Lots of singers have shown up at the American Idol auditions this year carrying guitars.
Briston Maroney is the only one who showed up playing a guitar passed down from his great-great-grandfather, a musician in Nashville many years ago.
“Playing this guitar, I feel everything it’s been through, as crazy as that sounds,” he told Idol. “I feel like it’s seen a lot, and it’s stories come out when it’s played.”
For the Idol judges, Briston played it and sang The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get Want You Want.”
Jennifer Lopez immediately dubbed the 15-year-old as unique and Harry Connick Jr. broke out into a big smile as the performance progressed.
Three yes votes later, Briston was Hollywood bound.
And don’t let that young age fool you. The teen has been performing as part of a four-member Knoxville, Tenn., band called Subtle Clutch.
Briston handles guitar and vocal duties for the group, which describes its music as folk/bluegrass. The band released its first single — “Railroad” — to iTunes over the summer. You can check out the official video below.
But Briston isn’t just a member of the band. He also released a six-track solo EP called “Amory.”
And he comes off as mature beyond his years in his Idol Road to Hollywood video.
In that video, Briston describes his decision to try out for Idol as “divine intervention.” He said he had no intention of doing so until the Idol bus tour rolled through his hometown. At that point, “it was too good of an opportunity to miss.”
Briston says his biggest musical influence is Bob Dylan. He admires the fact that he was able to forge “some really big changes doing what he loved. That’s the goal to shoot for for any musician.
“I think I stand for something really noble, and that’s to make a change with music, and I kind of pride myself on that, too.”
You can check out the Subtle Clutch YouTube channel here.
Now, for some samples of his music.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“Railroad” (official video)
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (Bob Dylan cover with Subtle Clutch)
“Save Tonight” (Eagle Eye Cherry cover)