Katy Guillen & the Girls
Blues Rock Band
Katy Guillen and the Girls is established as an authentic, authoritative rock band. They are known to pack in crowds at blues roadhouses and prominent concert venues alike, supporting major touring acts or headlining festivals and bills of their own. Propelled by a loyal contingent in their hometown of Kansas City and an impressive showing as finalists at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Katy Guillen and the Girls have since taken their vivacious brand of blues rock to stages across the globe.
In addition to a persistent cross-country performance schedule, they’ve accepted invitations to play the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive At Sea cruise. In 2014, they were sponsored by a cultural development organization (Kultur i Väst) to take a 10-day tour of Sweden. Most recently, they opened for The Doobie Brothers at the Foundation for the Children of the Californias’ annual benefit concert in San Diego. They have also become one of Kansas City’s most sought-after groups, earning prestigious slots at local festivals like Middle of the Map Fest and Boulevardia, and routinely selling out 500-plus-capacity venues.
Katy Guillen (center - lead vocal and guitar), Claire Adams (right - bass) and Stephanie Williams (left - drums) formed Katy Guillen and the Girls in 2012.
What is it about KC that inspires creativity in you?
Katy: In general, it’s probably just the music and arts scene here. It has always been a great place to create, but lately it’s been even better. The community around here truly supports local and regional bands. People at Ink and 90.9 The Bridge let the community know what’s happening and encourage them to go. I’d say we have experienced great support from the community of musicians and enthusiasts in Kansas City.
Claire: KC is cool place to be, especially right now. You get this feeling being here that it’s growing and developing right in front of you. There is a lot of potency in knowing that the roots of blues and jazz history are planted in Kansas City.
Stephanie: I’d also add that the diversity in the people who come out to support the artists inspires creativity in a way that makes me even more excited to be a part of new ideas. Knowing that there is a huge variety in the audience opens up possibilities in the arts like nothing else I’ve experienced.
What is your favorite spot in Kansas City?
All: BB’s Lawnside BBQ for sure. There is an energy there that’s different from anywhere else. Not only does it feel like an honor to play there considering the history of the venue, but it has great food and an incredible atmosphere. Being there feels comfortable – even when it’s packed shoulder to shoulder, which is almost always.
Where's your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
Katy: Carlsbad, California, it’s close to San Diego. I have family there. It’s a quiet little beach town that I have a soft spot in my heart for.
Claire: Recently we got to explore the Bay Area during a gig. Touring wine country and experiencing the Redwoods…all of that was pretty awe-inspiring.
Stephanie: Montreal. The culture there was really interesting. It was very clean, very organized and everyone was friendly.
What's your most treasured possession?
Katy: My grandpa’s flamenco guitar. It’s pretty invaluable.
Claire: Also a guitar. An American made Tele guitar that I inherited from a friend.
Stephanie: My grandpa’s guitar. I don’t even play guitar.
Who's your favorite fictional hero?
Katy: Mighty Mouse because he’s so small, and mighty. He’s very strong for his size.
Claire: Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec.
Stephanie: The Ninja Turtles – they all are pretty great - but Michelangelo is my favorite.
Who do you most admire in real-life?
Katy: My mom, and all of my teachers. I really admire teaching as a profession as a whole.
Claire: My dad, he's the best. I've always looked up to him.
Stephanie: My grandma.
When and where are you happiest?
Katy: When we’re playing.
Claire: When we’re working on brand new stuff. There is something very exciting about those moments where you’re creating.
Stephanie: Anywhere behind a drum set.