Katy Guillen is, hands down, the raddest and baddest guitar player in Kansas City. Anyone who’s been out to watch Katy Guillen and the Girls will likely attest to that. We’ve marveled at Guillen’s lightning fast fingers on the frets, and have yet to see even the slightest misstep in her work.

Guillen’s strong blues background is a unique one, as she’s managed to successfully bring it to the indie scene. The band is about to release Remember What You Knew Before worldwide this Spring on Vizztone Records, and there’ll be plenty of touring to follow. But first, she’s hitting up The Bottleneck in Lawrence on Friday. We talked to Guillen ahead of the show.

Katy Guillen and The Girls / Photo by Leroy Pristach
IHLM: You’ve been spotted at Bowie tributes. Who (in Lawrence and KC) have you enjoyed collaborating with musically?

KG: “I loved being a part of the Band That Fell To Earth, that’s probably one of my favorite collaborations most recently. But I honestly look up to and love so many KC and Lawrence based musicians. Some of my favorite people that I’ve collaborated with or gotten to play with in the last few years are Julia Haile, The Grisly Hand, Heidi Lynne Gluck, Claire Adams, John Paul Drum, Ryan Heinlein (The Project H), Ernie Locke, Alyssa Murray, and Samantha Fish to name a few.”

IHLM: Which local acts are you digging right now?

KG: “I really love anything that Julia Haile does and Hi Lux, because that voice! I really enjoy Heidi Lynne Gluck for her songwriting/arranging, and voice. I’ve been digging on Rachel Mallin & The Wild Type lately too- again songwriting and her voice is so cool. This list could go on for a while, so I’ll leave it at that.”

IHLM: What would you like to see more of in the local scene?

KG: “I’d like to see even more mixing of genres and crowds. One of my favorite things about music is that it brings together all different kinds of people to support and celebrate a shared love. There can always be more of that!”

Katy Guillen and the Girls play the Bottleneck this Friday with Heidi Lynn Gluck and Brody Buster.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Leave a Reply