Little G. Weevil, Atlanta bluesman, wins Memphis competition

Kennesaw’s Gabor Szucs, better known in local clubs as guitarslinger Little G. Weevil, traveled an unlikely road from Eastern Europe to being named the best solo/duo blues act in the U.S. this month.

Growing up in Budapest Szucs had the same musical tastes as the average kid, until touched by an American legend.

“When I was a teenager I mostly listened to heavy metal rock, Metallica and Slayer and stuff,” said Szucs, now an American citizen.

“I was 16 years old, and my brother, who’s a good bass player, one day he showed up with a John Lee Hooker album, and that was a life-changing experience.”

So the young man started writing and performing the blues, but something was missing. “It’s very different when you study something from books and tapes,” said Szucs. “You guys grew up in this. It’s easy for you… That’s why I moved here. I wanted to breathe the blues in. I know it sounds very cheesy, but that’s what I felt.”

So in 2004 Szucs moved from Hungary to Memphis, where he was a dish-washer in a blues club. With hands immersed in suds, his soul soaked up the greasy, funky vernacular music of the American South.

Szucs married an Atlanta girl, moved here, started a family and pursued his career as a performer. He returned to Memphis last week for the International Blues Challenge, to compete against blues musicians from around the country and world, and won in the solo/duo category, playing guitar and singing a combination of originals and traditionals.

What he proved in Memphis was that the blues is a universal feeling, from Eastern Europe to East Cobb. To those who question his bona fides, “I smile and I do my thing,” he says. “Most of the time I win them over, and everybody’s happy.”