Aged and defined

Zakk Knight brings award-winning blues to Taffy’s in Eaton

By Tim Walker

Zakk Knight is a busy man. The 21-year-old guitarist, songwriter and performer is on a mission, and that mission today is getting ready to perform a sold-out show in his own hometown.

“I don’t play Indianapolis too often with my full band,” Knight says. “I try to travel as much as possible and kinda keep it stretched out as far as playing Indy, just because it is my home town. I want to keep having good shows here, so I try not to over-saturate the music scene with shows every week. I probably book a show here once every other month or so.”

The musician, whose newest album Zakk Knight was released in October 2015, will be bringing his band to play a show at Taffy’s in Eaton on Saturday, March 5. His newly released eponymous CD contains, among other things, a grooving, funky cover of the 1976 Aerosmith classic “Last Child.”

“I’ve actually released two CDs,” Knight says. “But we pulled one down a few years ago, just because I wanted to make something new and put all my attention on it. This was kind of a spur of the moment type of thing—it’s kind of all of my musical influences put together into one place—that was kind of the goal for me when I recorded it. I did all the instrumentation and all the songwriting—with the exception, obviously, of the Aerosmith song—and that was just something I was trying to do. Like I said, I didn’t do this new record because I wanted to just show, like, a different element or anything. The way I perform music is kind of whatever happens. The next record will most likely be completely different, not intentionally on my part, but just fresh, because that’s how I like to approach the music.”

At the tender age of 21, and with countless live shows and two CD releases to his credit, Knight is already a veteran of the music business. In 2006, Knight first began playing guitar seriously after hearing the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn, who became one of his biggest influences. With Vaughn as a starting point, Knight began further investigating the blues, studying other seminal guitarists such as Freddie King, Robert Johnson and Albert Collins. At the age of 15, Knight won the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation’s New Generation Award. He received his award and performed live at the Robert Johnson Birthday Blast in May 2009 in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. He has since gone on to be recognized nationally and internationally as an influential, creative musician and songwriter, as well as a brilliant guitarist.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back to Taffy’s,” Knight continues. “We played there last summer and had a great time. My show in March will be a nice mixture of originals and cover songs—maybe 60 percent originals and the rest covers. I’m not really promoting the new record too hard right now, because I’ve been working on putting together some music videos. And once I get those done and get them uploaded to the public, there will be a lot more promotion—honestly, it will be like releasing the record all over again. When I finished it, I just wanted to go ahead and get it up and get it out there for people to hear because I did pull down my old one, To: Mr All Talk.”

So, other than his blues guitar influences, are there any other performers in the music business Knight really admires?

“Yes,” he says. “Stevie Wonder. He is just amazing. The man is incredible, the songs he writes, his voice, as well as the message that he’s been putting out there for so many years now. I really admire him and his work. I was lucky enough to see him perform live in Detroit not too long ago—I had great seats, too—and it was just the most incredible performance I’ve ever seen.

“What I really want in my life,” Knight continues, “and this is something I think about when I see a performer like Stevie Wonder, or Prince—is to be known as a ‘musician.’ Not just a guitarist, or a singer, or a bluesman, but a musician—a man who makes music, who has made his life about the music, and who has a message to others that he spreads through his work.”

Zakk Knight and his band will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at Taffy’s, 123 E. Main St. in Eaton. Tickets are $10. For tickets and more information, please call 937.456.1381 or visit or
Tim Walker is 50 and a writer, DJ and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz and black t-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at

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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at

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