It was the moment Scotty Bratcher caught guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan on television show “Austin City Limits” that he knew music was going to consume him for the rest of his life. He was less than 2 years old at the time, Bratcher said.
“My main inspiration for playing, besides my dad, what kept me interested in music was definitely Stevie Ray Vaughan,” Bratcher said. “That’s all I would listen to until I was 11 years old.”
Vaughan truly struck a chord with Bratcher, to a point that some listeners can pick up a clear Vaughan influence in his music, such as Max Kilcup, a second-year in English.
“My main impression is that (Bratcher) is a Stevie Ray Vaughan clone,” Kilcup said. “Every solo, you can expect to hear a Stevie lick.”
Bratcher, a 26-year-old musician of Preble County, Ohio, is slated to play with the Scotty Bratcher Band Friday in Columbus, supported by a bassist and drummer.
Bratcher had more encouragement than the musician he idolized to pursue the guitar — he had his father.
“He got me into Stevie Ray Vaughan when I was a year-and-a-half old. He kept me interested in it. He set goals with me: ‘If you do this, we’ll get that for you. If you do that, we’ll get this for you,’” he said. “It just kept going and going and going until I was getting my own gear and things like that. That was sort of my inspiration for what kept me going and kept me playing.”
Bratcher received his first guitar at the age of 1. With time and effort, he was playing the instrument on a more professional level, still at a very young age.
“I just worked on it until I was about 10 or 11 years old when I started going to open jams and sitting with bands around town,” Bratcher said. “I’ve considered myself a full-time musician since I was 12 years old.”
With this declaration, he released his first album at age 12. However, it is his most recent album, 2013’s “All and Nothing More,” that might be the best listen, he said.
“I will say without hesitation that this is the best album that I’ve done, and I hope I can continue saying that about every album that I do,” he said. “I felt I was singing better than I have in the past, that I had better ideas on the guitar than I had in the past. It was the most proud I’ve been of my writing.”
Noah Hunt, the lead singer of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, is slated to perform a set with Bratcher’s band as a special guest on Friday as well.
“I’m a huge Kenny Wayne Shepherd fan. To have their lead singer on stage with us is a huge deal,” Bratcher said. “(What’s) an even bigger deal than that is being able to call him a friend and do these shows for people.”
Bratcher’s music and past Columbus performances have garnered him a sizable audience, said Marissa Luther, marketing director at PromoWest Productions.
“He comes through a couple times a year for us,” Luther said. “People love him and have really grown up with him since he started when he was so young. So he has a really good following.”
He might have even sparked a new fan in Kilcup.
“He definitely sounds like he has a good performance energy,” Kilcup said. “It’s blues-based, but its very ‘90s rock.”
Bratcher said he enjoys playing in Columbus, too.
“This show at A&R is a really cool show,” Bratcher said. “I definitely like putting out there the fact that every time we’ve played there the crowd just gets bigger and better and more excited about the music. That’s the biggest reason we like playing there.”
The A&R Music Bar, located at 391 Neil Ave., is set to open its doors for Bratcher’s show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7.