feature: the badass talent of beverly “guitar” watkins – the 76-year-old atlanta roots music legend

September 25, 2015

Explore the commanding talent of Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, the 76-year-old guitarist and singer who has been rocking out since her aunt gave her a guitar at the age of 8. A legend of the Atlanta roots music scene, this badass grandmother has played with the likes of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles; touring as a rhythm guitarist for Piano Red through the 1960s. And she doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon! Watkins (who cites her musical influences as the rock and blues she heard growing up at “barn parties” in the Jim Crow South) recently declared that she’ll keep playing “until I can’t play no more. Something happens, they’ll have to put me in a wheelchair and roll me up on stage, because I’m a dedicated musician.”

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor