Rising Blues Star

alt textFollowing in the footsteps of blues legends B.B. King and John Lee Hooker, teen guitarist Myles Mancuso loves the "blues." Myles is an outstanding performer and also a person who stutters - just like King and Hooker. He has shared some personal insights with the Stuttering Foundation not only about his music but also about how he deals with stuttering.

Q. How did you get started in the music business?

A. I got started when I was nine years old when I played on stage with Levon Helm from "The Band" in Woodstock. Then shortly after that I played at a few shows in NYC that were promoted by Sid Bernstien, he is the promoter that brought the Beatles to America.

Q. What instruments do you play, and how do you classify your music?

A. I play the guitar, piano, bass, sax and drums. Even though my music has "bluesy" elements, I still consider it to be classified as a mix soul, funk and R&B.

Q. What was your reaction to the B.B. King and John Lee Hooker feature in the last SFA newsletter issue?

A. It surprised me because I never knew that BB King and John Lee Hooker were stutterers. I've noticed when they talk - they control it so well. I really respect them for their music and effort to overcome their stuttering.

Q. Do you think about your stutter when you are on stage?

A. When I'm on stage all of my problems seems to disappear because I'm so comfortable in front of an audience that I usually don't stutter.

Q. Have you sought therapy to help with stuttering?

A. Yes, I went through speech therapy most of my elementary years and the first part of my middle school years. I feel the techniques my speech therapist gave me have helped a lot through the years.

Q. How do friends or family members treat you in regards to your speech?

A. I try to talk as smooth as I can around my friends and so a lot of them don't notice my stuttering. My family treats me like I speak normally.

Q. Do you think stuttering holds you back in anyway?

A. My stuttering does not hold me back because I've learned that even if I do stutter and people do make fun of me - no one can change who I am inside.

Q. You have met many famous people. Is there a person who stands out as particularly meaningful to you?

A. Tab Benoit stands out most to me - not only because of his great guitar playing and song writing, but because of his passion for saving the Louisiana Wetlands. I have a lot of respect for someone who devotes their life to a certain cause.

Q. Do you plan to stay in the entertainment field as a life-long career?

A. Yes, I plan to play music and be a producer or composer like Quincy Jones. I'm starting to look at music colleges because I'm going into High School this fall.

For show dates, more articles, pictures and other information, visit www.mylesmancuso.com.