasing several acclaimed records featuring Quinn’s ever-swelling writing and performing skills.